Seattle Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Seattle Airport

Seattle Airport, recognised by the IATA code of SEA and the ICAO code of KSEA, is a large North American airport serving the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, as well as all areas in western Washington. It is the primary hub for Alaska Airlines, a hub for Horizon Air, and an airport that handled approximately 32.8 million passengers in 2011. SEA is therefore rated as the sixteenth busiest airport in the nation in terms of passenger traffic. The airport is well equipped with facilities for its passengers, and has a number of excellent options for ground transportation.

The airport of Seattle and Tacoma is located to the south of Seattle and to the north of Tacoma, in the state of Washington. It is nearby to Renton and Kent, as well as the smaller areas of Tukwila, Normandy Park and Burien, and is just 1.5 miles, or 2.4km from the Interstate 5. The Interstate 5 is used as a main airport access road from both Seattle and Tacoma, as well as from areas further north and south, such as Everett and Marysville, and Lakewood and Olympia. To the west of the airport are the waters of the Puget Sound, with Vashon Island in the middle, and to the far east are the towns and cities of Ellensburg, Kennewick and Spokane. The Interstate 90 is the main road leading to Seattle airport from these areas. In the country of America, the state of Washington is south of Vancouver in the province of British Columbia (Canada), and west of the US states Montana and Idaho. Oregon is found to the south, as well as California, Nevada and Utah.

Departing passengers will have no trouble reaching Seattle Tacoma Airport, as there are many forms of private and public transportation available. Arriving passengers are also able to reach many destinations from the airport. Anyone who likes trains will be pleased to know that the airport has its own station, referred to as the SeaTac/Airport Station. From here the Link Light Rail service is available, running to Westlake Station in Downtown Seattle. The train also stops at eleven other stations along the way. The journey will take just thirty to forty minutes, and will cost only a couple dollars for a one-way ticket. Public buses, also operated by King County Metro, are available, as well as many private shuttles. If a taxi is preferred, there are plenty of those as well, available from outside of the baggage claim areas. A set charge of $32.00 is available for travel to Seattle airport from the Downtown Seattle Hotel District.

The airport is also well equipped with parking areas for passengers arriving in their own vehicles. There is a main parking garage with spaces for short-term and long-term parking, an Overheight car park and a Cell Phone car park.

Seattle Tacoma International Airport is served by a large number of airline carriers, of which Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air handle the majority of passengers. Their destinations include cities throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and therefore the airport is considered as an important international gateway, even though the majority of its passengers fly on domestic flights. The main airline companies with domestic flights include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America, and their top destinations are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

Passengers flying to or from international destinations could use the airline companies of Air France, Condor, Lufthansa, EVA Air, Air Canada Jazz, Horizon Air, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Airtran Airways and United Airlines. Their most popular destinations include Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria in Canada, Tokyo in Japan, Seoul in South Korea, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, London in the United Kingdom, Taipei in Taiwan, Frankfurt in Germany and Paris in France. International passengers will arrive at the South Terminal of the airport, which is one of the satellite terminals. This area has currently reached its full capacity, and the airport is therefore looking at plans for its expansion. In the near future, an additional ten immigration inspection booths and another two baggage claims could be built. A skybridge or tunnel may connect the South Terminal to the main terminal at Concourse A as well. Currently, passengers reach the South Terminal by way of the automated people mover train of the airport.

Today, Seattle Airport consists of a Central Terminal and four concourses, as well as the South Terminal, as mentioned above, and a North Terminal, which is the other satellite terminal, also connected by the airport train. The concourses are referred to as A, B, C and D, and are nearby to the Central Terminal. The airport started out in 1944 with a single terminal, and was opened to serve civilians of the region since that the Boeing Field was then controlled by the U.S. military. The airport first offered a few domestic services, and then began international services in the 1950’s, with flights by Northwest Airlines to Tokyo, Japan. Many improvements to the airport’s facilities were also made in the 1950’s and 1960’s, including two runway expansions and the four concourses, then known as the North and South Concourses, Concourse B and Concourse C. The old terminal of the airport was replaced by a huge construction that quadrupled the public use area in 1973. Around this time the airport also acquired its satellite terminals and underground train system. In the 1980’s the main terminal was renovated, adding a further 150 feet to the north end, and in the following years, many of the concourses were also expanded. A new runway opened in 2008 as well, although it was initially opposed by residents and various organisations of the nearby areas.

SEA today has three runways, and handled approximately 314,000 aircraft movements in 2011. It is also an important airport for cargo movements, with approximately 279,000 metric tons in the latest year. The airport is closely linked to the diverse seaport of Seattle as well, which is home to a wide variety of maritime activities. Seattle Airport facilities include several VIP lounges operated by Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air and United Airlines, and a large conference centre with several rooms for hire. In the terminals there are plenty of shops and restaurants, a new US Bank, US Bank ATMs, a mother’s room, a children’s play area and lost and found services.

Further information about Seattle Airport is available from the information booths or from the airport volunteers. Passengers can also contact the airport at (206) 787-5388 or (800) 544-1965.