While the airport’s PDX Next program is focusing on updating and upgrading the facility, the people who work at the airport are doubling-down on making holiday travel as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
In looking at November holiday travel—the Friday before Thanksgiving to the Monday following the holiday—PDX expects more than 50,000 travelers on 7 of the 10 days, and a total of more than a half million travelers in that time period.
While national reports indicate the Sunday following Thanksgiving will be the busiest air travel day in many airports, that’s not the case at PDX. The single busiest day forecast for the remaining days of 2019 is expected on Friday, Nov. 22 with more than 56,000 travelers. Yes, more than the day before Thanksgiving (55,200) or the Sunday following the holiday (50,300).
Last week, PDX debuted a pilot canine therapy program in partnership with Dove Lewis. Animal therapy programs are commonplace at airports across the US. Travel can be stressful and animal therapy programs have shown travelers often delight at the opportunity to pet a furry friend as they make their way through the travel process. Canine therapy teams were scheduled to be at PDX on Nov. 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27. If all goes well, expect to see these trained therapy animals return to PDX in December, bringing more comfort and holiday joy to travelers.
Alaska passengers flying on short flights to places like Seattle, Boise and Medford should know that Concourse A is now closed forever. These travelers can look forward to flying in and out of a more comfortable Concourse C, which offers natural light, high ceilings, and a large variety of restaurants and shops at PDX.
The airport’s Gold Key Valet Parking now includes the option to curb check luggage (most airlines; domestic flights only) right as travelers drop off their cars. Travelers need to pay the regular airline fees for their luggage, if applicable. However, the valet bag check service is free to valet customers. In addition, for a small fee while they are away, travelers can have their valet-parked cars washed and detailed. To makes things even easier and faster, PDX encourages valet customers to make reservations in advance.
Parking is expected to be available at PDX throughout the holiday season, though some lots may reach capacity. (Prior to leaving home, check parking availability to see if there’s ample parking in your preferred lot.)
Alternately, consider taking the MAX Red Line, taxi, shuttle or rideshare to the airport. Or, show your Pacific Northwest spirit and use two wheels to get to PDX; there’s free covered bicycle and motorcycle parking at the terminal.
And, when returning from holiday travels, those exiting the short- and long-term parking garages will find a new exit plaza with two additional lanes to get travelers home faster.
For the latest airport news and information, visit www.pdx.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.