Find helpful tips to get you to your plane relaxed and on time.
Before Leaving Home
Big belt buckles, clothing with studs or metal buttons, lots of jewelry, and metal in the toes or heels of some footwear can set off security checkpoint metal detectors. This will require additional searches, slowing you and other travelers down. It is best to place metal items in your carry-on baggage until you clear security. Unless it’s a really bulky piece of jewelry, the TSA recommends that you leave jewelry on when going through screening.
Outer Coats Coats must be placed in your carry-on baggage or in a bin for the X-ray machine. You will not need to remove suit jackets or blazers unless requested by the screener.
Shoe Screening You will be required to remove your shoes and place them in a bin to be viewed by the X-ray machine. Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed and must be removed and screened.
Children 12 and under, as well as passengers 75 and older, are allowed to leave their shoes on unless additional screening is necessary. If you are 75 or older you can also leave a light jacket on when going through the security checkpoint.
Please keep batteries and electronic equipment, including laptops, cell phones, personal digital assistants and cameras with you, or in carry-on baggage - not in your checked baggage.
It is a good idea to attach your name, address and telephone number to your computer and other electronics.
Place all electronics larger than a cell phone (for example, laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles) in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. This does not include items such as hair dryers, electric shavers or electric toothbrushes. Do not place anything on or under the electronics when putting the items in a bin.
Please note that all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone devices are banned from all planes in the United States.
It is advised that you put film in your carry-on baggage, as the checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film. If your bag will be passing through X-ray machines more than five times, ask for a hand inspection to prevent damage.
High speed (ASA/ISO 800 or higher) and specialty film should also be hand inspected at the security checkpoint. If you plan to request a hand inspection of your film, please carry it in a clear plastic bag, to expedite the screening process. The screening equipment will not affect digital cameras and electronic image storage cards.
Most food items that are liquid, aerosol or gel will not be permitted through the security checkpoint. This includes such foods as cheeses, peanut butter, jams, sauces, salad dressings and beverages (over 3.4 ounces), to name a few. However, after you have gone through security, you may purchase food to take on the airplane.
You can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but they are subject to additional screening.
There are exceptions for medical purposes, such as juice for diabetic travelers, and baby formula/milk for young children – these items may be taken through the security checkpoint if declared and presented for inspection at the checkpoint.
You can put restricted food items in your checked bag, or ship them ahead.
If you are bringing gifts through the airport, we recommend that you leave them unwrapped. If a bag alarms, TSA security officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. Gift bags are a good alternative. This applies to both carry-on and checked baggage.
Inclement weather in other parts of the nation or severe local weather can sometimes impact services at Portland International Airport. However, PDX has the latest equipment and deicing techniques for keeping the airport open during all types of adverse weather conditions.
Related Links and Websites:
Arrivals and Departures
Airlines Serving PDX
Oregon Department of Transportation
Washington State Department of Transportation
Passengers traveling with medication and/or medical issues should be aware of the following Transportation Security Administration guidelines:
- All prescription and nonprescription medications including eye drops, contact lens solution and cough syrup, are allowed in carry-on luggage. This also includes liquids (including juice) or gels for diabetic or other medical needs; and gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items.
- You are not limited in the amount or volume of medically necessary items in your carry-on baggage. However, you are encouraged to only carry on medication that is required for your trip.
You must declare medications to TSA at the screening checkpoint if they are liquid, gels or aerosols, and they are:
- Not contained in a clear transparent resealable 1 quart (1 liter) size plastic bag; or,
- Over 3.4 oz. (100 ml)
- Liquid, gel or aerosol medication containers that are 3.4 oz (100 ml) or less can be placed in a clear 1 quart sealable plastic bag (mixed with toiletries) without the need to declare these items.
- It is recommended, not required, that the name on prescription medication label match your boarding pass. If it does not, expect to explain why to the screening officer.
Medical Considerations If you have medical documentation regarding your medical condition, you may present such information to the security checkpoint screener to help inform them of your situation. This documentation is not required and will not exempt you from the screening process.
Please notify the screener if you have any implanted medical devices, such as an artificial hip or knee, bone shafts, cranial plates, shrapnel, staples, pins, or metal parts that may set off the metal detector alarm.
If you have a disability, medical condition, or prosthetic device, you are not required to remove your shoes for screening. If you keep your shoes on, you will undergo additional visual and physical screening, including an explosive trace detection sampling of your shoes while they remain on your feet.
TSA Helpline You may call the TSA Cares toll free helpline at 1.855.787.2227 (Monday through Friday) ahead of your travel date with questions regarding what to expect during screening. This is a dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that you call 72 hours ahead of your travel date.
Be sure to put your name, address and phone number on all your luggage and carry-on items. Make sure you keep your luggage with you at all times. To assist in the security screening process, the Transportation Security Administration asks that you either leave your bags unlocked, or use a TSA-recognized lock to lock your bag.
Prohibited Items To enhance security and speed you through the security screening process, the Transportation Security Administration prohibits some items in your checked and carry-on luggage. Check the TSA website for the latest restrictions.
Carry-on Items All essential items, such as medications and important travel documents, should be included in your carry-on items.
Federal directives allow only two carry-on items per passenger. You may bring one bag and one personal item such as a purse, camera case, small backpack, briefcase, laptop computer or shopping bag. Items such as pillows, diaper bags and tennis rackets are usually considered personal items. For specific carry-on item information and size restrictions, contact your airline.
Passengers traveling domestically – age 18 and older – are advised to carry a government-issued form of identification at all times. Most international travel requires passengers, regardless of age, to have a valid passport.
Check with your airline for documentation requirements.
Checked Luggage Contact your airline for the number of bags allowed as well as weight and size restrictions. Charges may apply.
TSA screens all checked baggage. If your baggage alarms, they need to physically inspect it. If your bag is unlocked, then TSA will simply open and screen the baggage.
If you decide to lock your checked baggage and TSA cannot open it, then the lock may have to be broken. To avoid this, TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at PDX and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.
Please be sure to remove personal items attached to the outside of your checked baggage before coming to the airport. Personal items such as scarves, ties, and ribbons attached to checked luggage may cause problems with the baggage handling system and could result in a delayed flight or damaged luggage. Attach only identification tags to the outside of your baggage with your name, address and phone number.
If you have checked baggage and your plans change after checking in, contact your airline immediately to retrieve your luggage.
If you are checking baggage and wish to stand by for an earlier flight, you must inform your airline's ticket counter so your baggage can be tagged accordingly.
To enhance security and speed you through the security screening process, the TSA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and/or airlines prohibit some items in your checked and carry-on luggage.
Liquids, Gels and Aerosols Liquids, gels or aerosols are only allowed in limited quantities in your carry-on luggage. Each traveler is allowed to take 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag holding 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or smaller “containers” of liquids and gel-like items such as shampoo and toothpaste.
Please note that the TSA recently made an exception for liquid hand sanitizer and is now allowing passengers to bring liquid hand sanitizer containers up to 12 ounces in carry-on bags until further notice. You can expect that these containers will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to your checkpoint screening experience.
Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces in your carry-on luggage and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.
Remember that greater quantities of liquids, gels or aerosols can be taken in your checked luggage. You can also bring larger quantities in your carry-on luggage if you purchase these items after going through the security checkpoint.
Sharp Objects Many sharp objects and other items that may be used as weapons are not allowed in your carry-on luggage or past the security checkpoints.
Lighters Common lighters are allowed in carry-on luggage. However, torch lighters often used for pipes and cigars continue to be banned in carry-ons.
Electronic Cigarettes (E-cigarettes), Vaping Devices and Spare Lithium Batteries - The FAA prohibits e-cigarettes and vaping devices in checked luggage due to the fire hazard posed by the lithium batteries used in these devices. These devices may only be carried in the aircraft cabin (in carry-on baggage or on your person). They may not be used or charged on the aircraft. When a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or planeside, all e-cigarettes and vaping devices, along with any spare lithium batteries, must be removed from the bag and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin.
Other Prohibited Items Check the TSA website for the latest restrictions and a more comprehensive list of prohibited items. For questions regarding specific items call PDX TSA Customer Service at 503.889.3067.
Prohibited Items Accidently Brought to the Checkpoint If a prohibited object is discovered, you have the option of relinquishing the item to security staff, putting it in your checked bag, leaving the line to mail the object home, or staying in line and using a Mailsafe Express mailing station at the security checkpoint to mail your item. If you choose to leave the line, envelopes and postage stamps can be purchased pre-security at the The Oregonian News store near the B/C security checkpoint and at Your Northwest Travel Mart store near the D/E security checkpoint. Postage stamps can also be purchased from the ATM located at the food court in the Clocktower Plaza (a surcharge has already been added to the cost of the stamps and no additional ATM fees are charged).
If you are traveling domestically within the United States, it is requested that all passengers age 18 or older present non-expired government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport. Check with your airline for any travel documents required for your specific flight.
If you do not have a driver's license, passport or any other government issued "photo" identification, contact your airline. Most airlines will accept two forms of non-photo identification; it's helpful if one of them has been issued by a state or federal agency (such as a U.S. Social Security card).
A passport and additional documentation may be required if you are traveling internationally. The US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website provides a wealth of information regarding the travel documents needed for any country that you are visiting. Be aware that some countries require that passports be valid for six months after your trip ends.
Types of acceptable ID to access the security checkpoints (which include driver's license and passport) are outlined on the TSA website. The absence of proper identification may result in additional screening, and verification of your identity by the TSA.
Getting to the Airport
If you simply need to drop off or pick up someone at the airport, you can use the drop-off/pick-up areas located in front of the terminal building on either the upper level or lower level roadways. Only active loading or unloading in these areas is allowed. Please note that both your passengers and all of their luggage must be at the curb ready to load to be considered “active loading”. You may not leave your vehicle unattended.
The lower level roadway can become congested. Consider using the Cell Phone Waiting Lot to avoid circling while waiting for your party to arrive. If your pick up is in the evening, the upper roadway is typically less congested and is a good alternative location to pick up your party.
Should you require additional time when picking up your party, consider using the airport's parking garage directly across the street.
You are advised to arrive at the airport two hours before departure for domestic flights during the busy early morning hours. For advice on how early to arrive at other times of day, consult your airline.
We recommend that travelers arrive 3 hours before all departing international flights.
MAX Red Line Service Alert: Learn more.
Getting to Portland International Airport is easy. You can drive and leave your car in one of the convenient parking facilities. You can utilize the drop-off/pick-up areas located in front of the terminal building on the departure level, or take advantage of one of the many ground transportation options, including riding the TriMet MAX train, executive cars, taxis or shuttles that serve the airport.
Getting to your flight
All passengers age 18 and older will need government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport, along with a ticket, e-ticket receipt or printed e-ticket confirmation. Please be sure you obtain a boarding pass before proceeding to the security checkpoint.
Ticket Counter Check-in The airport’s lobby is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. However, the ticket counter hours vary by airline. Contact your airline for opening and closing times. The airline check-in lines may be long during the busy early morning and lunchtime hours.
Mobile Check-in Barcode scanners are located at both security checkpoints to scan boarding passes that your airline has sent directly to your mobile device. Check with your airline regarding mobile check-in requirements and other check-in alternatives.
All passengers must present Transportation Security Administration checkpoint staff with an airline-issued boarding pass, and passengers age 18 or older must present government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport.
At the airport a boarding pass may be obtained at one of the following locations:
- Your airline's ticket counter
- Your airline's self-service ticket kiosks
- Your airline's curbside check-in station*
* Note, if you are traveling internationally, curbside check-in may not be available. Check with your airline.
Both the B/C and the D/E Security Checkpoints are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
PreCheck lanes open at 4am and close at approximately 4pm daily at each security checkpoint.
*Security Checkpoint hours are subject to changeExpress Lanes
All connecting passengers may use the security checkpoint Express Lane by presenting their boarding pass.
If you are a qualifying mileage program card holder, a JetBlue Even More™ Space and Even More™ Speed customer, a First Class or Business Class passenger, or are traveling from Portland to Seattle using the B/C security checkpoint, you may also use the Express Lane to get through security checkpoints a little faster.
To use the security checkpoint Express Lane present a qualifying mileage program card, boarding pass with Even More™ Space and Even More™ Speed logo, First Class or Business Class boarding pass, or proof of travel from Portland to Seattle. Eligible mileage program cards are listed below. Airline credit cards are not acceptable.
Express Lanes are typically available during the busiest flight departure periods at the airport.
Express Lanes are restricted to those who qualify. If you have a gate pass and are picking-up an unaccompanied minor, you must use the general lines to access the security checkpoints.
For more information, please contact your airline. For contact information, please visit our Airlines page.
|Air Canada||Altitude Super Elite|
|Alaska Airlines||MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K|
|American Airlines||Elite Status|
|Delta Air Lines||SkyMiles: Platinum Medallion, Gold Medallion, Silver Medallion|
|Frontier Airlines||Early Returns: Ascent, Summit|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Hawaiian Miles Pualani: Platinum, Gold, Premier|
|Southwest Airlines||A-List Member/Business Select|
|United Airlines||Mileage Plus Premier: Executive, Executive 1K Gold, Silver, Global Services|
TSA Pre-Check Lane TSA Pre-Check allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs to receive expedited screening benefits. Travelers are pre-screened and must be flying on a participating airline to utilize the TSA Pre-Check designated lane located at both checkpoints.
In the TSA Pre-Check lane you may no longer need to remove the following items:
- 3-1-1 compliant bag from your carry-on (liquid/gel restrictions still apply)
- Laptop from your bag (if your bag is cluttered or electronic items are stacked on top of each other, TSA may require removal)
- Light outerwear or jacket
To learn more about the online application process and voluntary background check please visit the TSA website.
Membership in a CBP Trusted Traveler program, such as Global Entry, will allow you to receive TSA Pre-Check benefits on all participating airlines. Members must place their membership number (also referred to as their PASS ID) in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field of their airline frequent flyer profile or when booking their reservation.
To learn who is eligible and how to apply to become a Global Entry member please visit the Global Entry website. Applications are online and once your application has been reviewed you’ll be directed to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. In addition to TSA Pre-Check benefits, Global Entry members can also utilize Global Entry kiosks to expedite their clearance through Passport Control and U.S. Customs when traveling internationally. If you have questions regarding the Global Entry program please contact the CBP at 1.877.227.5511.
Each concourse is labeled alphabetically, and gates are numbered sequentially within each concourse. Passengers should carefully check their boarding passes and make sure to use the security checkpoint at PDX that matches their gate location.
Identification If your child is traveling within the United States with an adult and is under 18 years old with a purchased seat of their own, they are not required to have government-issued photo identification.
Contact your airline regarding identification requirements for unaccompanied minors, and for infants and children that are being held and don’t have a purchased seat of their own. Airline policies vary.
A passport and other documentation may be required for your children if they are traveling internationally. Contact your airline for information specific to your trip.
Traveling Alone We recognize that your most important concern is your child's safety and well-being. It is our concern as well.
If you wish to escort your child to or from an arrival or departure gate, you must first obtain a gate pass at the ticket counter of the airline on which your child is flying. Be sure to allow additional time for potential lines at the counter. Please note that only one person may be allowed to accompany your child to or from the gate. Also, please be prepared to provide your own government-issued photo identification (e.g. driver's license) and your child’s flight information.
Gate passes are issued solely at the discretion of the airline. For more information, contact your airline.
Security Checkpoint Screening Children 12 and under may leave their shoes on when going through the security checkpoint.
Play Areas To help manage and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, play areas have been closed.
Family Restrooms Family rest rooms are located near Gates C3 and D1.
Baggage Allowances Baggage policies and fees vary depending on the airline, so contact your carrier directly for information regarding carry-on and checked baggage allowances for children.
Lactation rooms for individuals who wish to express milk prior to or following a flight are located post-security near Gate D2 and near Gate E8. These are dedicated spaces that offer privacy for travelers and airport employees who need to express milk. The rooms are designed for use by people without their infants; however, those traveling with infants who are seeking a quiet and private place to nurse their babies may also use these rooms.
Each room is equipped with ample counter space, electrical outlets, a sink & a chair. Both rooms are ADA compliant and accessible.
At PDX, we understand and appreciate the need for some passengers to travel with their animals. Our goal is to ensure the safety and health of all passengers at our airport, and for this reason, we have established specific rules for people traveling with animals.
Trained Service Animals
Trained service animals are allowed in the airport any time. As provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act and equivalent state law, a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or tasks must be directly related to the individual’s disability.
Traveling Emotional Support Animals
Other animals (including dogs and other kinds of animals that provide emotional support) are only allowed in the airport if traveling with their owner or being shipped by air.
Emotional support animals must be kept in animal carriers while in the terminal if they can fit in a standard-sized cabin carrier, approximately 17”x10”x13”, except when using the pet relief area. This is true even if an animal carrier is not required by the airline. If the traveler is not taking the carrier into the cabin of the aircraft, contact the airline in advance regarding the possibility of gate checking your carrier.
If needed, most airlines offer animal carriers, and carriers are available at pre-security news and gift shops.
If the animal does not fit in a standard-sized cabin carrier, the owner must carry the animal at all times, except when using the pet relief area; if the animal is too large to carry, the animal must remain on a short leash that does not extend from the body by more than three feet.
At no time is any animal in the airport allowed to be within 10 feet of a government working dog, nor allowed to interfere with the government working dog’s task.
Animals and their owners are subject to warnings and citations, which can come with a fine of $250 and/or removal from the terminal: 1) if the animal or handler violates airport rules, 2) if the animal is not housebroken, 3) if the animal is not under the handler's control and the handler is not taking effective action to control the animal (e.g. animals that are growling, biting, nipping, barking, or exhibiting similar behavior).
Animal owners must report all messes (urination/defecation) to the airport by using a white courtesy phone or by calling 503-460-4449, and must remain at the location until a janitorial person arrives.
Animals Not Traveling
Please be aware that animals that are not traveling with their owner or being shipped by air are not allowed inside the terminal.
Pet Relief Areas
Two indoor pet relief areas are located post-security. One is located near Gate C4 and the other is located near gate D2. Both are equipped with a swath of artificial grass topped with a fire hydrant or rock, refuse bags, a sink and a bench. The space is ADA/wheelchair accessible and includes a tactile map plus a counter for luggage and passenger possessions. When using pet relief areas, animals must remain on a leash.
Animal Air Travel
Policies regarding animal travel vary from airline to airline. Travelers should contact their airline directly regarding fees, documentation, animal carrier guidelines and health requirements. Airlines will often allow only a limited number of animals in the cabin of the aircraft on a given flight, travelers are advised to call their airline and reserve a space for a traveling animal.
Picking up an Animal Call the airline in advance to determine whether the animal is to be picked up at a cargo office or in the terminal. If picking up an animal at the airline's cargo office, the airline will provide the appropriate address and directions.
To check flight status, or with questions about traveling with animals, please call 1.877.PDX.INFO (1.877.739.4636).
PDX Bicycle Resources
Effective July 1, 2015, Oregon Measure 91 legalizes recreational marijuana use for people ages 21 and older.
The Port of Portland complies with and enforces applicable state and federal laws. The Port Police may be called in by the TSA on a report of marijuana at the checkpoint. The Port Police would then determine whether the traveler’s possession of marijuana is legal.
Recreational marijuana is not permitted to be transported out of Oregon. While decriminalized in Oregon (and some other states), possession of recreational marijuana is still considered a federal crime, as is the transport of marijuana over state lines. For this reason, PDX Rules prohibit the possession of marijuana past the security check points for travelers destined for points outside the state of Oregon.
The Port Police will not seize marijuana from travelers when traveling out of PDX if you hold a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana card and you are not carrying a quantity that exceeds an amount that you are lawfully authorized to possess. If you are traveling to a destination outside of Oregon, upon arrival you are subject to laws in that state.
As you are probably aware, the TSA is the federal agency that is responsible for the policies, procedures, equipment and management associated with security checkpoints at U.S. airports.
The Port of Portland would like to thank U.S. military personnel for their service to our country, and make their visit to Portland International Airport as stress free and as comfortable as possible.
USO Northwest Center The USO Northwest Center has moved to a new location at the south end of baggage claim near the revolving door leading to the TriMet MAX/Light Rail platform.
Gate Passes for Family and Friends* If you would like your family and friends to accompany you to or from the gate area, an airline-issued gate pass is required to access the TSA security checkpoint. Gate passes are available for most, but not all, domestic arrivals and departures, as well as international departures. Your airline is responsible for issuing gate passes to family and friends of military personnel, and it's done at their discretion. Gate passes are issued at your airline’s ticket counter; they are not available from the security checkpoint. Please be aware that some airlines are more restrictive with their policies than others. Some airlines will only issue gate passes if the military member is being deployed to or from Afghanistan or Iraq. For that reason, it is recommended that you contact your airline in advance to ask about their gate pass policies. Please confirm the airline’s ticket counter hours before arriving at the airport to ensure that someone is available to issue you a gate pass. This is especially important when your family and friends are meeting you on an arriving flight. Call the airline directly, or the airport’s information line at 503.460.4040 for your airline’s ticket counter hours.
*Due to the coronavirus pandemic, if you are picking up a passenger, please wait for them outside. We’re currently limiting the number of people inside the terminal to minimize congestion. We know some travelers need a little assistance getting on their way. If that’s the case, you are welcome to step inside and give them the help they need.
Security Checkpoint When traveling through PDX uniformed military personnel may use the Express Lane (when available).
Free Baggage Carts Upon Request Smarte Carte provides free baggage carts for military personnel who present current military identification. To contact Smarte Carte go to any of the white courtesy phones found throughout the airport and dial “0” for Information. An airport representative will transfer you to a Smarte Carte representative. Please be aware that it may take a few minutes for a Smarte Carte representative to come to your location to assist you. You will be provided an estimated wait time when you call.