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PDX Employees Prep for Spring Break Travel

Portland International Airport is gearing up for the predictable burst of spring travel. How does PDX prepare for the spring break spike? By doubling down on what one employee refers to as the “combined mindset of friendliness.”

Asked what makes PDX special, employees point to the airport’s culture of being focused on the customer. “It’s at the heart of what we do,” said Alaska Airlines’ Gavin Graham. Graham is one of several employees featured in a video series documenting front-line employees’ efforts to keep customers smiling.

Roughly 960,000 travelers are expected during the peak spring travel period, spanning March 22 through April 8 and encompassing both Oregon and Washington school spring breaks.

On the airport’s busiest forecasted days – March 23, 28, 29 and 30 – roughly 55,000 travelers will pass through PDX each day, compared to the normal daily average of 51,000 during this time of year.

PDX set an all-time passenger record—19.1 million travelers—in 2017. While it’s still early in the year, the airport is on track to surpass that record for 2018.

Travel Tips
Traveling over the next few weeks? Top tips include.

  • Keep Pets in Carriers – If you plan to travel with a pet, be sure to check with your airline in advance; once inside the airport, pets need to remain in their carriers at all times (unless they are using the pet relief area, located past security in the Concourse Connector).
  • Arrive Early – You might miss your flight if you don’t allow enough time. Give yourself at least 90 minutes ahead of scheduled departure time. And, for those flights departing before 8 a.m., or between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., consider getting to PDX two hours early.
  • Plan Parking – Travelers planning to park at the airport during spring break are encouraged to review real-time parking availability gauges before arriving, found at Also, watch digital signs for parking updates when approaching the airport.
  • Pack Smart – TSA offers a complete list of items prohibited on flights at PDX travelers with screening questions related to a disability or medical condition can contact the TSA at 503.889.3067, or

Dreams of Summer
Staying put for spring but looking forward to summer? International destinations are calling. Plan now for an exciting summer adventure!

Icelandair resumed its flights to Reykjavik on March 16, Condor Airlines resumes seasonal nonstop flights to Frankfurt on May 1, and Delta Air Lines restarts nonstop service to London’s Heathrow Airport on May 4.

Add these flights to the year-around nonstop service offered to Mexico City (Aeromexico); Tokyo and Amsterdam (Delta); and Calgary and Vancouver (Air Canada), and—as they say— the world is your oyster.

Additionally, airlines are expanding service to domestic destinations, giving PDX travelers more options for travel in the coming months. Frontier Airlines starts service to Austin (April 8), Sprit Airlines will fly to Detroit (April 23), and Sun Country Airlines starts service to Orlando (June 14).


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