PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — For an airport consistently ranked the best in the US, travelers are quick to point out what they call an eyesore at PDX, Concourse A.
“When I first walked in here, I thought it looked like it could be updated,” said one PDX traveler.
“I love to travel, and I love Portland Airport,” said another traveler. “Not as much down here in this wing, this feels a little bit more like a dungeon.”
Come next month though, Concourse A will say goodbye to travelers forever as part of a multi-billion dollar five-year renovation project at PDX.
The Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air Flights that once flew out of A will eventually find a new home at another wing set to expand and get a makeover of its own, Concourse B.
But for one couple, Concourse A isn’t so easy to hate.
“It was a great surprise, to say the least,” Samantha Petricka said.
Petricka is a flight attendant who usually works out of Concourse A.
Her then boyfriend, Cameron LaFleur, bought a ticket about two months ago just to get through security and propose.
“Looking at how gorgeous and how confident this woman is, I knew I had to do something big to really catch her off guard and so I thought what better way than to do it at her work with so many people and I could let the world know how much I love this woman,” LaFleur said.
But a new beginning for one couple could just be Concourse A’s final farewell.
“We did not know it was going to close either when it happened,” Petricka said.
“No, we didn’t,” LaFleur said.
For both of them, it’s bittersweet.
“You can see that it’s a little outdated for such an amazing airport,” LaFleur said. “I think more than anything, having work and the engagement together for her is such a positive.”
“I’m not the biggest fan of walking out in the cold, but that’s the only downfall of the A gates,” Petricka said. “I’m glad for them to go, but I will miss the memory of that because I have every time I’ve come right here, it’s instantly remember the proposal.”
Luckily, they’ll always have a piece of the place where she said yes.
“I’ve got the video so we’ll always be able to watch it,” said LaFleur.
A video to remember their own love story, in a place that didn’t always get much love.
“I don’t know the other memories people have down here, but I know it will always be a great one for us,” LaFleur said.
“We’ll never forget A gates,” Petricka said.
The couple said they plan to have a dinner in Concourse A right before the demolition to say their final goodbyes.
Concourse B is set to open after its makeover in summer of 2021.
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