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Plan ahead
  • Confirm your travel details.
  • Make sure that the name on your boarding pass and your government-issued ID match. This is a TSA requiremnet. So when you confirm your flight, make sure the name on your airline reservation matches whatever I.D. you plan to use (driver's license or passport, for example).
  • Ask about baggage policies for your airline: How many bags are allowed; what the fees are; and what are the size and weight restrictions.
Pack smart
Valuables and essentials, such as medicine and travel documents, should stay with you in your carry-on luggage. Know what is and isn't allowed in carry-ons and checked luggage, and remember to leave checked luggage unlocked or use a TSA-approved lock (your luggage may be opened for security reasons).

What you may and may not bring through security or in checked bags:

•  Prohibited items
•  Transporting firearms and ammunition
•  Military travel
•  Traveling with disabilities and medical conditions
•  Liquids rule
•  Guidelines on traveling with food and gifts.

Always check the latest security measures in effect on TSA's website.

What does the FAA say?

The FAA also has a helpful Pack Safe page to help you navigate through the regulation of hazardous materials. Please keep in mind that the links on this page contain lists of common hazardous materials; if you don't see your item it doesn't mean it's allowed in baggage. When in doubt, leave it out!
At home
Use Web Check-in. Most airlines offer it. You can print your boarding pass at home; if you don't have luggage to check you can bypass the ticket counter completely and go straight through the security checkpoint and your gate.
Check the status of your flight online.
Give yourself the gift of time. Get to the airport at least two hours before your domestic flight, 3 hours for international. Note: Due to heightened security some airlines are asking international travelers to allow extra time at the airport. Check directly with your carrier.
TSA Security
Security checkpoints at Sea-Tac are managed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There are four main checkpoints at Sea-Tac and a fifth that is opened as needed or as staffing allows.
Travelers can reach their gates from any checkpoint.  If one line looks formidable and you are able, check other lines The central checkpoint is open 24/7.

Security Checkpoint #1 is open for limited hours for cruise passengers only. Passengers should be prepared to present their cruise card.

More information on the use of full body scanners is available on the TSA's website and you may read the Security page for more detail.

Insider tips and tricks

The following insider info and tips will help expedite your next trip through Sea-Tac Airport:
  • Arrive Early! Travelers are encouraged to arrive a minimum of two hours before domestic and three hours for international flights – give yourself time to park, check-in and get through security. Additionally, if you’re checking bags, add some extra time on top of it. It’s always better to be early.
  • Peak hours can mean TSA checkpoint lines are longer, so please plan accordingly.
  • The busiest times at TSA checkpoints typically are between 5 -11 a.m., while increased flights during the evening create another busy period between 7-9 p.m.
  • Thursday and Fridays are the busiest days during the week.
  • Pack Safe: know before you travel what items are and aren’t allowed in carry-ons and checked bags. (See the tip under "At home" above.)
  • Empty liquids before you get into TSA lines.
  • At security checkpoints, have your boarding pass and ID ready and remove laptops from their bags ahead of time.
  • Sign up for Trusted Traveler programs such as Pre-Check or Global Entry. These programs allow approved travelers to take specific designated lines for quicker service through checkpoints.
The airport is fully equipped with special access facilities to provide all travelers -- as well as meeters, greeters and airport employees -- with a safe, convenient means of getting around. Please read our accessibility page for more information and visit TSA's website.
Easy parking
Park in the Airport Garage. It's connected to the Main Terminal by covered skybridges (stay dry) and you're right at the airport, so there are no shuttle buses to deal with (save time). You may park in Terminal Direct or in General Parking.

You'll also notice there's an airport garage floor count system to take the guess work out of finding available parking. Remember to note where you've parked (space number and elevator color). 
Public Transit
A number of public transit options are available, including Link Light Rail, which gives travelers a quick, inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to travel from downtown to the airport. Check out all the public transit options.
Check-in options
Shortening your time in airline ticket counter lines is always a great strategy. New technology offers two alternatives for travelers.
Alaska Airlines “Airport of the Future” Customer Check-In Facility. Alaska's facility features customer-friendly islands of check-in kiosks and bag-check stations. Customers can print their boarding passes and bag check tags at the check-in kiosks. Passengers with only carry-on baggage then proceed directly to the security checkpoint. Passengers with luggage to check proceed to one of the bag-check points, where customer service employees accept bags with tags printed by the passenger.
Checking In for Flights in Sea-Tac's Garage. Travelers on seven airlines – Alaska Airlines / Horizon Air, Delta Air Lines, Continental, American, United, Hawaiian, and Korean Airlines - can check in and print their boarding pass right as they enter the airport from the parking garage. The quick check-in kiosks enable travelers without luggage to print their boarding pass and head straight for the security checkpoint and their departure gate. Travelers with luggage on Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air can get their boarding pass bags tags then take their luggage right to their airline's bag drop area.
The quick check-in kiosks are located on the fourth floor of the garage at the entrances to Skybridges 2 through 6. 
Eat in the terminal
Dine at the airport or grab some take-out for the trip. The options are delicious. Check out our dining and retail options.
Traveling with kids
Sea-Tac's kids area is between Concourse A and the Central Terminal, across from Seattle Taproom. It's a fun-filled place to let children play before the flight.

In addition, there is a Mohters' Room located inside the kid's play room. It offers a quiet, private space where moms can nurse, pump and spend extra time in rocking chairs with their babies. The room has adjustable lighting, several rocking chairs, foot stools, electrical outlets and side tables.

Military families can also access the Mothers' Room in the USO located on the mezzanine level of the Main Terminal.

Need more info on traveling with kids? Check out our Traveling with Kids page and/or TSA's tips.
Convenient Pick-up Options
Park in the Terminal Direct floor of the parking garage, the quickest and most convenient option for meeting passengers in the terminal, and pay just $4 per hour.

Another option is the Cell Phone Waiting Lot. Parking in the lot is free and drivers can wait up to 30 minutes until arriving passengers have deplaned, collected luggage and called to be picked up outside of Baggage Claim. Remember, there is no parking or waiting allowed on the airport roadway shoulders.