If you’re flying out of Seattle Tacoma International Airport this holiday week, you’ll want to have a plan when it comes to parking and getting through security.
Pre-booked garage parking at the airport is sold out for Thanksgiving. But it’s only a small percentage of the parking available.
The airport recommends adding an extra 45 to 60 minutes if you’re going to look for a spot in the garage. Lights in the ceiling indicate where a spot is still available.
Police are reminding travelers not to leave anything out in their cars that might tempt a car prowler and airport officials recommend taking a rideshare or public transit.
Lyft is promising riders that it will get them to the airport on time if they schedule a ride in advance. The company says if the driver is more than 10 minutes late, the rider will get $20 toward their next ride.
Getting through security is another challenge.
“Last year, right around the holidays, I got here like an hour and a half early, borderline two hours, and the line took so long, it went right up to the past hour boarding time, and I ended up missing that flight,” traveler Jeremy Weiss said as he waited at the airport with his dog, Koda. “So that was unfortunate -- I had to wait 12 hours to get on another flight, but that’s why I come early now.”
Wednesday is expected to be the busiest day, with 178,000 estimated travelers moving through the airport, followed closely by Sunday
Sunday is expected to be the busiest day, with 158,000 passengers moving through the airport, followed closely by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at 156,000 passengers.
Airport officials are also urging people to get to the airport early due to a lot of construction happening inside.
They also recommend using the flySEA app. Under “Security Screening” and “Security Wait Times,” you can see the wait times at each checkpoint.
The app also links you to SEA Spot Saver, a free service that saves you a place in the security line for a specific time.
As of Monday afternoon, there were still some slots available for the day before Thanksgiving. Travelers can book up to five days before their flight.
It’s a good option if a traveler doesn’t have TSA Pre-Check; it does not work for the Pre-Check lines.
According to the airport, more than one-third of the airport’s daily passenger volume arrives before 9 a.m., causing busy security checkpoints and traffic. Two other peak periods are from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and 9:00 to 11:00 p.m.
The airport is also warning people not to park on the shoulder of the airport drives, adding that Port of Seattle Police will be working with Washington State Patrol on emphasis patrols during the holidays.
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