NW PDX Info Request

Old Dec 28, 08, 6:20 pm
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NW PDX Info Request

Can I get the PDX 411 from a PDX regular ft'er who flies NW5/6? I have been through there a few times but never on a TPAC.

I am staying at the airport the night before (Embassy) so no connection time issues but:

How long are security waits at 11:00am?
Is the Int gate for NW6 convenient to the WC? (I have been in the WC at PDX before and I remember it small but nice)
How is the Int arrivals/customs wait times? I am in WBC so I should beat the pack.
Is the Embassy good enough for an overnight?
Any other wisdom you guys can share..

As always a million thanks.

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Old Dec 28, 08, 7:23 pm
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The intl gate is just a short stroll from the very nice WC. Security wait is rarely a prob at PDX, and if you have any status at all, you can use the Elite security line.

Customs and Immigration from NW 6 are cake, as it's the only intl flight into PDX at that time. I landed from NRT yesterday morning, cleared C & I, hopped the train into town and walked into my apartment exactly one hour after touchdown.

The Embassy should be fine, but I've heard good things about the new Aloft hotel by Starwood.

My friend Pete points out that it is really cheap to take the MAX from the airport, and there are lots of great hotels downtown within a 5-10 block radius from the airport line. If you're just overnighting here, check out the discount websites for some deals at a Kimpton hotel or the other boutique hotels in the area.
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Old Dec 28, 08, 8:08 pm
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Only once have I seen PDX what I would call 'crowded,' on a Saturday early morning when it seems like everyone was on UA, AS, and AA connecting to a Mexico or Hawaii departure. Seriously, it's the most pleasant mid-sized airport I've ever been in. Elite lines for NW are usually quite short. I've never waited more than 15 minutes, usually more like 5.

All NW gates are within a couple of minutes of the WC, which as you described is small but nice. Not sure when 5/6 depart/arrive but the WC does close early, I think at 2 pm or so.
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Old Dec 28, 08, 9:20 pm
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PDX is a great airport. You should have no troubles with security, and the terminal where NW is small enough you can go end to end in 5 minutes tops. Nice new WC, may get a bit crowded with the NRT flight, but that might mean you have someone sitting next to you.

The Embassy is fine, near the airport, but I do like the new Aloft which is maybe a minute further from the airport. If you don't mind going further away, the Hilton downtown is great, the executive tower in particular. I've not taken the MAX, but heard good things, and if my clients were near the line, I could avoid the car rental. Its very close to the Hilton and countless other properties downtown. Downtown Portland is a nice area, and I encourage you to stay there if you have any time to spare.

Good luck
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Old Dec 29, 08, 2:51 am
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Thanks all! This is exactly what I need and yet another reason why FT is so valuable.

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Old Dec 29, 08, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by aroundtheworld76 View Post
Customs and Immigration from NW 6 are cake, as it's the only intl flight into PDX at that time.
Just a note on this (which likely doesn't apply to the OP, as I assume he's an US citizen), but PDX immigration can be atrocious for foreigners. Overzealous agents, stupid questions, and long waits -- an hour is not uncommon if you're in the back of the plane, or your NW flight from AMS arrives just after the LH flight from FRA.
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Old Dec 29, 08, 12:03 pm
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It should be pretty easy

Embassy Suites is very close to Airport. Their van will get you there quickly.

Normally, I arrive about 2 hours before flight and spend most of my time in the World Club.

Security at that time of day should be fairly efficient. If you have to undergo secondary, as I do everytime, (metal implant) things will slow down. There is a dedicated fast lane that feeds into the regular line. Far right lane is usually quick unless you get "cuts" by airline crews. TSA has gotten better than they used to be.

Immigration is fast for the front of the aircraft. If the flight is early, they often will delay unloading until the Immigration and Customs guys have their breakfast. So early arrival does not insure rapid unloading. Baggage delivery can be slow even with priority tags which are sometimes ignored. Recently on outbound they have not been putting the yellow priority tags on claiming that the normal bag claim routing tag is stamped "priority".

I have been held up for a full baggage inspection once which added about 1/2 hour to the process. I am a U.S. citizen.

You should have relatively minor issues using PDX for international.
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Old Dec 29, 08, 12:27 pm
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Not a regular, but done 6 a couple times...

NW6 is the first international arrival of the day. If it gets in early enough, USCIS may not even be ready for it. And if you, like me, get through immigration and customs quickly (no checked bags, frequently), TSA won't be ready either.

(Fortunately, last time I did this was November 5, and the TSA people were all smiles about the election...)

WC is small but nice. Business workstations are conveniently hidden and most people don't realize they're there. I sometimes wander across the concourse since I live 90 miles from the nearest Wendy's.
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