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We were pulled out of the main line last year and, I'm assuming b/c we were traveling with a 2yo, put into a much shorter TSA line. Does PIT have checkpoint specifically for families or do you just have to hope someone takes pity on you traveling with little little kids :-)
PIT has multiple checkpoints and generally very short security lines. I suggest following signs to the "alternate" checkpoint which is probably where you were directed to last year.
I have a flight to Punta Cana leaving Pittsburgh at 5:30am with a change in Philly. I was advised to check in 3hrs prior to departure. the airport doesnt open till 4am. Is this enough time to check in?
3 hrs is nonsense. Get there at 4 and you'll be fine. You can also check-in online to save some time.
Is there a gas station to top off my rental car close by?
Indeed: If you arrive at the Airport, continue on the loop, passing the short-term parking lots and a hotel, and, at the crossing of the Airport Exit road is the gas station. Look at http://www.flypittsburgh.com/UserFiles/Image/parking/parking_long_large.png
Some passengers explain Pittsburgh Airport's passenger terminal layout, others the parking facilities, while one motorist points out ongoing roadwork project. Others feel that flight desk automats for check-in, Airport Ambassadors and a spa facility are welcome amenities, and one passenger is
Drivers watch out - due to PIT's landside roadway repair project, started in July and to be completed in mid-November, there is only one lane open at the public arrival ramp, causing traffic congestion. Allow for extra time, particularly those picking up a passenger.