Vancouver airport is set up for smooth transits in these cases. I haven't done your specific transfer, but I do know that they have expedited processing to facilitate connections for transiting passengers.
You don’t say where you are coming from and if this is a single booking? Assuming overseas and single ticket, look up the specifics on the YVR connections guide and it will tell you what to expect. If it is separate tickets you may have to re-check in....perhaps a bit more info would help.
You might want to ask AC if they will check your bags through to ANC for you when you check in at SYD (or wherever). They just might.. Would ease your transit considerably. Otherwise, yes, you will have to clear entry into Canada and recheck your bags.
Thanks, will try that at AC check in.
Do whatever you can try to get them to check you in and do the bag transfer.
If they won’t, you’ll have to clear full Canadian Immigration, get your bags, clear customs (usually just a formality), check in, check the bags, go through security, and then finally US Immigration. This could take a fair bit of time because there are several international arrivals every morning around the ti e you will arrive. (although working in your favour is that the flights from Australia are often early).
Note that you will require both a Canadian eTA and a US ESTA for this trip.
You can certainly ask at check-in if they'll check the bags all the way through, but they don't have to. Unlike many OneWorld airlines who have an explicit policy that forbid agents from through checking bags on separate tickets, even between flights both operated by their own aircraft, AC agents do have some discretion to do this. But, doing so will still not create a protected connection, and if you miss the connection, you're still on your own to buy a new onward flight.
The fact that you will be coming off of a very long flight might add some complications to that plan. I haven't checked the timetable, but remember that check-in doesn't open until 24 hours before scheduled departure. Depending on how long your connection is in YVR, it's possible that check-in for your flight to Alaska won't even be open yet at the time you're lining up for an agent to check in for your first flight in Australia. You will probably need to be within the 24-hour window before the second flight for the agent in Australia to help with through-checking luggage, or even check you in to print an onward boarding pass for you.
If you were on a single ticket you could stay airside, clear US Immigration, and 3 hours would not be an issue. However, since you are on separate tickets you likely will have to "enter" Canada, clear Canadian customs and Immigration, recheck your bag, clear CATSA security and US Customs and Immigration. It is tight to do all that.
On a single ticket you would follow the Welcome to Canada sign. Have all your docs in hand. (I don't think you even have to do the kiosk shuffle to fill in your Canada declaration form.) Follow “USA Connections” signage. You will be directed to the USA “In-Transit Facility”. Passengers are not required to pick up their baggage in Vancouver. Go through screening/security and US Customs and Immi. Go to new Gate. So try to get your luggage checked through to your second flight.
3 hours is a good amount of time to connect on two separate tix.
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