Turkeys and travelers making their way through busy day at PDX - KPTV - FOX 12

Turkeys and travelers making their way through busy day at PDX

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Thanksgiving travel is in full swing at the Portland International Airport, where thousands of travelers, and at least one turkey, took to the famous carpet Wednesday morning.

FOX 12 met Sandy resident Suzi Cloutier as she rolled her bird through the airport in a cooler.

“It’s from Pigeon Lake Farm and he was a heritage breed, free-range turkey,” Cloutier said as she opened her cooler, revealing the bird packaged in paper.

While some may wonder how she would get through security with the Thanksgiving staple, the Transportation Security Administration noted travelers can check turkeys, as long as they are no longer gobbling, or stow them safely in their carry-on luggage.

Cloutier told FOX 12 she is taking her turkey to Oakland, California, where the bird will be the star of the meal and may just win Cloutier daughter-of-the-year.

“I’m a vegetarian, so I’m doing this to suffer for my mother,” she said, adding she is “keeping the peace and not feeding them tofurky.”

Cloutier is one of about 26 million people TSA crews will check through security in airports around the country. That’s about five percent more travelers flying than last year, according to the administration.

AAA also predicts a busy Thanksgiving for Oregonians, estimating a 12-year record of 647,000 people will travel for the holiday, most of them by car.

Those figures don’t mean PDX won’t be busy, though. The airport expects 63,000 people will walk in and out the doors Wednesday alone.

A spokeswoman for the airport told FOX 12 that travelers should plan on arriving early and expect longer-than-usual lines through security. A good rule of thumb is to arrive two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international one.

Travelers will also want to think ahead about parking as well. As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the popular economy parking lot at PDX was 95 percent full, and the long-term lot was 75 percent full.

The TSA recently launched a Facebook page where travelers can get tips and get questions answered in real-time. Travelers can also connect with the agency on Twitter at @TSA.

Officials at PDX expect 2017 will end with a record number of travelers for the fifth year in a row.

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