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Summer Travel Guide 2021

COVID-19 and travel at SEA Airport More Information

The pandemic paused leisure travel for the last year. And rightly so. Now, travelers are more comfortable booking vacci-cations with the right planning and precautions to stay healthy. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is maintaining our public information campaign for summer travel and asking you to come prepared to comply with healthy travel measures.

While you were away, we evolved our operations and facilities at the airport to keep you safe. Things like masks are mandatory regardless of vaccination status and breathe easier knowing the air filtration system at SEA captures 90% of COVID-19 particles. 

Be informed and ready with these travel tips and resources. Please contact your airline if you have questions about that part of your journey. 

Travel guidance 

  • Check travel guidance. Some destinations require negative COVID-19 tests or mandatory quarantines for arriving passengers. Check with your airline regarding any rules you need to know for the state or country where you plan to travel. 
  • The CDC guidance for travelers is different depending on if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine or not. 
    • People who are fully vaccinated can travel safely within the United States without needing to self-quarantine or get a COVID-19 test (unless your destination requires it). While fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance, CDC maintains the requirement to wear masks during travel, including airports and planes. Masks remain mandatory at SEA Airport and must be worn over the nose and mouth.
    • Travelers who are not yet vaccinated should test with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Have the results of your negative test before you travel and keep a copy with you. Do not travel if you test positive. Immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations. Get tested again with a viral test 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. 

    Before you travel Travelers walking into the airport from parking garage

    At the Airport 

    • Arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours for international travel. Due to physical distancing, security checkpoint lines fill up faster as six-foot separations reduce queuing by up to 75%. Lines move faster than they look! Wait times are available on flight displays and our flySEA App. 
    • Try SEA Spot Saver! This is free pilot program this summer for passengers to sign-up for the TSA general screening security line. RSVP to save your spot in line up to a day in advance of travel or once at the airport. 
    • Expect to wear a mask for the duration of your journey, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, and honor physical distancing. We continue to prioritize traveler safety, health and well-being with protocols, including mandatory masks, medical grade cleaning, plastic protective barriers and signage.
    • Download (or update!) the flySEA App. See checkpoint waits in real time and use the interactive map to navigate the airport. Look for the SEA Pathfinders in bright green if you have questions in the terminal or slide into our DMs and our social care team is happy to help.

    Airport Dining and Retail and Lounges 

    • Eat and shop with confidence because airport restaurants and retailers are also going above and beyond to protect your health and well-being. Watch this video to feel the feels. 
    • Most business are open. We are in Phase 3 of Governor Inslee's Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan. Sit-down dining is available at 50% capacity, in addition to existing to-go options for food and beverage. Alcohol service is available daily until 11 p.m. 
    • Well-spaced and regularly cleaned tables and chairs are available for “grab and go” dining throughout the airport, including in the Central Terminal. 
    • Traveling with little ones? Two new vending machines by Lightly are available starting June 1 and stocked with essential, premium products for parents like wipes, diapers, snacks, nontoxic hand sanitizer and pacifiers. Find the machines by Gate N19 and the beginning Concourse B. 
    • Want to escape the busy airport terminal? Visit one of our two airport lounges, the Club SEA, with locations by Gates S9 (open daily) and A12 (re-opens on June 3). Day passes are $45 and include complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks and beverages and bar service. 

    Transportation Advisories 

    • If you’ve ever had to wait to pick up a loved one, you may be familiar with our cell phone lot on S. 170th Street. This summer, a dedicated access route to the cell phone lot will be constructed to reduce congestion around the existing entrance/exit. From late May through fall, drivers will see traffic detours and lane closures along S. 170th Street and Air Cargo Road as necessary roadway safety and access improvements are made. Roadway construction will occur Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday as needed. Arrive with a plan to avoid summer roadway work:
      • Park at the airport garage to avoid the construction zone. You can park on floor 4 (Terminal Direct) for $6/hour and the shortest walk to the terminal, grab a coffee while you wait, meet your party in person, and then head out without ever going on the airport drives!
      • Think opposite when going to pick up on the airport drives! Use the Departures Drive for pick up at night and the Arrivals Drive for passenger drop off in the mornings.
    • If you're parking in the SEA garage, be proactive to stay safe and prevent thefts. Maintain awareness of your surroundings, park near your destination in well lit areas, keep items out of sight and report suspicious activity by calling 206-787-5401, or 911 in case of emergency.

    More resources

    • More on FlyHealthy@SEA
    • COVID-19 Status Updates at SEA Airport
    • COVID-19 FAQs at SEA Airport
    • Information changes rapidly. Keep up with us on social media @flySEA and #FlyHealthySEA. Our customer care team is here to answer your questions. Tweet or DM us with a question.

    Travelers picking up snacks at the airport


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