SEATTLE – The Port of Seattle is gearing up for a record number of Thanksgiving travelers by enhancing amenities for travelers throughout the airport. Nearly 800,000 travelers are expected to go through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday week. Those travelers will be greeted by additional staff, comfier airport seating and refreshed restrooms among many other improvements.
The busiest days for the November holiday season:
- Sunday, Nov. 27 (140,227 passengers)
- Monday, Nov. 28 (135,665)
- Wednesday, Nov. 23 (134,877).
- Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24 is the least traveled of the week (81,522)
In just six years, Sea-Tac’s passenger totals increased by nearly 15 million – 31.5 million in 2010 – compared to 2016’s projected total of nearly 46 million. For travelers who may not have visited Sea-Tac since last Thanksgiving, they will notice several customer service enhancements.
Thanksgiving comfort enhancements at Sea-Tac
New seating with built-in power and USB outlets, including work stations near gate areas
- More frequent restroom cleaning
- Upgraded LED lights that are twice as bright while using half the energy
- Digital display of arrival time for North Satellite train
- Additional customer service “Pathfinders” working more hours of the day
- Volunteers to help travelers along with an additional team of college interns.
- More traffic control staff to keep driveways moving
TSA security line improvements
- Optimized line configurations to improve traffic flow
- Digital displays of line wait times
- Water bottle dumping stations at checkpoints to remind travelers full bottles not allowed in carry-ons
Travelers can do their part by planning ahead and packing right. Here are some important tips for busy times.
Consider alternatives instead of driving to airport
With record passenger totals the past few years, Sea-Tac is going to be busy during the holidays. Consider taking public transit options like Link Light Rail, King County Metro Transit or Sound Transit. This is also a great idea to pick up incoming visitors at a location away from the airport.
THINK OPPOSITE! Pickup on the departure drive, drop-off on the arrivals drive
–During peak periods, for pick-ups go to the departure (upper) one level up from baggage claim. For drop-offs, go to the arrivals (lower) drive and travelers only have to go up one level to ticketing. The busiest times are mornings for departures and evenings for arrivals.
Save on holiday parking rates
Sea-Tac Airport is offering a reduced weekly rate of $130 in General Parking. No extra taxes or fees. That’s a tremendous savings of two days free for a seven day trip. Click here to learn more (no coupon needed)
Travelers can prepare by visiting our travel tips webpage. Despite Sea-Tac’s TSA line improvements and extra customer service workers, wait times vary depending on several factors and travelers are recommended to arrive two hours prior to domestic flights and three hours for international travel to allow time to park, get through airline ticketing/bag drop and security checkpoints.