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At Portland International Airport, Busy is the New Normal

More than 64,000 travelers will pass through Portland International Airport on each of the peak travel days (Dec. 20, 21 and 26) between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1. In total, PDX expects more than 928,000 passengers during the holiday travel period. Headed toward its sixth year of record passenger traffic growth, the airport anticipates serving 19.9 million travelers in 2018.

What can passengers do to help keep holiday travels stress-free? A few timely travel reminders for those picking up people at PDX and those flying out for the holidays.

  • Avoid roadway congestion. Waiting for friends or family? Use the airport’s free cell phone waiting lot (which happens to have adjacent food and coffee!). After making their way through the terminal, your friend or family member can give a quick call when they have bag in hand and you can zip around and pick them up.
  • Fill two needs with one deed. The shops and restaurants at PDX have “street pricing” meaning the prices are the same at the airport as other city locations. Park and grab a few gifts while you’re waiting for a friend’s flight. Bonus: you can’t beat these store hours!
  • Pick a parking spot. Prior to leaving home, check parking availability to see if there’s ample parking in your preferred lot. Parking is expected to be available at PDX throughout the holiday season, though some lots may reach capacity.  
  • Don’t wrap those gifts. Technically, you’re allowed to go through the checkpoint with wrapped gifts however, if questions arise about your luggage contents, you may have to unwrap the gifts to resolve any questions. If you’re not sure grandpa’s gift will pass muster, the TSA offers packing pointers to help clarify what can and can’t be placed in luggage.
  • Charge ahead! Arrive at the airport with your devices charged. It’s true PDX has more than 1,400 places travelers can plug in for power, though sometimes finding an available outlet is as elusive as Bigfoot. In the seasonal spirit of sharing, consider bringing an extra charging cable and make someone’s day: sharing is caring.

For the latest airport news and information, visit, or @flyPDX on Twitter, or the airport’s Facebook page at You can also follow the airport on Instagram: @pdxairport.


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