This from the Port of Seattle:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is preparing for record passengers during the first two weeks of April as major school districts in the Puget Sound region let out for spring break. The latest passenger projections show more than 1.7 million travelers will be flying through Sea-Tac in the two weeks beginning March 27 to April 9.
If recent history is any indicator, spring break will bring summer-like passenger totals for Sea-Tac. For the first two months of 2016, passenger traffic has been 10 percent higher than the year before. The Port of Seattle encourages travelers to prepare ahead of time and follow these tips:
Busiest days and times
- Busiest days projected for the next two weeks: Friday, April 1 (132,000 passengers); Thursday, March 31, and Sunday, April 3 (127,500); Friday, April 8 (126,000) and Monday, April 4 (125,000)
- The busiest times at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints typically are 5 to 11 a.m. Additionally, increased flights create busy checkpoints from 7 to 9 p.m.
- Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest days during the week.
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Prepare and pack right:
- Arrive early. Travelers are encouraged to arrive a minimum of two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights – give yourself time to park, check-in and get through security.
- Pack with security in mind – Help speed up the lines – keep prohibited items at home.
- Follow the 1 plus 1 rule…one carry-on and one personal item. Extra items slow down the line and need to be checked in with the airline.
- Get your boarding pass early – Print your boarding pass before you arrive. Or use check-in kiosks located throughout the airport garage or at airline check-in counters.
- Sea-Tac dedicated Pre-Check line: If you qualify, you can apply for the TSA’s PreCheck to help speed your security and check in process.
- Use mobile apps: These offer features such as electronic boarding passes, flight status updates, online check in, airline services, account information and more.
- Checked vs. carry-on baggage: Passengers with only carry-on baggage can go directly to the security checkpoint. Passengers with luggage must go to airline bag-check points. Remember if you use a lock on your luggage make sure it is a pre-approved TSA lock available at most travel stores or retailers within the airport.
- Check flight status on the Port of Seattle’s flight status page for updates online or through email alerts. Sea-Tac travelers can also find updated information on the airport’s travel tips link.
Parking, pick-up/drop off at Sea-Tac
- Park in the airport garage: Save time, stay dry and be close. No waiting for shuttles. Covered skybridges take you directly into the terminal.
- Parking coupons: The general parking coupon offers a rate of $19 a day and is valid through May 31, 2016; includes all taxes and fees.
- Pick up on the departure drive, drop-off on the arrivals drive: If traffic is congested, look for the opposite airport drive for relief. Try meeting your arriving guests one level up from baggage claim at the less-crowded departure drive. For drop-offs, reverse it. Go to the arrivals drive and travelers only have to go up one level to ticketing. Remember, the busiest times are mornings for departures and evenings for arrivals.
- Don’t get stuck in traffic: The airport’s cellphone lot is often full during busy travel periods and the main parking garage is an alternative worth considering. Park in Terminal Direct for $4 per hour. It’s a short walk to the main terminal, and is the quickest and most convenient option for meeting arriving passengers. Remember, no parking or waiting is allowed on the airport roadway shoulders.
- Mobile app: Download the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mobile Passport Control App to expedite entry into the United States and help speed you through Customs.
- Global Entry: Frequent international travelers can significantly speed up clearance through U.S. Customs and Border Protection by enrolling in Global Entry. A five-year membership is $100.
- International travelers can take advantage of numerous Automated Passport Control and Global Entry kiosks.
Visit the airport’s Passenger Services page to learn more about making your spring-break trip easier and enjoyable.