Calgary airport & malls prepare for busiest day of the holiday season
CALGARY -- The last Friday before Christmas is expected to see the highest volume of traffic at malls across Calgary and at the Calgary International Airport.
At CF Chinook Centre, mall staff and the 250 retailers are expecting an influx of shoppers. Typically the mall sees a spike in traffic once school lets out for the holiday break.
Paige O’Neill, general manager at CF Chinook Centre, says a lot of retailers have extended sales they offered on Black Friday.
The mall has taken steps to thwart any potential frustrations last minute shoppers may encounter but O’Neill says shoppers need to be realize they aren’t the only ones picking up last minute gifts.
"I would say be patient. We ask our retailers to park offsite to free up space. We have traffic control. We have the Calgary Police Service throughout the building and we also recommend people put valuables in their trunk because it is that time of the year."
The mall also offers valet parking, mobile charging stations and a gift wrapping station.
According to Moneris, Friday will be the busiest shopping day of the year in Canada in terms of most transactions not amount spent. There are expected to be more purchases made in Canada on Friday than on Black Friday.
Most malls in Calgary. including Chinook Centre, have also extended their hours for the holiday season.
The malls will be closed Christmas Day but set to open extra early at 8 a.m. for another busy shopping day, Boxing Day.
YYC urges travels to plan ahead
Officials at the Calgary International Airport say the weekend ahead of Christmas is typically the busiest time during the holiday season.
More than a million travellers are expected between December 16 and January 5th which averages out to around 47,000 people a day.
The mall has added extra security points, new parking options and a centralized de-icing program to help reduce any delays this holiday season.
Travellers are reminded to check their flight before they leave home and get to the airport early to have time to get through the airport.
It’s recommended people arrive two hours early before a domestic flight and three hours early before an international trip.
You’re also reminded not to wrap any gift in your carry-on luggage, but a wrapping station has been set up post-security.