Thanksgiving Week Travel Tips From SEA Airport

SEATTLE – Thanksgiving travel week this year is likely to look more like pre-pandemic times, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport expects pedestrian traffic to increase 150 percent from last year. With almost 1.5 million travelers expected to pass the airport by next Monday, airport officials have put together several tips for navigating one of the busiest routes of the year.

Here are the busiest Thanksgiving travel days at SEA Airport in 2021:

  • Monday, November 28th: ​​136,000 travelers forecast.
  • Wednesday, November 24th: 132,000 travelers forecast.
  • Tuesday, November 23: forecast for 120,000 travelers.
  • Monday, November 22nd: 129,000 travelers forecast.
  • Total number of travelers forecast as of November 29th: 1.45 million.

With the holiday season nearing normal, travelers should plan ahead for crowded parking spaces inside and outside the airport and longer queues across the board.

“Parking lots, security lines and restaurant lines are the most crowded places at the airport, especially during a time when vacation travel is on the rise,” said Lance Lyttle, managing director of SEA Airport. “New programs can help make your trip more predictable and stress-free. A little planning will go a long way towards making your trip enjoyable.”

Here are a few ideas from airport officials to get to the SEA:

  • The multi-storey car park at SEA Airport is very busy this holiday season.
  • Avoid hassle while driving with the Link Light Rail from Sound Transit. Public transportation is by far the best option if you want to stay out of the traffic jam.
  • Take a ride in taxis or app-based ridesharing like Uber and Lyft or other ground transportation.
  • Rent your own ride. All car rental companies operate an external car rental company in which special shuttle buses transport passengers free of charge 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Pedal power! Yes, you can even bike to the airport with bike racks and two ways to get to the airport by bike.
  • If you still want to park, we recommend at least 30 minutes to find a stand. The off-site parking spaces are also expected to be heavily frequented. Reservation of parking spaces is recommended.
  • When you pick up or drop off your loved ones …
    • Check out the new and improved Handy Lot! The new access ramp is a game change with a better process when getting on and off, so you can pick up your passengers more easily. Use it instead of parking on the side which is dangerous and illegal!
    • Think the other way around and balance the rides when picking up passengers! Use Departures Drive for pick-up at night and Arrivals Drive for dropping off passengers in the morning.

New travel programs at SEA:

  • Use SEA Spot Saver to skip the safety line! This free program allows you to make a reservation for the general security check at the TSA. This unique program is now being copied from other airports, but now here at SEA! RSVP to secure your place in the queue up to 72 hours before departure for flights between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. – our busiest times at the checkpoint!
  • Arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
  • For a more efficient experience, download (or update!) The flySEA app. View checkpoint waiting times in real time in 5-minute increments, find restaurants and shops to explore, and use the interactive map to navigate the airport.
  • Look for the SEA Pathfinders in bright green if you have any questions in the terminal or write us a DM and our customer service will be happy to help you!
  • Check out the rules of the TSA for what you can get through security.
  • Don’t start your holiday hunger, eat with Order SEA, our mobile food order service with an option for gate delivery, for food from all over the airport.
  • Stay on the nice list. SEA Airport, businesses and restaurants, and airlines are working hard to staff and prepare for the travel rush. Pack your flexibility and patience for the holidays!
  • Escape the busy airport terminal with The Club SEA, open daily at Gates S9 and A12. Day passes are $ 45 and include free Wi-Fi, snacks, drinks, and bar service. It’s totally worth it!

>> Take a look at the complete holiday travel guide 2021 from SEA Airport.

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