Vancouver’s airport was the busiest it has ever been yesterday, but far from chaotic.
An estimated 40,000 people, including Olympic athletes and officials wearing their team colours, flew home through YVR.
Paul Levy, vice-president of planning for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Vancouver Airport Authority, said staff checked in athletes and coaches at the Olympic Village 24 hours ahead of their departure time.
“Retailers were open throughout the night, so when you went through security there was food and beverages and retail,” Levy said. “We wanted to make sure (visitors’) final and lasting impressions would be similar to what they were getting downtown with the Olympic buzz.”
He added there was a festive vibe at the airport that included musicians and DJs. Even Olympic mascots Quatchi, Miga and Sumi made appearances.
Kana Mori, who checked in eight hours before her departure to Tokyo, said people in Vancouver are “kind.”
“I was lost here, people came and asked if they could help,” she said.