Processing, Claiming Luggage, and Screening
International flights (other than pre-clearance) arrive and process at the South Satellite. All passengers must be interviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and claim all checked luggage before being allowed to enter the U.S. Once cleared by CBP, passengers will have the opportunity to recheck their luggage for a connecting flight or exit the airport locally find more step-by-step instructions on the international arrivals and passport control process at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Processing can take 60 minutes or longer during peak periods, such as holidays and summer travel season, when multiple international flights arrive daily, typically between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific DST. When scheduling connections from an international flight at SEA we recommend that you schedule enough time for processing to prevent missed connections for your next boarding times.
Upon exiting CBP's agriculture and baggage inspection, connecting passengers will go left (following the orange walls) and check their luggage for the next flight. All connecting passengers must go through U.S.'s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security screening* at the South Satellite. The South Satellite's TSA Checkpoint is open from 6:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. PST. If the South Satellite's TSA Screening Checkpoint is closed passengers will have to exit to the pre-security side of the airport and re-screen through one of the main security checkpoints. TSA Pre✓® is not located in the South Satellite and is located only at main terminal checkpoints, see all security and checkpoints information.
Agents from Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines will be available to help passengers recheck and re-book any connecting flights if needed. Depending on your airline carrier you may have to exit and recheck your bags on the ticketing level on the pre-security side of the airport.Rebooking standards and policies vary by airline, for contact information for all carriers at SEA please see our airlines and destinations page. Find step-by-step instructions on connecting as an international passenger with the international arrivals and passport control process at SEA Airport.
Once cleared through TSA's screening*, passengers will take the train to connect to all gates and the rest of the terminal. The first stop off the train will take passengers to the A Concourse train station, from there passengers can go up the escalators or elevators for the A gates or take the other trains to go to B, D, and N gates. For help navigating around the terminal and information on dining and retail, please see our interactive map.
*TSA Pre✓® is located only at main terminal checkpoints. All liquids, gels and aerosols in containers larger than 100 mL (3.4 ounces) including Duty Free, are PROHIBITED in carry-on luggage when proceeding through the passenger screening. Certain exceptions apply regarding medications and breast milk.
Traveling with a Tight Connection
When scheduling connections from an international flight at SEA we recommend that you schedule enough time in between the scheduled arrival time and your next boarding time. If a connection is within 60 minutes or less, depending on the airline they may rebook your connecting flight if there is not enough time to connect. Airline representatives should be available in the baggage claim area of the South Satellite baggage claim level to help assist any passengers who may need to re-book any flights. Find your airline's contact information.
SEA Airport utilizes an Express Connection Program with CBP and select airlines. Express Connection Program allows airlines to identify 5% of their passengers per flight with tight connections to speed their passport control process. In order to qualify for the Express Connection Program, passengers MUST contact their airline representative in advance of the flight once they land, they will receive an orange slip once that can be used after they deplane for the Express Connection.