PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland International Airport already saw what was projected to be the busiest travel day of the year on Sunday, Nov. 27. But with two big holidays on the horizon, flyers should know what to expect before they enter the airport.
According to PDX Public Information Officer Kama Simonds, the airport considers the last two weeks of the year as the Christmas travel period.
Within this time frame, most people will be on the go.
“…the Friday before Christmas and the Friday before New Year’s, which doesn’t surprise anybody since those holidays are over a weekend,” the PIO said.
Even travelers who won’t be flying on those particular days are advised to come to the airport at least two hours before their flight takes off, especially if it’s between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.
“Portland is what they call an origin and destination airport,” Simonds said. “We’re not in the middle of the country like Dallas or Denver or Chicago, which are hub airports. So early morning in that 5-to-9:00 a.m. time is when a ton of people leave and arrive from other places… then it’s pretty busy again late at night because of all the red eyes headed to the East Coast.”
People who are traveling with pets might also want to arrive a bit early or contact their airlines a week in advance to learn about their pet policies. Simonds says each airline sets its own rules for animals, whether they’re service animals, emotional support animals, or just pets.
For those who are packing presents in their luggage, it’s best to leave them unwrapped. While PDX doesn’t set its own rules for gifts, TSA could ask travelers to unwrap them to see what’s inside — so it’s best to save your gift wrap.
One final tip for travelers is to leave some sort of identification on their bags, so the airport can easily return any misplaced items.
“When the airport lost-and-found staff returned to work after the Thanksgiving weekend, there were more than 360 full bags, whether it was a backpack or suitcase just waiting for them with zero identification on the outside,” Simonds said. “Understandably, maybe you don’t want to put your full home address or something like that, but put your name and a cell phone number or first initial, last name and a cell phone number — some way for somebody to get in touch with you if you accidentally leave that bag behind.”