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I'm trying to book a flight to Montreal, Canada. I see there are two airports which are YUL and YMQ. Are they same or two different?

On Google Maps I see both the airport are nearby. What is the recommended airport if I am to travel to McGill University.

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YMQ is a catchall for the airports in the Montreal metro area (similarly, LON is used for London, TYO for Tokyo, NYC for New York, etc.).

  • YUL is the main international airport (Pierre Eliott Trudeau)
  • YMX is Mirabel airport (cargo only right now, as far as I know)
  • YHU is Saint-Hubert, used for smaller planes on shorter routes from within the province of Quebec primarily

In a flight search engine, YMQ will almost certainly give you flights to YUL alone (assuming you are coming from outside of Quebec).

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    The point being that searching for flights to/from YMQ lets you say "I want to fly to/from Montreal, but I don't care what airport I use." – David Richerby Apr 29 at 12:50
  • @DavidRicherby Where it gets tricky is that IATA city codes do not necessarily correspond to GDS or airline usage for all purposes. For example, the IATA city code NYC appears to include JFK, LGA, EWR, SWF, and QNY (the seaplane port), but not ZYP, HPN, TEB, or ISP—all closer to the city than SWF. In turn, it at least used to be the case that United treated JFK and LGA as the same city for fare rules, but EWR was different, likewise DCA/IAD vs. BWI. – choster Apr 29 at 15:41
  • @choster Well, you might start caring which airport you use if the fares are significantly different, but fares can be significantly different to the same airport. The SWF (Stewart International Airport, about 60 miles north of Manhattan) thing is weird but it's still going to be faster to search for "NYC" and ignore flights to Stewart and any other outliers than it is to search separately for JFK, La Guardia and Newark. – David Richerby Apr 29 at 18:21
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    In addition to cargo, Mirabel still handles general aviation traffic, including immigration/customs for private planes. – Michael Hampton Apr 29 at 18:23
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    Oh, Norwegian fly from Europe to Stewart and there's a bus shuttle to New York City so, in that context, it makes sense to include SWF in NYC. "Stewart International Airport -- America's Frankfurt Hahn!" – David Richerby Apr 29 at 18:23
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YMQ is the code for all Montréal airports (Trudeau and Mirabel), YUL for Trudeau Airport.

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    It's probably worth noting that Mirabel doesn't get commercial traffic anymore (though you could land a charter there), and the other Montreal airport (YHU; St-Hubert) has about five flights a day, mostly within Quebec. – Matt Krause Apr 30 at 4:07

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