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Spring Break Travel Kicks into High Gear at SEA Airport

Busiest days over the next two weeks
March 22, 2024
SEA Airport passenger volumes update (as of 4/5/2024): Updated forecasts through the spring break period ending April 15 are projecting the next busiest days to be Sunday, April 7, with an estimated 158,000 passengers going through the airport (arriving, departing, and connecting); Monday, April 8 (152,000 passengers); Thursday, April 11 (147,000 passengers); plus Thursday and Friday, April 18 – 19 (144,000 passengers each).

Spring Break is here for local school districts and that means busy days for travel volumes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). If you haven’t traveled for a while — or even if you have — your best tips are to think ahead, prepare where you can, and be flexible to enjoy a relaxing trip.

Spring Break travel numbers

SEA expects 3.18 million passengers to travel through the airport for the period of March 23 to April 14, which is at or close to 2023 numbers. The busiest travel days over the next two weeks are expected to be Friday, March 29 with 153,000 passengers and Friday, April 5 with 162,000 passengers projected to depart, connect or arrive through SEA. Both Thursdays, March 28 and April 4, Sunday, March 31, and Saturday, April 6, are close behind, surpassing 140,000 passengers each day. More than one-third of SEA’s daily passenger volume arrives at the airport before 9:00 a.m., causing busy conditions at TSA security checkpoints and on the drives. Two more peak periods occur from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Travel tips for the holiday

  • Start here with all of our Travel Tips for SEA Airport
  • Arrive early. Be in the terminal at least two hours before your boarding time for a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Include travel times from off-site parking or drop-offs.
  • Avoid a traffic jam. Try alternate ways to get to the airport, so you avoid the congested drives. Use public transportation, airport parking, a taxi/limo, a rideshare, a scheduled airporter, a door-to-door van service, or a shuttle option.
  • Think opposite. If driving to the curb is your only option, use the Lower Arrivals Drive to drop off during peak hours, or use the Upper Departures Drive to pick up. Or just use whichever lane is moving faster – they both go to the same building!
  • NEW! Try SEA Reserved Parking. Reserve a space on Floor 4 with a minimum two-day stay. From there, it’s just a short walk across the skybridge to the terminal. Reservations during the Spring Break period are already filling quickly. We recommend reserving at least two weeks in advance for best availability.
  • If you’re parking at the airport garage, look for the green lights indicating open parking stalls. The Automated Parking Guidance System helps you find a spot faster!

Ready to check in

  • No bags to check and boarding pass in hand? Go straight to the security checkpoint and avoid the check-in desks.
  • Be prepped with your airline ahead of time. Check their baggage policies, check yourself in, and have all their apps downloaded for efficient travel. See our best baggage tips.
  • Don’t forget your boarding passes or your bag tags or whatever you can do ahead of time.
  • Travelers will notice more construction as the airport’s Upgrade SEA program is currently underway, with improvement projects from curb to gate. Construction for a major new ticketing area renovation project has spillover impacts in ticketing and the baggage claims on the north end of the main terminal.

Security checkpoint options

  • Speed through security checkpoints. Now expanded to start daily at 4:00 a.m.! Sign up for FREE SEA Spot Saver service to reserve your time at TSA security checkpoints as early as five days before you travel (or when you arrive at the airport).
  • Be ready for security checkpoints. SEA and TSA want to help you move through as quickly as possible. Travelers are required to remove any electronic device larger than a cell phone from their carry-on luggage. Also remove foods and liquids from your carry-on luggage, and prepare to hold up your boarding pass for review. Review the latest Identification and Documentation Requirements.
  • Going to Mexico or another international destination for your holiday? Download the Mobile Passport Control app before you leave home. Add your travel details as you land back at SEA. Collect your bags and go straight to a dedicated line in the International Arrivals Facility. Your entire family can complete the customs process from a single mobile device, available for U.S. and Canadian citizens and those with a green card.

Check out more at SEA Airport travel tips.



Chris Guizlo | SEA Airport
(206) 787-3433 |

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