The Process for International Arrivals Ending their Trip at Sea-Tac
International flights arrive at the South Satellite. Passengers first clear immigration and then pick up their checked luggage and proceed to customs. After clearing customs, passengers put their luggage on a high speed conveyor for delivery to Baggage Claim. They then head to the Main Terminal to pick up their luggage on Carousel One in Baggage Claim. The immigration and customs process
can take 30 to 60 minutes.
Passengers now have the option of using a Self-Service Automated Passport Control Kiosk
Instead of filling out a declaration card and taking their travel documents to a CBP officer, passengers who are eligible and choose to use Automated Passport Control can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection passport-control area. Travelers will follow the on-screen instructions to scan their U.S. or Canadian passport, answer the customs declaration questions using the touch screen, receive a receipt confirming their information and proceed to the CBP officer to finalize processing. The kiosk allows up to four people residing at the same address to be processed together.
Watch a video of Self-Service Automated Passport Control process
The Process for International Arrivals Connecting to Other Flights
After arriving at the South Satellite, international passengers first clear immigration, then pick up their checked luggage and proceed to customs. Passengers connecting to domestic flights, then recheck their luggage and go through TSA security screening before heading to their connecting flights. Note: Passengers with duty-free items that are liquid must put them in their checked luggage. Otherwise they will be confiscated at the security checkpoint.
Meeting Arriving Passengers
Passengers from international flights arrive at the South Satellite. It typically takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to clear U.S. Customs and Immigration. The best places to meet arriving international passengers is either at the escalator on the Baggage Claim level, between carousels 7 and 8, where international travelers first come up to Baggage Claim or at Carousel One where they pick up their checked luggage.
If you are parking, you will want to park in the yellow or green sections at the south end of the airport garage.
Contact your airline for directions on how early to arrive for your flight. Most airlines recommend arriving a minimum of two or three hours prior to departure.