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News Release - December 14, 2015

YQQ announces new arrangement with North Pole to ensure best possible travel experience this holiday season

Happy Holidays The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) is advising passengers of a new arrangement with the North Pole to ensure passengers are on their best possible behavior during the upcoming travel season.

YQQ will work with its longtime partner, Elves Helping Airports (E.H.A), to station elves throughout the terminal building in an effort to encourage compliance with the airport's annual holiday traffic guidelines. E.H.A.'s mission is to spread Christmas Cheer during the peak holiday travel period. It is a subsidiary of North Pole Incorporated, a company that is 100 per cent owned and operated by J.O.S.N (Jolly Old Saint Nicholas).

"Each year, YQQ issues some light hearted tips to help passengers navigate through the terminal during the busy holiday season," explained Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow. "E.H.A. agents will be observing our passengers and should they note any un-holiday like behavior, they will be letting the big man in red know."

YQQ has not been provided with a description of these elves but the Airport Commission has confirmed an undercover operation is highly probable.

"At this point all we can do is advise all our passengers that Santa is utilizing his Elves to keep a close eye on the terminal building and everyone in it," Bigelow cautioned.

To avoid being added to the naughty list, YQQ suggests that passengers adhere to the following tips and tricks for a successful trip this holiday season:

  1. Resist the urge to grumble and arrive early - Check with your airline to determine what time you should arrive at the airport and give yourself some additional wiggle room because chances are your flight will be busy. Don't forget that WestJet and Air Canada close check-in 45 minutes before the flight.
  2. If your three-year old can FaceTime with Grandma, you can check in online - Checking in ahead of time increases your level of cheer and decreases the chance that you'll end up wrinkling your snazzy new Christmas outfit when you end up wedged into a middle seat.
  3. Don't get hit with an unexpected expense to check a bag - If holiday shopping has left you pinching pennies, you'll want to make sure that your favourite reindeer sweater (and all other essentials) fit into a carry-on bag that complies with your airline's sizing requirements.
  4. Leave the be-dazzled gift paper at home - Unless your holiday masterpiece is meant to be opened by our security screeners, it is best to leave it unwrapped.
  5. Transport Canada doesn't change the rules just because it is Christmas - Liquids over 100 ml and sharp objects are not permitted in your carry-on under any circumstances. Make sure to pack the mulled wine and the candy cane cork screw in your checked luggage instead.
  6. Photo I.D. is required no matter how embarrassing the photo is - Nobody likes their driver's license photo and since it is Christmas, our Customer Service Agents promise not to tease you about yours….but you'll still have to show it to get on board.
  7. If your bag is too big you can't carry it on - Santa won't be name dropping in an attempt to jam his sack of toys in the overhead bin (he has a magic sleigh for that!) and the same goes for the oversized suitcase you hoped nobody would notice.
  8. Even Rudolph might not have guaranteed space in pet cargo - Make sure you check with your airline ahead of time to ensure you understand any requirements for travelling with a pet (yes, even super cute puppies with snowflake sweaters).
  9. Elves don't forget - Our hidden elves are reporting back to Santa daily. These guys are chatty and they live for hundreds of years, so put your best foot forward and don't give them anything to gossip about.
The Comox Valley Airport generally experiences a significant increase in terminal traffic beginning around December 18 and continuing until a few days after the New Year.

The terminal's busiest day will likely be December 23 with up to 1,300 passengers travelling through YQQ. Including guests who are dropping off or picking up passengers, there could be up to 2,600 people moving through the terminal on any given day over the holidays.

YQQ will accommodate increased traffic by assigning additional staff and volunteers during peak hours. Information regarding terminal hours, parking and links to all of YQQ's airlines are available on the Comox Valley Airport website at: www.comoxairport.com. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website also has helpful tips at: www.catsa.gc.ca/winter-travel-tips

Media Contact:

Christianne Wile
Comox Valley Airport
250-890-0829 ext. 253