As I sit here in Edmonton International writing this, I’m sipping my Starbucks latte and people watching. Some running, dragging their suitcases behind them, others oblivious, strolling slowly in the middle of the walkway staring at their phones. The final boarding calls, the multilingual chatter around me of other travellers. The man, on a long layover, passed out on his luggage in the corner. The children, with their cute animal backpacks, excited to watch the planes landing and taking off. The young girl saying a quick ‘I love you’ to her boyfriend on the phone as she’s walking up to her gate.
I love that airports are always moving, the transientness of them. How people from all cultures and walks of life that have nothing in common aside from the chance of being brought together in this airport at the same time before they board flights taking them thousands of miles away from each other again.
I like to make up stories about the people I see, decide where they are going, if they are traveling for business or pleasure. Are they are going to see family that they have not seen in years or if they are going on a beach vacation? Are they moving to a new city to start fresh?
Edmonton International is a relatively small airport so there is not a lot of shops and restaurants. But it’s nice to have as a home base airport because of its size. It still has a lot of convenient airlines, for example Iceland Air which has lots of European destinations for excellent prices. Because of it being a smaller airport, security moves quite quickly and going through passport control on your way home is fast moving too. YEG has primary inspection kiosks which streamlines the whole process of arriving in Canada and saves you from having to fill out a declaration card on your flight. If you want to save even more time you can download the eDeclaration Mobile App. Once downloaded this app works on airplane mode as well.
There are only three licensed restaurants before security, a couple of convenience stores, a Tim Hortons and a Starbucks. After security heading to the States there is two licensed restaurants, one duty free shop and a Starbucks. After security to all other destinations gives you a few more options with nine licensed restaurants, a bit more shopping options and a few fast food joints. There is also a spa offering quick services if you need some pre flight pampering to help you relax.
There are a lot of valet parking services at this airport as well, my first choice is Park2Go because they warm your vehicle up and brush the snow off for you. A very nice perk especially when you are arriving from a sun destination and it’s sub zero temperatures in Alberta!
Airports have always been one of my favourite places, whether I am coming or going. If I’m going, it’s that feeling of excitement of the adventure I am about to embark on. If I’m returning it’s a symbol of almost being home after a long journey, and that much closer to sleeping in my own bed!