PORTLAND Travelers planning to hit the road or fly out of town for spring break should be prepared for big delays according to transportation officials.

Lines at the Portland International Airport started growing significantly early Thursday morning and they were expected to peak on Friday. Passengers were urged to arrive at PDX at least two hours before their expected takeoff times.

Arriving early is important, because with passenger travel approaching record levels, everything takes a little longer. Furthermore, travelers who miss their flights may find re-booking difficult because, unlike a few years ago, many flights are full, explained Steve Johnson with Port of Portland.

More: Check PDX flights

Airport officials said they were expecting near-record numbers of spring break travelers this year.

More than 630,000 passengers are expected to use the airport from March 21-April 5, Johnson said. During the busiest forecasted days, March 21, 22, 25 and 28, PDX will serve approximately 41,500 travelers each day, compared to the normal daily average of 37,000 for this time of year.

People planning to drive to their destinations were also warned to expect delays.

More: Check driving conditions

Officials with the Oregon Department of Transportation said drivers should be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially on mountain passes. Chains were required on Mt. Hood and Santiam Pass, with heavy snow in some areas on Thursday.

KGWmeteorologist Nick Allard said the snow level will be hovering between 1,000 and 1,500 feet at least through Friday.

More: Snow levels dropping in Cascades

The newest computer models want to push some rain into the area on Saturday, but it looks pretty light. On Sunday we'll be dry and pretty darn sunny, Allard added.

Read or Share this story: