Portland Oregon Airport – Insider Tips for Flying Out of Portland

Winter is almost here and the Portland Oregon Airport will once again be busy as travelers will be flying in and out of Portland for work or vacations

The key to success with winter travel from the Portland Oregon airport is being prepared and learning more about what you can expect when using one of the busiest airports in the United States.

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What to Wear

You will have to go through a security checkpoint at the Portland airport. To avoid making going the checkpoint a grueling process, you should wear as little jewelry as possible because you’re going to have to take all of your jewelry off and possible delay others who are in line behind you.

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Packing Tips

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.

Leave Early

With security tight, especially during the winter, one of the best things you can do is leave for the Portland airport at least 2 hours early. This will give you plenty of time to get through the security checkpoint and avoid getting stuck in the long lines.

If you don’t have to drive to the airport, it’s best to take an Uber because this will be the easiest way for you to get to the entrance to the airport without having to park your vehicle in the parking garage across the street.

Where to Eat

Thankfully, since Portland is one of the top food destinations in the world there are also a variety of great places to eat in the airport as well.

Blue Star Donutsavailable pre-security, is Portland’s other big-name doughnut shop, with flavors like blueberry bourbon basil and passionfruit cacao nib. These brioche-dough wonders will make an early morning flight bearable.

Kenny & Zuko’s Delicatessen and Market, just past security in the South lobby, is Portland’s take on a Jewish deli, with bagels and no-joke house pastrami available all day long.

The Country Cat, just past security in the North lobby, is probably the most compelling reason to come to the airport early, thanks to its cast-iron-skillet-fried chicken. For a quick bite, the house-smoked ham and pimento cheese sandwich are hard to beat.

Always remember to keep an eye on the clock and listen for any updates about your flight over the airport PA system because it’s possible that your flight could be delayed during the winter.

The good news is that delays at Portland’s airport are a rare occurrence but it’s still good to listen for updates regarding your flight just so you don’t miss it.


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