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Seattle Airport SEA - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Seattle Airport Overview
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is often referred to by one of several names, the most common of which are Seattle Airport, SeaTac Airport, Sea-Tac, and SEA Airport. The airport serves the Seattle metropolitan area and is the largest airport in the Pacific Northwest. It is located 14 miles (23 km) south of downtown Seattle in the city of SeaTac, Washington. It is also 18 miles (29 km) north of downtown Tacoma.
As one of the busiest airports in the world, the Seattle Airport provides international flights to locations all over the world, including cities in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. With three long runways and over 40 million passengers annually, it is the fastest growing airport in the US.
Airport Stats & Facts
- In 2018, the Seattle Airport provided flights to over 49 million passengers.
- SEA is the 8th busiest airport in the United States.
- SEA is the 29th busiest airport in the world.
- Excellence in Departure Performance.
- Best Airport Staff Service in North America.
Seattle Airport Traveling Tips
- Airport peak hours are between 5am & 11am and between 7pm & 9pm. Peak travel days are Thursdays & Fridays. Arrive at SEA Airport at least two hours prior to the scheduled flight!
- During peak hours and Holidays, use the Departure upper level for pick up and the Arrival lower level for drop off.
- Arrive 2 hours before a domestic flight departure and 3 hours before an international flight departure to account for TSA security wait times and any possible delays.
- Take a few minutes to look at the Seattle Airport map before heading to the airport for a flight.
Passenger Pickup and Dropoff:
- Suggest that your arriving party meet you outside of the ticketing upper level using the less-crowded Departures drive.
- Park either on the SEA Terminal Direct level of the parking garage at $5/hr, or use the Cell phone waiting lot (free for up to 30 mins) and wait until your party has collected bags & calls you for curbside pickup.
- Pathfinders & Volunteers wear blue shirts with 3/4-length sleeves & left-hand insignia; Private contractors preparing passengers for TSA checkpoint screening wear black trousers with white shirts with two insignias at left, and right. TSA Officers at the screening area wear dark blue shirts, black trousers & ties, and TSA labels on both arms.
- For arriving flights: SEA Arriving Flight Status provides SEATAC arrival times, delays, time-to-land, and gate info.
- For departing flights: SEA Departing Flight Status lists actual vs scheduled departure times, flight delays, map tracking, and SEA airport gate info.
- To get the best fares at Seattle airport, book a Flight at SEA
Seattle Airport Terminals
The Central Terminal has four concourses: Concourse A, Concourse B, Concourse C, Concourse D. The ticketing area, baggage claim, and ground transportation are also located in this terminal.
- North Satellite Terminal - 12 gates (N1-N3, N6-N11, N14-N16).
- South Satellite Terminal - 13 gates (S1-S12, S15). This terminal also handles all of the airports arriving international flights.
Both satellite locations provide transportation to and from the concourses in the main terminal via an automated underground train system called the Satellite Transit System.
The SEA Airport serves over 30 different airlines. It also serves as a main hub for Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Horizon Air.
- Alaska Airlines, which is headquartered near the airport, utilizes SeaTac as its primary hub and provides approximately 40% of the airport’s flights.
- Delta Airlines uses the airport as a hub for all international flights to and from Asia.
Seattle Airport Parking
Amenities & Services at SeaTac
- Restaurants, cafes, and bars.
- Stores, gift shops, and local souvenir shops.
- Shoe shine stations and massage bars.
- Multiple art installations and exhibits on display.
- Free Wi-Fi internet throughout the entire airport.
- Currency exchange.
Phone: (206) 787 5388 or 1-800-544-1965
Seattle Airport: A Brief History Timeline
- The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was built in 1944 by the Port of Seattle. The construction was funded by $1 million from the Civil Aeronautics Administration and $100,000 from the City of Tacoma.
- The first scheduled flights began in 1947 with the Northwest and Trans-Canada airlines.
- By April 1957, the airport had grown to 216 departures a week, serving 7 different airlines.
- In July 1959, Seattle Airport opened its first concourse.
- In 1973, a new $28 million terminal was constructed around the original one. In addition, a second runway, a parking garage, two satellite terminals, and an underground train system were also built.
- A third runway was built in November 2008, at a cost of $1.1 billion. This runway is more than triple the length of the two older runways, and gave pilots the ability to land in low visibility.
- In 2014, Delta Air Lines announced that it would use Seattle Airport as the airline’s international hub.
- Today, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the 8th busiest airport in the United States and is growing faster than any other airport in the country.
- In 2020, the Port of Seattle plans to expand the North Satellite Terminal, adding 181,000 square feet and 8 additional gates to the Sea-Tac Airport.
Seattle Airport FAQs