Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)

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Ottawa
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7.3/10
587
ratings
  • Stephane D.
    "If you fly with Porter, get to the Porter Lounge."(5 Tips)
    Josiah W.
    "... lots of power ports, clean. Not much to be had after US customs."(3 Tips)
    Anthony R.
    "Breakfast sandwich at Senate Chambers is awesome."(4 Tips)
    Omar G.
    "Starbucks coffee...... bliss"(6 Tips)
140 Tips and reviews
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  • Antonio R.
    Antonio ReyesOctober 13
    One of the fastest and cleanest services, the view is awesome too.
  • Nora C.
    Nora ChangAugust 8
    Been here 5+ times
    Small airport. Easy to get in and out. Not a lot of direct flights into states
  • Doug W.
    Doug WJune 1
    Clear immigration and customs here for US bound flights, plus Global Entry kiosks. Unfortunate once that's done there's absolutely nothing to do in the terminal.
  • #the6ixAppGuide
    Visiting Toronto? Browse the #the6ixAppGuide to find the best apps for visitors to save you money, time, effort, and help you explore Toronto. Read more
  • Omer I.
    Omer IdreesMarch 27
    Small, sweet and accessible from all aspects. It's just sad that there aren't many direct flights to take you outside the country.
  • Juliana A.
    Juliana AlvesDecember 22, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Small and quick to come and go!
  • Tim A.
    Tim AyresOctober 13, 2016
    Been here 25+ times
    Uber is now allowed to pick up at the airport. Meet your driver at Pillar 12 on the outside lane.
  • Myra M.
    Myra MJune 20, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Nice, modern feel to the architecture in the domestic departures area. Security is relatively quick (especially compared to YEG).
  • Josiah W.
    Josiah WiebeJanuary 15, 2016
    Super fast free wi-fi (I got 80Mbps download), lots of power ports, clean. Not much to be had after US customs.
  • Kevin J.
    Kevin JamesSeptember 1, 2015
    Nice terminal but slowest luggage delivery in the nation.
  • Reena B.
    Reena B-SMay 24, 2015
    Wait until after security screening to get drinks and snacks so your liquids won't be confiscated.
  • Anna S.
    Anna SellemApril 1, 2015
    Ottawa is a nice city and quite dynamic. I was surprised to see the crowded airport, probably the worst I've seen so far (for a "big" city) in terms of design, services, restaurants.
  • Victor T.
    Victor TootooFebruary 21, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    I wish they had Second Cup here still. Only Starbucks available past security. Aurora concierge traveller's can take the short line for security
  • Joseph P.
    Joseph PotterFebruary 14, 2015
    Waiting for a loved one? There's a lack of seating in the arrival area - head straight upstairs to the food court on the left and watch the planes come and go!
  • Laura C.
    Laura CTFebruary 4, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Priority security for Infinite Visa Card!
  • Donna K.
    Donna KarlinJanuary 26, 2015
    Been here 100+ times
    No wait at Customs. All flights to NY Newark and Boston flashing red so check before you leave for the airport
  • Janet B.
    Janet B.January 22, 2015
    Been here 50+ times
    Be sure to grab food before you pass security to the U.S. gates, it's slim pickins on the other side!
  • Raymond A.
    Raymond AaronJanuary 9, 2015
    Spacious and clean
  • Mark B.
    Mark Boltz-RobinsonNovember 30, 2014
    The free WiFi demonstrates you get what you pay for. A most unstable connection. Do not rely on it for anything.
  • Sabrina S.
    Sabrina S.November 24, 2014
    Been here 25+ times
    Best medium-sized airport in North America if not the world, and that's not just my opinion. Lots of courteous staff, European destinations include London and Frankfurt, many US and Caribbean flights!
  • Stephen
    StephenNovember 3, 2014
    Been here 50+ times
    Voted among the best airports (for its size) in the world. Give #YOW some love.
  • Helen N.
    Helen NemethOctober 22, 2014
    wow - its crazy in Ottawa today ( with everything that happened!)
  • peanutbutterg
    peanutbuttergSeptember 10, 2014
    Free WiFi actually works really well!
  • Matti B.
    Matti BlumeSeptember 7, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Relax before your flight at the waterfall.
  • Stepan R.
    Stepan RogerAugust 24, 2014
    A very modern, clean and efficient airport. Look out for displays of aboriginal art.
  • Jesse A.
    Jesse ArissAugust 19, 2014
    The mirrors above the urinals create terrible feng shui.
  • Maria B.
    Maria BelenAugust 15, 2014
    Heading to NYC for a couple of hours. #ByeCanada! #IncredibleMaria
  • Katie N.
    Katie NichollsAugust 14, 2014
    Not very much to choose from for food. Try to eat beforehand.
  • Jasmine G.
    Jasmine GosalAugust 9, 2014
    Starbucks hidden near gate 22 there's never a line! Unlike Tim Hortons at the security gate
  • Elisa E.
    Elisa EveAugust 7, 2014
    Small airport and fast
  • Nauman N.
    Nauman NoorJune 5, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Free wifi is a godsend and actually works!
  • Alex M.
    Alex MacDonaldApril 11, 2014
    Great family washroom on the ground level past the doors at the end of the terminal opposite the baggage claim area.
  • Jake H.
    Jake HealyFebruary 12, 2014
    Arrive early. Security so slooowwwwww
  • Stephen
    StephenDecember 26, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    Frequent travelers to/from this airport know that the 97 bus takes you to/from downtown for about $3.50 a trip. Beats the $32 cab. Go outside at arrivals and stand by post 15.
  • Omar G.
    Omar GuechtalNovember 26, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Porter lounge rules! Starbucks coffee...... bliss
  • Nancy K.
    Nancy KennyOctober 9, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Stay away from The Byward Taps. Terrible food. Even worse service.
  • Kim L.
    Kim LavigneSeptember 25, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    I've mastered the carry on liquid rule. Everything in a one litre bag, and each no more than 50 ml
  • bronwyn l.
    bronwyn lSeptember 10, 2013
    if you are flying to us, eat before you checkin. You'll thank me later..
  • Gina A.
    Gina ArcherSeptember 8, 2013
    Great airport. Quick check in by friendly accommodating staff
  • Jason
    JasonSeptember 1, 2013
    Quite a pleasant small airport. With the river running through a large section of the gate area, you find yourself very relaxed. Nice job Ottawa!
  • Nikos K.
    Nikos KaraviasSeptember 1, 2013
    Probably the worst wifi connection of all NA airports...
  • Michael C.
    Michael CachoAugust 30, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Domestic flight and you get caught with a no-fly object at security? Take the elevator right outside the screening area down one floor, walk 2ft: there's a kiosk there that can mail your objects home.
  • Katie L.
    Katie LanceAugust 14, 2013
    Leave enough time if you are flying back to the U.S. Was in line for more than an hour and a half!
  • Evan T.
    Evan ThorntonAugust 10, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Still has pay phones; I love the stickers they attract.
  • artificial
    artificialAugust 6, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Arrivals pickup zone is a nightmare.
  • Jon B.
    Jon BAugust 4, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    Hate this version of our airport
  • Jon E.
    Jon EddyJuly 23, 2013
    Free Wi-Fi, power outlets in a lot of the seats. Voted Best Canadian Airport
  • Photoguy
    PhotoguyJune 30, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Grab #97 bus downtown just as quick as a taxi but only $3.30 cash or buy tickets (2 for $2.60) at the info desk near the exit doors.
  • Nick P.
    Nick PaquetteJune 26, 2013
    Get here on time or miss your flight. Idk
  • Audie
    AudieJune 24, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Flash thunderstorm!! Tree down across Airport Parkway ...!
  • Sherrilynne S.
    Sherrilynne StarkieJune 11, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Kudos to second cup for having non carb breakfast choices.
  • Tanya N.
    Tanya NJune 2, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Ottawa airport has the fastest and easiest security check point
  • Jon B.
    Jon BMay 27, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    Food choices are horrible after dinner time
  • Doug S.
    Doug SymingtonMay 25, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Kofi @ AVIS rent-a-car is credit to his company, and should be doing customer service "how to" seminars
  • Khalid H.
    Khalid HossainMay 24, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    WiFi is surprisingly good. YOW FTW!
  • Travel.gc.ca - Travel Advice for Canadians
    Pack valuables or necessities in your carry-on baggage.
  • Rob H.
    Rob HemmerichApril 23, 2013
    Been here 100+ times
    Maple Leaf Lounge in domestic departures area only opens at 5am.
  • Jeremy O.
    Jeremy OApril 15, 2013
    If you are connecting through Ottawa for a USA bound flight don't forget to claim your checked bag! It's located in a small closet... Find a gate agent to help you!
  • Kyle L.
    Kyle LawrenceApril 2, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Harveys makes you sick! Don't eat there! I work at the airport and everyone gets sick after eating there!
  • Phil T.
    Phil Tadio, Jr.March 31, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Eat before you get to customs if you're departing to the US. Food choices are very limited once you're in the gating area
  • Brendan B.
    Brendan ButlerMarch 29, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Free carts-why can't all airports be that friendly
  • Scott
    ScottFebruary 26, 2013
    Great services. Friendly staff.
  • Perry D.
    Perry DombowskyFebruary 16, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    If you going for a week check out Mr. Parking full service drop and pickup of car for $84.75.
  • Richard L.
    Richard LoatFebruary 10, 2013
    Voted North America's best airport of. 2011 they do a good job of welcoming you to the nations Capitol. Don't forget your over sized baggage if you have some!
  • Solo
    SoloJanuary 16, 2013
    Make sure you eat before u come to the airport.
  • PCL Construction
    PCL ConstructionJanuary 8, 2013
    The passenger terminal project at YOW included a 645,000-square-foot building, 15 new gates, links to the existing terminal and new parking structure, and an elevated road to the third floor. Read more
  • Steve M.
    Steve MannelJanuary 7, 2013
    Beautiful airport, with some interesting quirks. Check-in on L3, security on L2, and gorgeous Air Canada lounge up above airport!
  • Rhonda S.
    Rhonda ScharfDecember 2, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Be sure to say thank you after you get frisked!
  • Hashem H.
    Hashem HamdyOctober 21, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    If you're flying to the United States and you want a decent cup of coffee, have it before you go through security. The Tim's after is not the best.
  • Saqib S.
    Saqib SyedOctober 18, 2012
    Paul at the westjet counter is an idiot. If a customer is asking you to put him on standby, just write down his name and let him know you wrote it down. Next time it will save you and him some grief
  • Dirk V.
    Dirk VenterSeptember 21, 2012
    YOWeeeeeeeeee
  • Jeff H.
    Jeff HuAugust 20, 2012
    Been here 25+ times
    Crossing the border? It starts at 5:00 am.
  • Sheldon M.
    Sheldon M.July 20, 2012
    The liquor at the duty free is super cheap!!! Trust me I track these things at airports. Too bad u can only buy 1 bottle :(
  • Libby L.
    Libby LangsdorfJune 29, 2012
    The line to get through US Customs is brutal. Even at 5am. Give yourself at least an hour to get through security.
  • Dale W.
    Dale WMay 26, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    If you park <15 mins while waiting to pick someone up, it's free -- handy if you don't want to circle around the arrivals lane waiting for a slot
  • Jiju T.
    Jiju ThomasMay 17, 2012
    Look for the seats with plug icons, they have power outlets and USB hook ups underneath.
  • Jessica L.
    Jessica LevinMay 16, 2012
    Love the free WiFi!
  • Robin A.
    Robin AllnMacDApril 2, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    If it says "operated by Air Canada", DON'T TRY TO CHECK IN WITH UNITED! US flights stop checking in one hour prior for EVERYBODY. Yelling at the agent won't help.
  • Preston P.
    Preston PardyMarch 7, 2012
    Make sure you eat prior to going through customs, especially if you have kids. The Senate Cafe is over priced and has nothing for kids!
  • Tamara B.
    Tamara BodiFebruary 23, 2012
    Don't order the turkey sandwich at the Senate Chambers bar and grill. Tastes like wet dog. :( And salad is iceberg lettuce. Boo.
  • Ken B.
    Ken BeatonFebruary 15, 2012
    Been here 50+ times
    Air Canada ground crew is Always late to Marshall the aircraft into the gate here, get comfortable.
  • John C.
    John C.February 13, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    See if you can find Air Canada's super top secret bunker SuperElite Concierge desk ;-)
  • Anthony R.
    Anthony RizkJanuary 20, 2012
    Breakfast sandwich at Senate Chambers is awesome. The 'hash browns' are terrible though.
  • Nicole S.
    Nicole StuberJanuary 3, 2012
    Def recommend getting a Nexus card. It has saved me a ton of time!
  • Wayne
    WayneDecember 16, 2011
    Free WiFi is nice. But man do people move slow here. Be ready for a slow crawl through security and customs. Even when not busy.
  • Erica T.
    Erica TNovember 6, 2011
    For those flying to the US there is a Tim Hortons after you clear customs
  • Chris
    ChrisOctober 25, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    When ordering breakfast at the Senate Chambers Bar inside US security, prepare to be underwhelmed. Styrofoam and plastic plates and cutlery, but better coffee than Tim Horton's.
  • Lisa K.
    Lisa KramerOctober 24, 2011
    No security priority lane for elite or super elite members...brutal!
  • Marc G.
    Marc GagnonOctober 21, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Avoid the pre board security lines with a NEXUS card.
  • Andrew S.
    Andrew SROctober 15, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    There's a new Starbucks between gates 22 and 24. A great place to refuel on your travels
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
    DoubleTree by HiltonSeptember 27, 2011
    Pack light. Not only are heavy bags a nightmare to carry around, but they are more likely to fall victim to theft, damage or misrouting. For more travel tips and fun, follow @DoubleTree on Twitter!
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
    DoubleTree by HiltonSeptember 27, 2011
    When choosing your travel outfit, less is more. Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry or other accessories that contain metal when traveling to cut your time barefoot in the security line.
  • Brady B.
    Brady BSeptember 26, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Turns out US customs/boarding doesn't open until about 4:30am
  • DoubleTree by Hilton M.
    Check your flight status before you leave for the airport and if available, sign-up for airline mobile apps or email alerts to keep up-to-speed on flight delays and changes.
  • Erica T.
    Erica TSeptember 18, 2011
    For Timmy's fans there is a small kiosk location after US customs. If you want soup or sandwiches you are out of luck
  • Jeff M.
    Jeff MavraganisSeptember 15, 2011
    Fly Porter
  • Carlos R.
    Carlos RiveraSeptember 15, 2011
    When arriving early, avis car rental return is diy, write down mileage and tank level and drop keys off at box.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton M.
    Early bird gets the legroom. Travel as early in the day as possible to avoid crowds and getting bumped by passengers who got bumped or canceled earlier in the day.
  • Daniel P.
    Daniel PlawSeptember 2, 2011
    Booster Juice has a spot in the terminal. Try the Bananas Whey as an alternative to your timmy ho breakfast.
  • John Paul H.
    John Paul HandriganAugust 29, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Octranspo bus 97 brings you all the way downtown Ottawa. $3.25 bus fare, bring your bags too!
  • Jason S.
    Jason ShimAugust 13, 2011
    It takes 35 minutes to take transit from downtown Ottawa and check in with no traffic and no lineups.
  • Matthias M.
    Matthias MorelJuly 27, 2011
    Couches at Gate 20
  • Bon G.
    Bon GJuly 23, 2011
    What?? Your butt
  • Diana C.
    Diana CantuJune 27, 2011
    Been here 100+ times
    Stopped to chat with AC agents who were striking to protect pensions and for modest long-overdue raises. Find out more!
  • Connie C.
    Connie CrosbyJune 26, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    City bus 97 from arrivals level is excellent--gets to downtown faster than taxis (dedicated bus route) at a fraction of the cost. Runs every 15 min on weekdays.
  • Connie C.
    Connie CrosbyJune 26, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Byward Taps near Gate 18 has decent food. The portabello sandwich is excellent, garden salad basic but generous and fresh.
  • Shawn R.
    Shawn RogersJune 2, 2011
    Free Wifi is terrible use the Boingo hotspot if you can.
  • Ami T.
    Ami TMay 23, 2011
    If you're traveling to Ottawa with an onward US Connection, trying to get to your connection is pretty confusing.
  • Stephane D.
    Stephane DuplessisMay 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    The Goat Cheese salad with chicken is very good
  • david k.
    david kulawickApril 23, 2011
    home rather late, aren't we?
  • Sara L.
    Sara LahaieMarch 23, 2011
    At workypoo
  • Richard J.
    Richard JamesFebruary 21, 2011
    Tim Horton's Coffee is terrible in the US departure area.
  • Rol B.
    Rol BastFebruary 18, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    You need to print your luggage tags now! Expect delays! But it will get better.. NOT .. no clue on what they are doing and the machine is a bit slow. Just like checking in again!
  • Will R.
    Will RichardsonJanuary 26, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    There is no executive lounge in the US waiting area. But at least the seats are comfortable
  • Chantal S.
    Chantal SarkisianJanuary 9, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    I seem to have the worse luck at security... Always get selected to do the thorough body scan!
  • Kris J.
    Kris JosephJanuary 9, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    The Tim Hortons behind the screening point has the slowest, worst service allowable under international law.
  • Jennifer W.
    Jennifer WNovember 12, 2010
    Try the stir fry at Senate Chambers Bar & Cafe in US departures.
  • Robin B.
    Robin BrowneNovember 10, 2010
    Wifi is free but very choppy. Sting song playing in fits and starts...
  • Matt M.
    Matt MurphyOctober 26, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    The "Senate Chambers" restaurant in the US departures section is now open. Have a pint!
  • Rob H.
    Rob HemmerichOctober 25, 2010
    Been here 100+ times
    Nexus card holders bypass long immigration lines at us customs as well as security lines at domestic and international gates
  • WizardHat
    WizardHatOctober 18, 2010
    If you're flying in for the Animation Conference, be sure to talk to the folks at Wizard Hat Productions. Read more
  • Stephane D.
    Stephane DuplessisOctober 15, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    If you fly with Porter, get to the Porter Lounge. Available to all travelers flying with porter. They have nicer seats and free snacks.
  • Miqdad J.
    Miqdad JafferOctober 4, 2010
    If you're going to the US give yourself some time - the line curls around 3.5 times so far
  • Mike K.
    Mike KujawskiSeptember 26, 2010
    Been here 50+ times
    The Starbucks is secretly hidden to the left of the main entrance on the top floor
  • Rob H.
    Rob HemmerichSeptember 19, 2010
    Been here 100+ times
    US departures has no restaurant. The usual one here is currently closed for renos.
  • Joy E.
    Joy ElenaSeptember 1, 2010
    3rd level deck is great for watching planes take off into the sunset :)
  • Allie W.
    Allie WojtaszekAugust 30, 2010
    Welcome to Ottawa! You need to visit the Parliament Buildings, The Canadian War Museum, Rideau Hall and the Market.
  • Nicoel
    NicoelAugust 13, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    If you're in town for a while head downtown and explore. Walk across the MacDonald Cartier bridge, visit the National Art Gallery and the Museum of Civ, or bike/walk the full length of the canal.
  • Tim P.
    Tim PicklesJuly 22, 2010
    Free wifi all around the airport just look for the signs fir the ssid better the boingo
  • Susan H.
    Susan HoltJune 6, 2010
    Look for the seats with plug icons, they have power outlets and USB hook ups underneath.
  • Jim R.
    Jim RomeMay 10, 2010
    Airport has much improved design.Combined with a scenic waterfall, and much more accessible design.New visitors to the airport may overlook many of the improvements, such as increased counterspace
  • Andrew S.
    Andrew SitApril 27, 2010
    Quite possibly the worst airport food in the world!
  • Leah W.
    Leah WhitneyApril 16, 2010
    Go to the bar called 'Byward Taps' and have a conversation with the bartender who is an older gentleman. By far my favourite part of the airport. An excellent conversation awaits you.
  • The J
    The JApril 10, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    If here for a 6 am flight, make sure to get your coffee upstairs and sit for a few before passing through security. Nothing opens around the gates 'til 5 o'clock. Including Tim Hortons.
  • Jennifer B.
    Jennifer BatleyMarch 3, 2010
    Been here 100+ times
    Be warned: there is no good coffee to be had in the US departures area.
  • Geoff C.
    Geoff CampbellMarch 2, 2010
    Been here 100+ times
    The stromboli's are the best deal at sbarro. It is still pricey though
  • Louisa B.
    Louisa BalbiFebruary 18, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    Yay! They now have a Booster Juice AFTER security! Now I don't have to chug my Pineapple Freeze with You-Go-Girl Booster in it!
  • James B.
    James BrittonJanuary 5, 2010
    Skip Sbarro pizza, it's overpriced and underdone.
  • Ronaldo S.
    Ronaldo SimoesJuly 22, 2016
    Atendimento bom para alugar um carro!
  • Voyage.gc.ca - Conseils de voyage pour les Canadiens
    Mettez vos objets de valeur et vos produits d’usage courant dans vos bagages de cabine.
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