The Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is actually made up of two separate terminal buildings (the Landside Terminal and the Airside Terminal) connected by two underground tramways. Both passenger buildings at the Pittsburgh Airport feature high speed, automated walkways, escalators, elevators and people movers.
Landside TerminalThe Landside Terminal is where passengers arrive at the Pittsburgh Airport, and houses ticketing, security and baggage operations. It is linked to the short term and long term parking lots with an enclosed, climate-controlled moving walkway. The Landside Terminal (meaning before security) has three levels:
- The top level, or ticketing level, is where you buy your tickets and check your bags. You will arrive directly at this level if you are dropped off at Passenger Departures or if you arrive by taxi or by a shuttle bus from the long-term or extended long-term parking lots. If you come in from the parking lot or garage via the moving walkway, you will have to go up one level via elevator or escalator to reach ticketing. Once you have checked in to your flight you will then proceed down one level to the transit level.
- The middle level, or transit level, is where you will go through the security gates. This level also contains several shops, eateries, a bank, ATM machines and the walkway to the parking lots and garage. This level also is where you will get on the people mover -- most people call it the train -- to the Airside Terminal and your gate.
- The lower level, or baggage claim level contains the baggage claim area for arriving passengers. It is also where you'll find ground transportation services, including taxis, shuttle buses, and airport shuttle service.
Airside TerminalThe Airside Terminal includes 75 jet gates, the Airmall, which features local, national and international retailers and a Food Court offering a variety of sit-down restaurants and fast food eateries. It consists of a large atrium with four concourse arms stretching out like an X (see terminal map). Concourse A (gates 1-25) and Concourse B (gates 26-50) are used almost entirely by USAirways, although Southwest also operates out of Concourse A. Concourse C (gates 51-61) serves a variety of other domestic airlines, including Air Canada, AirTran, JetBlue, United, and a few US Airways International flights. Concourse D (gates 76-89) is occupied by American, Continental, Delta, Midwest and Northwest.
Moving sidewalks move along each Concourse arm and can move a deplaning passenger from plane to parking in 11 minutes. If you are wondering what happened to gates 62-75 and 90-100, they have been left open for future expansion.
Connected directly to the Landside Terminal is Concourse E, formerly used for US Airways Express commuter flights before their consolidation following the reduction in air travel after September 11, 2001. Concourse E is no longer used for airline arrivals and departures, but occasionally serves as an auxiliary security checkpoint during peak travel periods.
Checking in for Your FlightFlight check-in is available on the upper floor of the Landside Terminal. You have to check in here if you have any bags to check. If you're flying with only carry-on bags, look for one of the numerous self check-in ticket kiosks These machines allow you to insert your ID - usually a valid credit card for validation - and print a boarding pass without having to wait in line at the check-in counter. At Pittsburgh International Airport the Flight Desk Kiosks work for multiple airlines and are conveniently located throughout the Airside Terminal. Four are on the transit level, just before the security checkpoint, two on the baggage claim level, and two on the ticketing level.
Getting Through SecurityAt the Pittsburgh airport, you'll pass through the Security Gates before arriving at the Airside Terminal. Individuals without a boarding pass are not allowed past this security checkpoint. The security lines are generally not very long, except at peak times. You can check the current security line online to help you plan your arrival time.
To avoid any delays:
- Make sure any sharp objects, files, scissors or other prohibited items are in your checked bags. See Packing Your Carry On for a list of permitted and prohibited items.
- Be prepared to remove your shoes, belt, watch, and anything that has a substantial metal content. Bins are provided to keep lose items together.
- Remove your laptop from its case or bag, and place that in a separate bin.
- Keep your airport ID and boarding pass available to show any of the TSA security screeners.
Getting from Security to Your GateThe People Mover, or subway train, arrives at the Airside Terminal on the lower level. An escalator then leads up two levels to the Airside Core. The retail mall and all four jet concourses are located on this level. A passenger information center is located right in the center of the terminal flanked by video banks on each side providing up-to-date arrival and departure information.
On the way up to the concourse level you'll pass another small level. This middle level of the Airside Terminal contains the Airport Fitness center plus access to customs and immigration.