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2023 Holiday Travel Tips & PDX Passenger Forecast

Airports are bustling over the holidays and that’s true for PDX, too—but more travelers shouldn’t mean more stress. Here's a look at how many passengers we anticipate over peak travel times this holiday season, along with four tips to make the departure experience as relaxed as possible.  

Holiday Traveler Forecast at PDX  

  • Holiday travel officially kicks off next week, and this year PDX expects nearly 240,000 travelers to pass through the airport over Thanksgiving weekend (Wednesday – Sunday), up 9% over 2022.  
  • Sunday, Nov. 26, will be the busiest day, with approximately 55,000 passengers coming and going. 
  • Current projections for the last two weeks of December (Dec. 17-31) forecast approximately 730,000 PDX passengers*. That would mark nearly a 20% increase over 2022, when a December ice storm impacted traffic through Christmas Eve.  

Travel Tip #1: Arrive Early...Even Earlier Than Past Years 

We say it every year, but it’s our #1 tip for a reason: arrive early, folks. This year it's recommended to arrive 2.5 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights to leave ample time to find parking (see tip #2!) if needed, and to get through security checkpoints. If you have extra time before your flight, PDX has no shortage of entertainment, dining and shopping options to enjoy post-security.  

  • Catch a film at Hollywood Theatre in Concourse C. 
  • Take in art and live music.
  • Check local gifts off your holiday shopping list.
  • Grab a bite at PDX’s award-winning restaurants. (Pssst: many shops and restaurants are hosting special holiday programming, so keep an eye on PDX social channels for festive events.) 

Travel Tip #2: Make a Parking (or Transportation) Plan

Parking is in particularly high demand right now, so be sure to check for a live count of available parking spaces before coming to the airport. If your garage of choice is at or near capacity, there are plenty of ways to get in and out of the airport quickly: the remodeled MAX Red Line station is back open at PDX, as is a new Ground Transportation Plaza for taxis and rideshares.  

Travel Tip #3: We’re Here to Help, Just Ask!

PDX remains under construction as work continues on the new main terminal. The airport may look a bit different than the last time you visited, so don’t hesitate to ask for help! We have team members and tools available to answer any questions you have and help passengers get to the correct security checkpoint. You can pick up a white courtesy phone or text 503.460.4234 for assistance—or ask one of the many friendly PDX employees, volunteers or team members in blue jackets ready to point you in the right direction 

Travel Tip #4: Resources Are at the Ready

Our staff and volunteers work year-round to make travel as comfortable and stress-free as possible, but the holidays are an important time to recognize that many travelers have varied needs. Resources available at PDX to make the journey easier include:  

Visit to learn more. 

*Estimate updated 12/12 to more accurately reflect forecast.

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