Pre-Flight Tips for PDX

By Emily Peterson | October 14, 2016 2:55pm

800pxportland_international_airport_concourse_d__oregon
by M.O Stevens / The Beacon

It’s finally fall break, but before you can collapse from post-midterm stress and enjoy the pampering of parents and their home cooked meals for a week, you might have to travel through Portland International Airport (PDX) to reach home destinations. Before you completely turn your brain off for vacation, follow these tips to successfully navigate your return journey home.

1. Arrive Ridiculously Early: Arrive way too early for your flight, just in case. Then you will have time for the rest of the airport tips below.

2. Empty Your Eco-Friendly Reusable Water Bottle: If you can’t imagine going anywhere without your Nalgene/Klean Kanteen/Hydroflask /Unique brand of water bottle, you aren’t alone. However, don’t forget to drink all that liquid before you try to go through security. You can fill it up on the other side.

3. Carpet Snapchats: PDX is famous for its geometric carpet patterns, so send a basic snapchat of your Birkenstocks, socks and the green floor to all your friends. If you fall in love with the pattern, join the hordes of others who purchase PDX carpet design inspired shoelaces, phone cases, stickers and who knows what else.

by Kayli Gribi / The Beacon

4. Eat: Portland International Airport requires its restaurants and shops to charge fair prices that are not higher than out-of-airport locations. Eat up!

5. Pre-Departure Games: Getting bored before your flight? Play a fun game of local vs. tourist as you walk the airport. Can you tell which sturdy-shoe-wearing, raincoat-toting passengers are from Portland? Bonus points if you can successfully identify the other passengers at your gate and determine who is flying to a final destination or simply catching a connection.

6. Birkenstocks (or equivalent Pacific Northwest comfy slip on shoe): Untying and retying shoes at security is a pain, so flaunt those stylish slip off shoes. Socks are a must so you don’t have to walk barefoot on the floor.

7. Tax Free Souvenirs for Mom: Don’t forget to enjoy the Oregon perk of tax free shopping, and load up on some trinkets for parents and friends back home. They never need to know that the cute Bridge postcard came from an airport shop and not some unique local shop.

8. Carry-On Items: You get a carry-on item or two, so choose wisely. Perhaps a last cup of coffee from a hipster Portland coffee shop. Or perhaps bring your dorm cactus home over break (believe it or not, this has been done).

9. Homework for the Plane: Why suffer through homework over fall break when you could do some on the plane? Join other optimistic, delusional students and bring a backpack full of homework to do as you fly. Chances are, you will never even open the backpack or write a single line, but it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe just save it for the flight back.


Enjoy your fall break, and have some fun in the airport before your flight. Have a safe flight, and don’t forget the requisite carpet snapchat before you take off.

Contact reporter Emily Peterson at petersoe18@up.edu.
B