Calgary International Airport
History of the Airport
Calgary International Airport launched its inaugural flight from a grassy landing strip in 1914. Located six miles northwest of Calgary in the community of Bowness, a dilapidated building served as the passenger terminal and hanger. In 1928, the government established a municipal airport in Refrew. Ten years later, the operation was transferred to its current location 11 miles northeast of the city center. Officials named the municipal airport McCall Field to commemorate Calgary aviation pioneer and World War I flying ace Captain Fred McCall. The airport was commandeered during the 1940s to support the war effort. Civilian air traffic resumed after the war, and the government constructed a passenger terminal in 1956. After nearly 20 years of service, the old facility was replaced with the current terminal complex to meet the demands of modern air travel.
Calgary Airport Amenities
The terminal, which consists of four concourses, provides travelers with a wide variety of amenities to make their time in the airport more enjoyable. Passenger services include banking facilities, currency exchanges, and baggage handling services, which include a luggage-wrapping machine and complimentary luggage carts. The airport has medical services, a wellness spa, and an interfaith chapel. Concourse C and D have lounges that provide business services and complimentary snacks and beverages for all travelers. Concourse A has a VIP lounge with a fully equipped business center. Staff members, known as the White Hat Volunteers, provide assistance at kiosks and throughout the airport. The volunteers also transport passengers on Club Cars to locations within the terminal, such as baggage claim, passenger loading gates and customs clearance checkpoints. Personal care options include massage chairs, shoeshine stands, and a beauty salon. The airport provides numerous services for passengers who have reduced mobility or other physical limitations. There is a postal facility and complimentary wireless Internet. Monitors, strategically located throughout the terminal, provide passengers with the latest information on arriving and departing flights. There are several video arcades located throughout the terminal. Calgary International is working with NASA to sponsor Spaceport. This attraction displays a scaled-down replica of the space shuttle and a genuine moon rock. Visitors to this acclaimed exhibit can explore the wonders of space travel and state-of-the-art communications.
Short and long-term parking are available in two garages and an economy surface lot. The airport also has surface lots designated as cell phone waiting areas. One of the locations can accommodate oversized vehicles. Drivers picking up or dropping off passengers can use up to 30 minutes of complimentary parking. Most spaces are within a short walk of the terminal. Rental car service counters are located in a consolidated center in front of the parking garage across the street from the terminal.
Utilizing three runways and 50 passenger loading gates, Calgary International serves more than 12.8 million passengers each year. Travelers have access to numerous domestic and international carriers that provide non-stop and connecting flights to destinations throughout the world. Calgary International, the fourth most active commercial airfield in Canada, is the gateway to Banff National Park and the spectacular beauty of Canada’s Central Rockies region.
Airlines Serving Calgary Airport
Being Canada’s fourth busiest airport, Calgary International Airport is served by some of the largest airline companies in North America. It’s not surprising that one of the country’s largest airports serves as a hub for Air Canada. The Canadian flag carrier links the city of Calgary with important international destinations such as Frankfurt Airport, London Heathrow Airport, and Tokyo Narita International Airport. Of course, Air Canada also provides direct trips to major destinations to Canada’s southern neighbor. Major U.S. cities accessible through Air Canada service include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark, and Phoenix. The popular U.S. resort city of Honolulu, Hawaii is also on the list of Air Canada services. Passengers can also count on the Canadian flag carrier to take them to major cities in Canada including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. You can find the Air Canada fleet stationed near Terminal A, B, and C.
Another major Canadian airline that uses Calgary International Airport as a hub is WestJet. The low cost carrier actually offers service to more destinations than any other airline at Calgary’s main airport. WestJet provides service to over a dozen domestic destinations including Edmonton, Hamilton, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg. All year long, the Canadian low cost carrier offers trips to U.S. destinations such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Palm Springs, and Phoenix. On a seasonal basis, WestJet provides a diverse schedule to destinations in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and various remote parts of Canada. WestJet service is available in Terminal C and D at Calgary International Airport.
Air Transat is another large Canadian airline that operates in Canada’s fourth busiest airport. Air Transat links Calgary with major U.K. destinations London Gatwick Airport and Manchester Airport. On a seasonal schedule, this major Canadian carrier takes passengers to popular European destinations such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Glasgow, and Paris. Additionally, Air Transat also invites passengers to several seasonal destinations in Mexico and Latin America. You can get on the Air Transat fleet from Terminal D.
Major U.S. based companies that operate at Calgary International Airport include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and US Airways. Some of the major destinations accessible via these U.S. carriers include Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Salt Lake City.
The only non North American airlines serving Calgary International Airport are British Airways, Condor Flugdienst, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which are all from Europe.