Sea-Tac Airport Information
Page One of Our Four Page Guide to Sea-Tac Airport
The Gina Marie Lindsey Arrivals Hall
INDEX FOR OUR SEA-TAC AIRPORT INFORMATION
|Index Page One||Airport General Information|
|Airport Official Website|
|Check-In and Ticketing|
|Airport Transit System|
|Slow Lines at TSA Security|
|Real Time Flight Info on Cell Phones|
|Index Page Two||Coffee|
|Index Page Three||Art|
|Index Page Four||Architecture|
AIRPORT GENERAL INFORMATION
The Sea-Tac Airport serves the greater Seattle and Tacoma region. It is the 17th busiest airport in the country. In 2010, 31,000,000 passengers boarded planes at Sea-Tac.
SEA-TAC AIRPORT OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Please click here to go to the official Sea-Tac Airport website.
MAIN TERMINAL BUILDING--CHECK IN, TICKETING, TSA
Check-in Area in Main Terminal Building
The design of the airport is that it has a Main Terminal Building with four concourses and two satellites. All passengers go through the Main Terminal Building for check-in, ticketing, and TSA screening.
Please click here to open up a map of the transit system that provides an overview of the airport.
Baggage claim is on the first level of the Main Terminal Building. There are convenient monitors in Baggage Claim where you can find out which carousel your luggage will arrive at. Luggage carts can be rented for $4.
Please click here to open up a map of Sea-Tac on a separate tab. This is the map for the airport's transit system but it also gives you a quick overview of the airport layout.
Please click here to open up the Sea-Tac Airport web page that lists all of the maps offered for the airport.
SEA-TAC AIRPORT TRANSIT SYSTEM
Sea-Tac features two transit routes that transport passengers between the Main Concourse and the N and S Satellite gates. Please click here to see the map of the transit system.
- Main Concourse South to S Satellite and Concourse B
- Main Concourse North to N Satellite and Concourse C
SLOW LINES AT SEA-TAC TSA SECURITY CHECKPOINTS
The employees of the TSA are charged with the massive responsibility of screening all passengers and their baggage. We know that they have to deal first with passenger safety and second with how quickly they process passengers.
That said, I want to warn passengers heading for an outbound flight at Sea-Tac about the security processing time. Sometimes the security screening lines are fairly short and you can get through with the normal speed of any TSA screening line. However, for busier times of the day and especially during the tourist season, the Seattle TSA lines grind to a snail's pace. It appears that part of the problem is that they don't quickly address passengers that are confused or have a lot of carry-on items that require extra time for screening.
I saw one passenger with a lot of items that had to be taken out for individual screening in the x-ray machine. She stopped the entire line for seven minutes. The TSA staff do a poor job of going through the waiting lines and telling people to take off their coats for screening and remove their belts and so forth to speed up the overall line.
If this was a one-time occurrence, I would not mention the slow screening lines. However, it happens to me frequently enough that it is a continuing problem.
Allow at least 30 minutes to get through security. That may not be enough time at a really busy time of the day but that should allow you ample time to navigate this mandatory bottleneck. There are four TSA checkpoints in the Main Terminal Building. If one line looks really long, it is worth checking the other lines to find a shorter one.
The airport furnishes free WiFi availability.
REAL TIME FLIGHT INFORMATION FROM CELL PHONES
The following instructions to obtain real time flight information are copied from the Sea-Tac Airport website:
- Create a new text message.
- Type your airline and flight number in the body of the message. For example, Alaska 1234
- Enter the code "FlySEA" or 359732 in the "Send To" area.
- Send the message.
You will receive the latest real-time information, including the flight number, departure or arrival time, gate number and flight status.
Nine rental car companies have information counters in the Baggage Claim area. Five of them offer car pick-up and drop-off in the parking garage adjacent to the Main Terminal. The other companies provide a courtesy bus transportation to their off-airport locations.
Companies offering on-airport counters and on-airport pick-up and drop-off include:
Companies offering on-airport counters and off-airport cars include:
TRAVELER'S TIP FOR SAVING MONEY ON A RENTAL CAR
If you rent a car at the airport, you will get stuck with taxes and fees that add 40% to the base rental car fee. For renting a car, if you can take the Link Light Rail train downtown and rent your car from a downtown car rental location and return it downtown, you can save around 20% in fees and taxes per day. For a multiple day rental, that 20% adds up fast. A round trip from the airport to downtown costs $5.00 on the Link Light Rail.
A Link Light Rail train at the Sea-Tac Airport Station
Please click here to go to the Ground Transportation section of our website for information about transportation from Sea-Tac to downtown Seattle.