Escaping the Valley (just for a little while) gets easier every year with constantly improving air service through Kelowna International Airport—our own YLW. It doesn’t get better than direct, non-stop flights. WestJet offers seasonal fall/winter/spring non-stops to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix in the US, and Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun in Mexico, designed for independent travel or to coordinate with WestJet Vacations. For all-inclusive fans, Transat Holidays and Sunwing Tours schedule non-stop departures from mid-November to the end of April for package vacations in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.
Much of the rest of the world is only a single, well-timed connection away. Alaska Airlines jets you to Hawaii through Seattle. With codesharing partners like Lufthansa, Air Canada puts Europe in easy reach via Calgary and Vancouver. Beginning on December 18 United Airlines starts flights between Los Angeles and Kelowna, and between January 6 and April 6 United has added an extra Saturday flight specifically timed to meet connections in LAX for Australia, New Zealand and Latin America.
Getting home is getting easier as well. Significant upgrades to the YLW terminal now make returning from your cross-border break less of a downer. The expansive new International Arrivals area not only looks beautiful, as it represents the people and places of the Okanagan Valley, but it works beautifully, too. No more tussling to retrieve your bags then wrestle them through crowded customs line-ups. YLW is all grown up with the same systems as major air hubs. Although there’s no getting away from customs queues, you now work through passport control before collecting your bags, with lots more space to maneuver.