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Flying for Thanksgiving? Here's when Portland International Airport will be the busiest

Nearly 240,000 people are expected to pass through Portland International Airport over Thanksgiving weekend.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of the busy holiday travel season. Officials at 
Portland International Airport (PDX) are gearing up for hundreds of thousands of travelers over the coming days.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects to set a new record this holiday season. The agency is projected to screen more than 30 million people between Nov. 17-28.

Below is a look at what people flying to and from PDX can expect, and what travelers should keep in mind to prepare for their trip.

What will be the busiest day at PDX?

Nearly 240,000 people are expected to pass through PDX over Thanksgiving weekend, Wednesday through Sunday. That is up 9% compared to 2022. Sunday, Nov. 26 will be the busiest day, according to the Port of Portland, with around 55,000 people coming to and from the airport.

How should travelers prepare?

The Port of Portland recommends that people traveling within the U.S. arrive two-and-a-half hours early, and those with international flights arrive three hours before their departure time.

Parking is particularly in high demand, the Port of Portland said, so travelers will want to budget ample time to find parking. Before heading to the airport, people can check on a live count of the available parking spaces online.

Late last month, PDX launched its new Transportation Plaza for rideshares and taxis. The new pick-up spot located on the first floor of the short-term parking on Island 2, outside the arrivals level. Anyone catching an Uber, Lyft or taxi can follow their ride-hailing app and the airport signage to the new location.

The MAX Red Line service to the airport resumed in late October. It was shut down for four months so that crews could work on the Better Red project.

TSA also released some tips for passengers to help make their trip go more smoothly. The agency reminded people to check what items are allowed in carry-ons and checked bags, to make sure you bring an acceptable form of identification and have it in hand in the security screening line. TSA provided more recommendations on their website.


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