Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (commonly known as Sea-Tac Airport or SEA Airport) is a major transportation hub located in SeaTac, Washington, about 14 miles (22km) south of downtown Seattle and 19 miles (29km) north of downtown Tacoma.
As the Pacific Northwest's largest airport, it serves the Seattle metropolitan region and is one of the busiest airports in the United States. Sea-Tac Airport offers a wide range of international flights to destinations around the world in North America, Europe, and Asia. It is also one of the fastest-growing airports in the U.S., with three long runways capable of handling more than 45 million passengers each year.
Top 5 Things To Know About SEA Airport
- Location: Sea-Tac Airport is located in SeaTac, Washington, which is about 14 miles (22km) south of downtown Seattle and 19 miles (29km) north of downtown Tacoma. It serves the Seattle metropolitan region and is the Pacific Northwest's largest airport.
- Airlines and Destinations: Sea-Tac Airport serves over 30 different airlines and offers flights to destinations around the world in North America, Europe, and Asia. It is a hub for Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Horizon Air, and it is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.
- Amenities: Sea-Tac Airport has a variety of food options, shops and stores, and an on-site hotel. It also has multiple parking options, including a garage and surface lot, and electric vehicle charging stations. In terms of ground transportation, the airport offers rental car services, the Link light rail, Sound Transit bus and shuttle services, taxis, ride-sharing services, and limousines.
- TSA Security Requirements: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has certain requirements for travel through Sea-Tac Airport. To expedite the security process, travelers can enroll in the TSA Precheck or CLEAR Plus programs. Sea-Tac Airport also has an International Arrivals Facility with US Customs and Border Protection and a Global Entry enrollment center. The airport participates in the Mobile Passport Control program, which allows travelers to use the Mobile Passport app to submit their passport and arrival information.
- Tips for Travelers: To ensure a smooth and stress-free experience at Sea-Tac Airport, it is recommended to arrive at least 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight to account for possible delays and TSA security wait times. Peak travel hours at the airport are between 5:30am and 11am, and 7pm to 9pm, and Thursday and Friday are typically the busiest days. It is also a good idea to review the airport map before your trip and to familiarize yourself with the terminal locations.
Maps, Airlines & Amenities
Airport Stats & Facts
- The Seattle Tacoma Airport served almost 50 million passengers in 2019, before Covid. A near-record number of travelers boarded flights during the 2021 holiday season.
- SEA is the 8th busiest United States airport, and is the 29th busiest international airport. About 10 percent of travelers use the airport for international travel.
- Seattle Airport’s parking facility is the 2nd biggest parking garage in the world.
- Recent awards for Seattle Airport include Excellence in Performance at Departure, and Best Airport Staff Service in North America
SeaTac Traveling Tips
Peak hours at airports are between 5:30am and 11am, and 7pm to 9pm. Thursdays and Fridays are peak travel days. You should arrive at SEA Airport no less than two hours before the flight.
During peak hours or holidays, the Departure upper floor is used for pick-up and the Arrival lower for drop-off.
To account for TSA security wait times and possible delays, arrive at least 2 hours prior to domestic flights and 3 hours prior to international flights.
Before you head to Seattle Airport for your flight, take a moment to review the Seattle Airport map.
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, 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.
- Blue shirts are worn by Pathfinders & Volunteers with 3/4-length sleeves and left-hand insignia. Private contractors who prepare passengers for TSA checkpoint screening wear dark trousers with white shirts. TSA officers at the screening area wear dark blue shirts and black trousers with ties.
- 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 Tacoma airport, book a Flight at SEA
Seatac 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
- In 1944, the Port of Seattle built Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Construction was paid for by $100,000 and $1 million respectively from Civil Aeronautics Administration.
- In 1947, the first scheduled flights were made by Trans-Canada and Northwest airlines.
- The airport was serving seven airlines and had 216 flights per week by April 1957
- In July 1959, Seatac Airport opened its first concourse.
- A new terminal costing $28 million was built around the old one in 1973. A second runway was built, as well as a parking lot, satellite terminals and underground trains.
- In November 2008, a third runway was constructed at $1.1 billion. The runway was more than three times longer than the older ones and allowed pilots to land at low visibility.
- Delta Air Lines, an international airline, announced in 2014 that Seattle Airport would be its new hub.
- The 8th busiest American airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, is currently growing at a faster rate than any other.
- The expansion of the North Satellite Terminal by the Port of Seattle began in 2020. It will add 181,000 square feet to the terminal and eight additional gates..
Where is Delta ticket counter?
Asked by Liz Hueu - Sun, 23 October
The Delta check-in counter is located on Level 5 in the main terminal.
Does airport test person before flying?
Asked by Trudy - Mon, 17 October
Currently, the State of Washington doesn't require a COVID-19 test for any inbound or outbound domestic flights.
Where is the British Airlines check in?
Asked by Ellen Beauchamp - Tue, 27 September
British Airlines is located in the South Concourse.
Is wheelchair assistance available from Alaska Air to bus terminal ?
Asked by Eileen - Fri, 23 September
Yes, wheelchair service is available. Please include this in your reservations when booking with Alaska Air.
What gates does Delta use?
Asked by Margaret E Grochocki - Wed, 14 September
Delta uses Concourse N gates, with check-in located at the main terminal.
Do they have a play area for children?
Asked by Wanda - Tue, 13 September
Yes, there is a play area for children located by the Delta Sky Lounge between the Central Terminal and A gates.
How busy is the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend?
Asked by Jann Hoppler - Fri, 2 September
This can be hard to predict but it is typically recommended to allow more time during holiday weekends at the airport.
Where do departures on FinnAir leave from?
Asked by Woody Powell - Mon, 22 August
FinnAir uses the South Concourse.
What security checkpoint (2, 3, or 5) is closest to Alaska Concourse C?
Asked by Donna - Fri, 19 August
Security Checkpoint 3 would be the closest.
Where is the Taxi stand at the airport?
Asked by Anne Wargo - Thu, 11 August
The taxis are located on the 3rd floor of the parking garage.
Where are Alaska Airlines gates located?
Asked by Jim - Sun, 3 July
Alaska Airlines is located at the Main Terminal, Level 5, Concourse D.
What gate does Alaska Airlines use?
Asked by Deb Courville - Sat, 25 June
Alaska Airlines is located on Level 5 of the Main Terminal and uses Gates D1 and D2.
Where is the pickup gate?
Asked by Linda J Veatch - Tue, 21 June
You will need to know which terminal you are needing to pick up from and then wait outside of the specific terminal. They do have a cellphone parking lot where you can park until your passenger lets you know they are ready to be picked up and then you can move to the pick-up at that time.
What is the best way to help an elderly passenger to get around Sea-Tac? Are there the service golf carts available to take passengers to baggage claim?
Asked by Staci Matlock - Sat, 18 June
Sea-Tac doesn't offer service golf carts but they do have an Accessibility Division that you can contact called Prospect Airport Services at (206) 246-1550. If you have a wheelchair available and need to use it from the ticketing counter to your gate, it is best to contact your airline directly to set up those arrangements before you arrive.
What is the Port of Seattle (SeaTac) Police number?
Asked by Jim Boynton - Fri, 17 June
You can contact the police at their communications center number (206) 787-5401.
Where is the Capital Hill Food Hall?
Asked by KP - Sun, 22 May
The Capital Hill Food Hall is located by Gate A6, in the A Gates area.
I need transportation from the airport to the cruise ship docks.
Asked by Donald Charles Fischer - Fri, 13 May
To drive is about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic. A rideshare would likely cost you between $35-$60, and a taxi would likely cost between $40-$60. Most cruise lines also provide transfer services, usually for between $20-$30 a person each way. You could take public transportation, but the Light Link Rail will only take you to downtown Seattle, where you would need to either catch a rideshare/cab or bus.
How do I get from A terminal to S terminal?
Asked by Mark Flukinger - Sun, 8 May
What's the address of this airport?
Asked by Claire - Sat, 7 May
Is there a luggage storage rental locker at the airport?
Asked by Rosemary Porembo - Wed, 13 April
Baggage Storage is located in the Baggage Claim area of the Main Terminal. This isn't lockers though, just a counter that will store your baggage. For more information, call Smarte Carte at (206) 433-5333.
Are there restaurants open for non travelers?
Asked by mlo - Thu, 7 April
There is a Sourced Market and a Starbucks located before security. You can find both by Ticketing near Checkpoint 3 & 4.
TSA contact info
Asked by Sali - Sun, 3 April
To speak to the TSA, you can call (855) 787-2227 or submit an online form on their website.
What is the best way to get from SeaTac to Pier 91?
Asked by Greg - Tue, 15 March
Is baggage claim for international flights in the main terminal?
Asked by Karen Ballard - Sat, 12 March
You will have to collect your bags while exiting customs. While this will be in the Main Terminal, it won't be in the "normal" baggage claim area.
Is there a train I can catch to downtown Seattle?
Asked by Gillian A Hallmen - Mon, 7 March
How far from the domestic terminal to the international terminal?
Asked by Michelle Comeau - Sat, 5 March
There is not one international Terminal at this airport. You can move freely between all Concourses since they are connected at post-security area. Both satellites, North and South gates, are linked to the main terminal by underground loop trains. So you should be able to get from a domestic to international flight easily, though you may have to go through security again.
Are there Bank of America ATMs?
Asked by Leslie K Lee - Mon, 21 February
There are no Bank of America ATMs at this airport. There are only US Bank ATMs.
Have a question about Seattle Tacoma Airport?
Seattle Tacoma Airport Q&A
Sea-Tac Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States. It served almost 50 million passengers in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, it had a near-record number of travelers during the holiday season. It is the 8th busiest airport in the U.S. and the 29th busiest international airport. Approximately 10% of travelers at Sea-Tac Airport use it for international travel.
The Sea-Tac Airport has a variety of food options, including restaurants with various cuisines and drink specials. It also has a variety of shops and stores for retail therapy. The airport has an on-site hotel for travelers needing a place to stay. There are multiple parking options available, including a garage and surface lot, and there is an online reservation system. The airport also has electric vehicle charging stations. In terms of ground transportation, the airport offers rental car services from multiple providers, as well as the Link light rail, Sound Transit bus and shuttle services, taxis, ride-sharing services, and limousines.