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on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver

calif
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on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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My 3 college aged daughters and I are flying to China in June on Air Canada.

On the way there, we have a 6 hour layover in Toronto (5:30 am - 1:10 pm) . . and on the way back , we have a 6 hour layover in Vancouver (11:30 am - 7:20 pm)

Is it worth it to visit some sights in Toronto and Vancouver during our layover, rather than staying in the airport for 6 hours each time? (Or will our time be eaten up going through customs getting out of the airport and back in, etc).

If so, what would you suggest us doing? Thanks for your suggestions and advice!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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Hi again,

I guess you've noticed my response to your question on the Toronto Forum. lol

You will get more suggestions for Van here though.

Berlin, Germany
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2. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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Hey Mufti, one comment on the Vancouver part of your reply over in the Toronto forum (http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g155019-i55-k4449659-l33009262-6_hr_layover_in_Toronto_Vancouver_on_way_to_from_China-Toronto_Ontario.html):

With the new layout for US preclearance in Vancouver, connecting passengers don't have to reclaim their baggage. If you go to http://www.yvr.ca/en/navigating-yvr/passenger-guides/connecting-through-yvr.aspx and enter the details (arriving from intl on Air Canada, departing to US on Air Canada), they have two choices:

- Follow the In-Transit signs to get to the US gates immediately

- Exit to the public areas via Canada Border Services. Even then, if their bags are checked through (bag tags attached in China show the Californian airport code), they don't need to claim them.

The baggage just stays in the system until they proceed to US customs, where they won't actually see it unless they're selected for a search.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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Matt ~ I'm glad you cleared that up for the OP. I could have sworn that you have/had to pick up your luggage and check in again. But I notice you mention "the new layout for US preclearance ...," which is fairly new, so that makes sense. Thanks for that.

calif
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4. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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so does that mean, we go through customs when we exit the airport for a few hours ( with our luggage already set to go onto the next flight to LAX). . and when we come back to the airport, we go through customs again?

And do we have to pay an exit fee (if I recall correctly, we had to do that after our Alaskan cruise several years ago which we flew to Vancouver to take)

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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You would come through Canadian Customs into Canada. Visit Canada. Return to the airport, check in, go through Security and US Customs preclearance. They may ask you to identify your luggage (I believe by looking at it on a computer monitor screen, but I'm not sure if that's the current practice.) They could then pull it and go through it with you, or just clear you through.

I don't know about the exit fee you mention. Your airfare ticket already has taxes and fees built in to the cost. I'm wondering if it's a cruise thing.

North Vancouver...
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6. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver
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Exit fee was the airport improvement tax that is now built into the fare. Even with two customs clearances, the Canada Line subway gets you downtown and back in enough time to have a two hour look at Vancouver. Go to Vancouver City Centre to start your walk-about.

7. Re: on way to/from China, have 6 hr layover in Toronto/Vancouver

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