Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) launched a monumental year and decade today by ushering in a new era of customer-centered travel. We unveiled a new SEA Airport brand identity and a suite of improvements that reflect the spirit of our Pacific Northwest home.
At SEA, we know an airport is more than a building. An airport should be an efficient and easy part of your journey that you look forward to. It should be a place where you feel good connecting with people and discovering something new. The best airports reflect the spirit of their region and celebrate their communities.
Our journey to embody these values begins this week. To immediately better serve you we launched a new digital front door, flySEA.org, built just for airport travelers. We expanded our customer service and volunteer teams, made our airport identity more visible and memorable, and outlined our plans to open new restaurants, and continue building facilities that better meet your needs.
SEA Airport Managing Director Lance Lyttle has championed a new airport brand identity as essential for building a customer-focused culture.
Lance has been a leader at other large U.S. airports and he knows that a new brand tells travelers what to expect from an airport. And he’s watching closely to make sure that SEA staff and facilities live up to our promise to you for the future — Every day. Elevate. It means that you deserve a consistently excellent travel experience that reflects your interests and demonstrates our values.
We had a chance to sit down with Lance and to hear about his vision for a customer-centered brand.
Q. Why did you lead the airport in developing this new identity?
A distinct brand creates a promise for customers, and guidance to staff, for an elevated experience. Our customers deserve a consistently excellent travel experience, one that reflects their interests and demonstrates our values.
More than 350 different employers operate at our airport with 19,000 employees. Our passengers depend on all of us to make their airport experience go exactly, or maybe even a little bit better, than planned.
Our brand is a commitment to focus on customer well-being with an experience that reflects the Pacific Northwest. Every brand needs an identity. This is ours.
Q. Who provided input?
We did extensive quantitative research among residents and hundreds of airline passengers from around the country who have traveled through our airport. We gathered public feedback in a survey distributed through our email newsletter, Connections, and with passengers in the terminal. We consulted with regional economic development and tourism leaders and engaged airlines and tenants at the airport and our frequent traveler committee. We also involved Port leaders and employees in the development of the brand. And we received overwhelmingly positive feedback!
Q: What is your vision for SEA this year? In five years? 10 years?
In 2020 SEA will rally for this momentous year ahead of us. This year, SEA travelers will discover the new International Arrivals Facility that will offer a significantly elevated level of service, relative to our existing facility. You’ll get a chance to try the local tastes of our region with a dozen new restaurants and shops that will give you more choices than ever before. Throughout the airport, you will be greeted and assisted by the most helpful and friendly airport team members. Every day will be an elevated experience for you at SEA.
In five years, you will see a totally different SEA Airport. You will have more room to relax, explore, or dine in the North Satellite and you will breeze through security at checkpoint #1. You will experience a more stylish and sophisticated renovated Clubs at SEA. More comfortable seating with charging stations and brand new or renovated restrooms. Beautiful landscaping that reflects the Pacific Northwest, and signage and parking location systems that makes wayfinding easier and reflects the technology and innovation that we are famous for in this region.
This is where we are going, but today we know that we have work to do. You will see changes starting now. Within the next decade, you will be able to go from the clock tower, find parking, and get through security within 45 minutes. If you are an international traveler, you will walk our beautiful bridge with views of Mt. Rainier, get through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and make your connecting flight within 75 minutes. You will have many more food choices from fast casual to fine dining. You can discover new art, live music, or a new restaurant or boutique whether you are coming from out of town or you are one of our neighbors.
That’s my vision for SEA Airport. And, we are going to make it happen in this monumental decade.
Q: What do you want travelers to know about this new brand?
This new brand and renewed focus on the customer are all about you, our travelers. We are here to help and will be living our brand through five values. At SEA, we are dedicated to providing our travelers:
- Helpful service before, during, and after you travel through your airport
- An efficient journey through SEA
- An attitude and a facility that delivers the original spirit of the Pacific Northwest and will reflect what we love about our home
- An uncomplicated, intuitive, and sustainable space that reflects the natural beauty we see around us
- A place where you can discover new things and have an experience you would not expect on your travels
Our mission is to demonstrate these values every day and make a clear commitment to you about the kind of experience we will offer. When you see our logo and move through your airport, you should expect a high level of service. For example, a clean facility, intuitive signage, a helpful customer service team that listens to what you need, getting through the facility from curb to gate efficiently, and great restaurants and shops that make you feel at home in the Pacific Northwest.
Just as you expect a high-quality product when you see the Nike swoosh or the Apple logo, this is what SEA will come to mean to the Pacific Northwest. It’s both a welcome and a bon voyage. It is your neighbors and partners working together to create a well-run, efficient, and friendly airport every time you visit us and talk with us.
Q: What is your favorite color?
Green, of course! I love the natural colors of the Pacific Northwest. There are so many shades of green here. But for me, the brighter the better against our often gray skies.
Q: How do you want passengers to feel at SEA?
I understand why people don’t love to fly and we are setting out to change that. Will I be able to find parking? How long will it take to get through security? Can I find a good cup of coffee or a satisfying meal?
In the coming decade, we want your airport to be one of the best and most relaxing destinations along your journey. My real joy will be when you feel excited about coming to the airport because you are going to learn new things, connect to people and places, and eat delicious food. We want you to feel at home in your airport and relaxed about making your flight. When you are relaxed, I will be able to relax.
Q: How can travelers and locals help?
Jump in and join us. Change is often hard but we all must try some new things together to get where we are going. Here are a few ways you can live the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
- Participate in programs like SEA Visitor Pass and give us your feedback
- Discover something new — like our visual art, a new restaurant, or a local retailer
- Seek out new information, like how you can use tools like the SEA App to be on top of your travel
- Adopt a curious attitude — We are going to try some new things and tell you why we’re doing it. It may not be the perfect solution now, but it may lead to the perfect solution later
- Evolve with the change — SEA is now in the top 10 most-traveled airports in the country and a thriving and growing region. The only constant is change itself, so let’s all experiment a little, like new ways to get to the airport
- Get curious about new programs like ground boarding to ease plane congestion. Learn more about why it’s being done. Write us a note and we’ll tell you why in a blog or social media post
- Pay it forward — Pick up a piece of trash left by your neighbors. We’ll all do the same for you when you’re having a tough day
- Be a sustainable traveler by trying something new like paying carbon offsets through the Good Traveler Program
- Give us a chance to make you happy. We know our region, our habits, and our airport are all changing. We are here for you and working hard to help. We are in this together. Let’s do this!