Processes at the SeaTac airport are not much different than what is found at most airports in the USA. However, there are a few differences that are good to be aware of:
1. The SeaTac Airport is not in Seattle - it is actually a bit south of Seattle in the city of SeaTac. You should keep this in mind if you decide to take a taxi or otherwise use an expensive option to get to your destination: you may want to check the distance and price FIRST before you decide it is the option you will take.
2. Traffic through Seattle can be horrific. You will want to leave enough time to get to the airport if you are using a road method, and check traffic reports.
3. There are a number of decent restaurants in the SeaTac airport on both the secure side ("air side") and the public side. There is a wonderful dining area with a panoramic view of part of the Olympic Mountains and some of the runway space. However, this dining space is on the air side (that is, the security side) of the airport. Therefore, you may want to consider your options before leaving the secure area. Of particular note, the Ivar's at the south end of the dining room offers a reasonably good chowder selection but it arrives HOT. Also, the dining room very often has all the tables occupied, making it very difficult to eat hot food. Many people simply ask if they can join someone if there are empty seats. Do not be surprised if this happens.
4. There is a transit train that goes to the SeaTac airport from downtown Seattle. It is called Central Link. The station is actually near the entrance to the airport property, and not extremely close to the main terminal. The pathway to the station requires going to the north end of the airport drop off area, and then following a narrow pathway through the short term parking garage all the way out to the station.
5. If you are going to the airport to the south (Tacoma or further) be aware that SoundTransit (the operators of the transit train) also operate an express bus that goes to Tacoma and Lakewood from the SeaTac Airport. This may be your best option to connect with Amtrak going further south (Centralia, Kelso, etc.) if that is where you need to go. While the transit train connects to Amtrak trains in Seattle it is a bit of a hassle to get across some of the busy streets there. You can also get SoundTransit Sounder trains at the Tukwila station, but they only operate on weekdays at peak travel times. Unfortunately, there is no longer a direct bus connection from the Tukwila Amtrak / Sounder station to the SeaTac airport.
6. Some of the areas around the airport are not the best part of town. The airport hotels and nearby places to stay can be OK, but just be aware that you need to exercise good travel smarts if you wander around parts of the cities of SeaTac and Tukwila beyond the basic airport area. Trying to describe exactly where these less-than-good areas are is a bit difficult because the areas can change quite quickly from good to not so good and back to good again in a short distance. However, just exercise good travel judgement and caution and you will be fine.
7. Car rental is an expensive mess, and if you are planning to rent a car your most economical bet is to find somewhere away from the airport. To get to the airport rental office you must take a bus which runs once every few minutes. All of the rental agencies are consolidated here, with all of their vehicles as well.
8. There is a reasonably economical bus service that connects northwest Washington and central Washington to the SeaTac Airport. This is the Belair Airporter. See their web site at airporter.com. Only a few of their buses stop in downtown Seattle. This can be a good transportation option for a number of cities, and possibly downtown Seattle if the schedule works for you.
Other than these items, the SeaTac airport is a relatively featureless huge block of concrete that works much like all the other airports in the world.
Below is the official web site for the airport which gives the best information about the airport. Don't be fooled by a couple of similarly named web sites that offer less than official information about the airport.
More for my information:
We flew with Delta Air Lines from Genevra to Amsterdam (1hour40) at 11:55
Then from Amsterdam to Seattle (10 hours 20 minutes) at 15:05
Arrived in Seattle at 16:25
Service on plane good. Arriving time not bad, we were surprised that we did not get stuck in traffic/rush hour.
With return flight we paid for 2 adults, one kid and one baby 4400 Swiss Francs.
Virgin America now flies to Seattle! I've been on Virgin America to DC and it was easy and comfortable. No different when we went to Seattle. The prices are very reasonable and online check-in and paying for baggage is quick.
Hint, you can get away with paying a baggage fee if you carry on your small luggage. Most people are doing that and the airlines know they won't have enough room in the overhead bins. So, they will announce to everyone that they will check your bag for free and give you an early boarding opportunity.
VA has monitors on the back of each seat. You can view a few movies, tv shows, films for free and some you can pay for. Order drinks and food and watch the map to see how far you have to go until your destination.
Having to spend time waiting in any airport can be both boring, as well as a culinary nightmare. But here’s a great new spot that opened in autumn 2007 at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which eliminates those problems: Vino Volo.
This is a combination wine bar (photo #2), wine-tasting salon, and retail store (photo #3) where fine wines can be purchased to take aboard the aircraft (it’s located after Security). It also serves light “small plates” of gourmet items that pair well with its fine wine offerings. These small plates offer much more inventive alternatives to a BurgerKing or chili dog or awful airport pizza slice. Instead, we find smoked salmon rolls ($10), a Tuscan chicken focaccia sandwich with pesto and roasted red peppers ($8), duck confit salad ($12), or artisan cheese plates ($8). These are also available packaged – “gourmet grab-and-go” (photo #4).
The wine selection is offered by the glass or bottle, with “flights” a common way to experience a variety of tastes of several wines. It’s a great place to learn about some boutique Pacific Northwest wines, as well as sampling a good selection of worldwide wines. A glass costs from $7 to $39, for a very fine Château Latour. Tastings of three select wines are about $7 to $21.
It’s also a fine place to hang out with your newspaper or laptop – indulge in the airport’s WiFi, sit in the leather seats at pleasant tables, or sit at the bar, where the engaging bartender du jour will be happy to brief you on wines (Eric on this day, photo #5). This is a quiet, upscale spot for those who appreciate the finer aspects of wining and light dining.
Vino Volo is a newish chain started by Taste Incorporated of San Francisco. There are several other US airports with these wine bars, which are open at, or coming soon, to: SFO, JFK, Baltimore, Sacramento, Dulles/Washington, Detroit, and Philadelphia.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, called "SeaTac" by locals, connects Seattle to all regions of the world, with especially frequent transpacific routes. The airport is a hub for Alaska Airlines and its regional subsidiary Horizon Air and has service to many destinations throughout North America, Europe, and East Asia. It is also a focus city for United Airlines. Of note to Canadians, it's far cheaper to fly to Asian destinations from Seattle than it is to fly from Vancouver.
To get to the city a taxi is about 20 minutes by taxi for $25 - $35. They can be found on the third floor of the parking garage. The other option are commercial shuttle buses that are about $5 - $12.75.
SeaTac Airport gets its name from the two main cities that it supports, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Due to its loaction, directly in between the two, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to land here and still be able to get to your destination on time!
SeaTac serves Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, America West, American, ATA, Asiana, Continental, Delta, Hawaiian, Northwest, Southwest, United, and US Airways among others serve the Seattle area.
Seattle - Tacoma International Airport (Airport Code: SEA) is the main airport in the Seattle area. Sea-Tac, as it is known locally, is a hub airport for Alaska Airlines, as well as Northwest Airlines. In addition, the United Shuttle runs hourly to San Francisco and Los Angeles. There are nonstop flights from Asian destinations Tokyo-Narita (United and Northwest), Seoul (Korean Air), and Taipei (EVA Airways). Europeans can book nonstop flights to Sea-Tac from London-Heathrow (British Airways), Paris (Air France), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Copenhagen (SAS), and Amsterdam (Northwest). UPDATE: SAS has announced it will discontinue flights from Sea-Tac to Copenhagen in late 2009 or early 2010.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION is not renowned for its reliability in this part of the USA, but several buses depart the Airport for various destinations in Seattle. Fare is $1.25. Private van service is also available to various destinations in the area. Check the website for route and schedule details.
For DRIVERS, Sea-Tac is just off Interstate 5 between Seattle and Tacoma, at Mile 154. Parking at the airport is quite expensive ($22/day, $99/week), though a number of nearby private parking lots offer shuttle service to the airport for significantly less ($7-$12/day).
RENTAL CARS are on-site, for the most part, in the parking garage across the street from the terminal. Additional budget rental agencies offer complimentary bus service to their lots.
Originally Air Southwest, it changed its name to Southwest Airlines in 1971 servicing their first flight on June 18, 1971. Southwest Airlines is headed by Gary C. Kelly. Kelly has served as the airline's CEO since 2004, replacing James F. Parker, who had been the CEO for the last 3 years. Southwest Airlines is currently the largest American based low-cost airline with headquarters in Dallas, Texas servicing its most numerous flights to Las Vegas. Southwest carries the largest number of passengers each year than any other airline and owns the second largest passenger fleet of aircraft in the world. They host over 3,500 flights daily. Southwest is also one of the world's most profitable airlines, posting profits for the 25th consecutive year in January 2008. They became popular for their short hops, no-frills service, and simple fare structure which is what they still remain famous for. They manage their own website and refuse to syndicate with the multi-fare search engines like kayak.com, orbitz.com, priceline, etc. Tickets cannot be purchased through common online venues like Orbitz or Travelocity; a minority are booked through travel agents. Most of Southwest's tickets are issued directly by the airline over the phone or online at the company's website which features Web-only fare discounts. They are well known for their rapid turnaround keeping its aircraft on the ground for a short twenty minutes to maximize profits. Southwest Airlines currently flies to 64 destinations throughout the United States. The airline will add its 65th destination in March 2009 when it begins service from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and it's 66th destination will be in New York at LaGuardia Airport. Unlike other major airlines, Southwest allows passengers to change reservations without additional cost. While this provides flexibility to customers, Southwest does not allow same-day standby travel on a different flight (usually a free service at other airlines) without upgrading to maximum fare. Customers are not assigned seats; rather, they are assigned to one of three "boarding groups" depending on their check-in time (earlier check-ins get to board earlier), and are left to choose their own seats on the plane, which helps the airline to board passengers faster. Southwest historically allowed three pieces of luggage to be checked in free as opposed to the limit of two on the domestic flights of some other U.S. airlines. Starting January 29, 2008, passengers will be able to check up to two bags for free. A third bag will be checked for a $25 . You may also check a 4th through 9th bag for a charge of $50 a piece and any other pieces after that are $110 a piece. Unlike most services today, they still serve snacks on board even short flights. Southwest has had their fair share of lawsuits and legal pressures, the most recent in March 2008 when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors submitted documents to the United States Congress, alleging that Southwest allowed 117 of its aircraft to fly carrying passengers despite the fact that the planes were "not airworthy" according to air safety investigators. In some cases the planes were allowed to fly for up to 30 months after the inspection deadlines had passed, rendering them unfit to fly. Records indicate that thousands of passengers were flown on aircraft deemed unsafe by federal standards. Southwest declined comment at the time, and US Representative James Oberstar advised a hearing would be held. On March 12, 2008, Southwest Airlines voluntarily grounded 44 planes to check if they needed further inspection. Federal Aviation Administration claims that Southwest Airlines flew almost 60,000 flights without fuselage inspection. Southwest Airlines could be facing a $10.2 million fine if they violated FAA regulations. There have also been rumors that the FAA knew about Southwest Airlines violations but decided not to fine the airline because it would disrupt the service of Southwest. Regardless Southwest has had only three major incidents of note and has never had a passenger fatality due to an accident. My flights to the Pacific Northwest with Southwest over the Xmas holidays of 2008 were spectacular from Denver to Portland, and Seattle to Denver. Mucho thanks to Southwest for everything they do. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
SEATAC Airport is one of the Main Hubs of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, being such, it provides one of the cheapest flight to and from Seattle Area. Being one of the popular domestic carriers, Alaska Air started as McGee Airways, which flew its inaugural service between Anchorage and Bristol Bay in 1932 with a Stinson single-engined, three-passenger aircraft. Mergers and acquisitions produced changes in the name and saw business expand throughout Alaska. As of 1942, the airline was known as "Alaska Star Airlines." The name Alaska Airlines was adopted in 1944 and since then up to the present has stayed on as it's brand name. Alaska's route system spans more than 92 cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Alaska Air is one of the largest carriers on the US west coast as well as to and within the State of Alaska, with strong presences in Seattle, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles Metro Area (serving all five LA-area and three Bay Area major airports). Alaska Airlines' regional carrier, Horizon Air, is closely integrated into Alaska's operations, with Alaska and Horizon sharing many routes. Alaska and Horizon are owned by the same parent company, Alaska Air Group.
the SEATAC (Seattle Tacoma International Airport) is the gateway to the Pacific Northwest and to the greater Seattle Metropolitan Area. Besides being the Gateway to the Greater Seattle Area, it is the main hub of Alaska Airlines (the one I took for the Seattle Flight). Seatac has a Central Terminal building with four concourses (A - D) and two Satellite Terminals (North and South). The satellite terminals are connected to the central terminal by an underground people mover system. There are three security checkpoints for the entire airport. Once through security, passengers have access to all gates.
address: 17801 Pacific Highway S, Seattle, WA 98158
Sea-Tac (Seattle Tacoma International Airport) is actually a decent place to fly into. While it is located between Seattle and Tacoma there are a number of ways one can get to the city center, from bus to shuttle and sometime in the future light rail. The bus and shuttle service are pretty efficient with a direct bus route leading to downtown that takes somewhere around 20 minutes and leaves between every 15 minutes and every half hour.
A word of caution on flying out Sea-Tac. Frequently the security check lines are ridiculously long! Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time as I have waited 45 minutes to an hour and have heard horror stories of the line stretching deep into the parking garage across the sky bridge.
the fastest connection from europe to seattle is SAS that flies daily from copenhagen to seattle.
because both cities are located fairly north it's a faster flight than the other european connections.
not bad if you are not keen on long flights or need to save time.
Seattle Tacoma airport is one that I frequent. Alaska Air connections. Always making those Phoenix trips affordable. The major drawback is that the Admiral's Club has been closed. Love the port authority tripling the rent. But still, I route through here every chance I get.
Seatac Airport (Seattle, WA) - Denver International Airport (Denver, Colorado)
A trip to Seattle and back from Denver, Colorado provided a very pleasant and easy flying experience. While I'm a big fan of Northwest Airlines, I think I'm becoming a big fan for this smaller partner airlines. Never were the check-ins consisting of long lines or any waits - smooth and streamlined ... and very pleasant helpful staff at both airports and on the flight. Service was A plus. No delays in either flight, in fact, they were early on arrival in all courses. I was very pleased. No problems with luggage either. 5 stars out of 5.
By AIR- Sea-Tac International Airport. Just south of Seattle. Allow 1.5 hours for domestic flights, 2.5 for international.
By ROAD- I-5 is the main freeway running North-South thru Seattle. I-90 runs East-West from Seattle. 520, the 'floating bridge' also runs east west from the University of Washington area.
*Avoid all of the above mentioned roads anytime around the hours of 7-9 am and 4-6 pm, Mon-Fri.- peak rush hour/congestion times. You will hate life if you don't. Also to be AVOIDED during any major sporting event, concert, downtown festival, parade, summer solstice, carnival, Mardi Gras, Nordstrom half yearly sale, WTO riot, or day ending in 'Y' (just kidding on that last one).
By BUS- The Seattle METRO bus system is pretty inexpensive; good if you have your own agenda of must-see sights; Seattle just got new red double decker busses for sightseeing as well. Good if you don't want to do all the planning;hits the main attractions.
By BOAT/FERRY- Argosy cruises; Boat tours available around Puget Sound (some designed for whale watching); many different ferry routes, from Seattle to various islands around the Sound; Alki Beach Water Taxi- offers foot passengers access from the Seattle Waterfront (a few steps from Pike Place Market) directly across the water to Alki Beach (tremendous views of the Seattle skyline).
My personal favorite- just grab a friend or friend(s), your favorite CDs, hop in the car and go! (map optional). I've done this several times, and no matter where we end up, we always have fun, even when we get lost. You can't go wrong with good company, you will most likely see something new, and its always an adventure.