Only in 2020: A Year Like No Other at PDX

How many times have you said, “Only in 2020” this year any time a new, unimaginable story pops up? Pandemic. Murder hornets. Wildfires. Random Monoliths. Only in 2020! This has been a trying and difficult year for our region. Still, despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us, we’ve been inspired by the many ways our partners and colleagues have gone above and beyond to lift up those around them. 

It was certainly a year unlike any other at the Portland International Airport (PDX). While the airport looked a lot different, one thing remained the same: amazing people stepping up to do great things for one another.

As we close out 2020, we’re taking some time to remember these moments of kindness

Giving Back

Even during a difficult time in aviation, only in 2020 could our PDX People continue to shine.

Leonis Williams used his Southwest Heart to help a traveler visit his mom who was sick.


Our local TSA partners hosted lunches and a food drive to thank the airport workers who supported them out during the government shutdown a year prior.

Supporting Healthcare Workers

When the pandemic first hit in the U.S., many states were struggling to find masks, gloves and other protective gear for frontline healthcare workers. Thanks in large part to our air cargo partner, Cathay Pacific, PDX welcomed a million masks into Oregon this spring. It was a much-needed boost for our state.

Finding New Ways to Celebrate

One of the things travelers love about PDX is our live musical performances. When our PDX volunteer musicians were staying home to save lives, we brought their magic to people virtually through live Facebook performances. A few artists with work featured at PDX even joined the fun, and we ended the year with a virtual wine happy hour hosted by Vino Volo, which is located at PDX.


An amazing group of construction workers completed Concourse E in the middle of a pandemic.

We wanted a creative way to thank them that was also safe, so we hosted a drive-in movie to celebrate the workers and their families.

Related
Meet Some of the Small Businesses that Built Concourse E
A New Concourse, A Lifetime of Memories For Those Who Built It

Hundreds came to the top floor of the PDX parking garage to watch the premiere of a short video highlighting their work and catch “The Incredibles 2.”

We loved having the chance to celebrate our own set of superheroes: the many construction workers who built this beautiful new concourse.

Only in 2020 could this happen twice! Thanks to a partnership with Centro Cultural, we hosted the 20th annual Hillsboro Airport Air Fair with a family-friendly drive-in showing of “Coco.” The event registration filled up in mere hours!

More Furever Homes

Thanks to some incredible nonprofits, we welcomed rescue animals at the Troutdale Airport this summer – and one of those dogs even ended up in the home of a Port employee! Here’s to more Very Good Dogs who found their forever families in 2020.

It’s the People

While air travel looked much different this year, we’re grateful to all the people who continued to keep the airport safe and operational — and who did it with so much heart. The PDX way.

Related
Celebrating Superstar PDX People
PDX People: Four Stories of Extraordinary Customer Service

Only in 2020 could air travel look the way it did. But in 2020 — and beyond — it’s the people who truly make the airport great. Here’s to more people enjoying the magic of PDX in years to come.

Related:
Only in 2020: Reflections on Marine & Trade
Only in 2020: Our Community Comes Together
Only in 2020: Reflections on Environmental Sustainability