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Everything you need to know about Vancouver flights cancelled due to snow

Know before you go.
The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes a snowfall warning and there have been dozens of YVR flight cancellations on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.

Travellers headed to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will want to check the status of their flight before they leave. 

By mid-day Wednesday, Jan. 17, over 20 per cent of YVR's flights were cancelled due to heavy snowfall. 

About 20 centimetres of snow has fallen at the airport, and YVR said crews are continuing to work to keep runways, taxiways and aprons clear. This includes nine kilometres of runways, including the north, south and crosswind runways.

The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes a snowfall warning, with several more opportunities for snow this week.

Travellers are advised to check the status of their flights with their airline before coming to the airport.

WesJet cancelled hundreds of flights over the weekend due to unprecedented, extreme cold across the prairies and eastern Canada. The cancellations affected flights departing from and scheduled to arrive at YVR. On Monday, an additional 72 flights were cancelled due to weather.

The airline resumed many scheduled flights by Tuesday and added "capacity and segments where possible." 

Find out what you need to know if you have a flight cancellation or delay with a Canadian airline.

WestJet flights

Customers who have WestJet flights departing from B.C. airports on Jan. 16 or Jan. 17 may be eligible for the airline's flexible change guidelines due to the inclement weather. 

Travellers should check the status of their flights before they leave for the airport.

The airline has implemented its flexible change/cancel guidelines for customers who have affected flights.

WestJet will waive the "applicable change or cancellation fee," and you may also:

  • Change your travel dates to and/or from the same destination. If there’s a difference in fares, you won’t be charged. Blackout dates may apply.
  • Change your destination with or without changing your travel dates. If you’re going to a close airport like Vancouver (YVR) instead of Abbotsford (YXX), you won’t be charged for any fare difference.
  • If you choose to go to an airport that isn’t geographically close, you’ll pay the fare difference.
  • If the new fare is less, the refund guidelines for fare types apply.
  • Cancel your trip. You’ll get a refund according to the guidelines for the original fare bundle.

Additional updates will be posted as they are available.

Customers who booked through a travel agent, online booking agency, or a corporate travel arranger, should contact them directly. 

Air Canada flights

Canada's flagship carrier has also implemented a flexible chance policy due to the wintry conditions at YVR. 

Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy enabling customers travelling on an affected flight to make changes to their booking without penalty, space permitting. 

The airline shared a post on its X channel, noting that its teams were working to ensure operations ran smoothly during the heavy snow, adding that "a [flexible rebooking policy is in effect]."

Travellers should check the status of their flights before they leave for the airport.

Flair Airlines 

Canada's third-largest airline has not announced flexible change guidelines but it must follow Canada's air passenger rights guidelines.

On its website, Flair notes that heavy snow may affect travel to/from the YVR, YXX, and Kelowna International (YLW) airports, including possible delays and cancellations. 

Travelles are advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport. Additionally, they should ensure their contact details are updated to receive up-to-date notifications on any schedule changes.

Porter Airlines

Porter says its YVR flights may be affected due to the snowstorm and possible freezing rain and customers may be eligible for flexible booking arrangements.

To find out if your flight applies, go to My Bookings. A waiver may be issued for your flight, allowing you to avoid a disruption by flying before or after the original scheduled departure.

If you are eligible to make a schedule change, you do not have to pay to change your ticket.

Porter will call its customers for flight cancellations or delays of 15 minutes or more. Travellers should ensure their contact details are correct so they receive up-to-date notifications.

If you aren't notified of a flight cancellation, visit My Bookings to view or modify your itinerary. 

Please monitor your flight status.

With files from the Richmond News.