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Based on travel forecasts, 2021 looks to be the year people are feeling more comfortable celebrating the holidays with family and friends.
Passenger volumes are increasing, the airport continues with its extensive construction activities, and the health and safety of travelers and employees remains a priority at Portland International Airport. Here are a few things travelers should know before they arrive at PDX.
Facts & Stats
In looking at the November holiday travel period—the Friday before Thanksgiving to the Monday following the holiday—PDX expects to welcome a total of about a half million travelers. In contrast, last year the airport welcomed just over 200,000 travelers during the Thanksgiving travel period.
Peak travel days this year – with more than 48,000 travelers forecasted each day – are expected to be the Saturday (11/27) and Sunday (11/28) following the holiday. Pre-pandemic (2019) the busiest travel days around the Thanksgiving holiday saw 55,000 to 56,000 travelers.
As the airport get busier, it remains critical for travelers to give themselves enough time to navigate the travel process without stress or concern for missing their flights. Best bet? Arrive at least two hours prior to flight departure and expect longer-than-average wait times at the security checkpoints.
Currently, most travelers are opting to drive themselves to the airport. As such, it’s always good to peek at parking options before leaving home. Parking will be available at PDX throughout the holiday season, though some lots may near capacity. Feeling crunched for time? Gold Key Valet has reopened at PDX and offers users car wash and checked bag services (for most airlines) on top of the convenience of simply pulling up and dropping keys and car curbside.
Changing Spaces at PDX
While the airport’s PDX Next program updates and upgrades the facility, staff and volunteers are working to make holiday travel as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Look for friendly customer service folks in blue throughout the airport terminal. They will be stationed in high-traffic areas and look forward to answering travelers’ questions with a smile.
A few key reminders about spaces and places at PDX:
- There is no longer a hallway connecting all gates past security. Confirm your departure gate so you only go through security screening once.
- The Oregon Market (pre-security shops and restaurants) has closed, but there are still pre-security food and beverage options.
- Bypass hallways add 3 to 5 minutes of walk time on the concourses to safely move people around construction sites and keep travelers connected to their favorite shops and restaurants.
A complete list of construction updates can be found at www.flypdx.com/construction.
Maintaining Health and Safety Measures
Rules to address the health of travelers and employees remain in place. Face coverings are required at PDX in the airport and onboard all airlines serving PDX.
Before flying, travelers can view a complete list of what services, shops and restaurants are open and available at www.flypdx.com/travelsafe.
For the latest airport news and information, visit www.flypdx.com, or @flyPDX on Twitter, or the airport’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/flypdx. You can also follow the airport on Instagram: @pdxairport.
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