Seattle Tacoma International Airport is found between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, and is a large North American Airport handling in excess of 30 million passengers every year. It is also a hub for a few airline companies, and an important international gateway for the country. It can also be referred to as the Sea-Tac Airport, due to its location in the area of SeaTac, and it has been allocated the official airport code of SEA. Passengers on Seattle Tacoma International Airport departure flights will find all the facilities they require within the terminal buildings. Passengers also have a wide choice of airline companies and destinations.
The airport of Seattle and Tacoma can be reached by private transport, public buses, private shuttles, taxi or train. Passengers driving to the airport will use the Interstate 5 from Seattle or Tacoma, and then the State Road 518 for access to the airport roads, which include Highway 99, or the International Boulevard. The State Roads 509 and 599 are also considered as main access roads from the north or south, while the Interstate 405 is a road used from the east. From areas further east, the Interstate 90 leads to Seattle. The airport is located in the state of Washington, which is to the south of Vancouver, Canada, and is nearby to Renton and Kent. It is also south-west of Lake Washington and north of Angle Lake, a smaller body of water. Alongside the airport on its western side is the Puget Sound and Vashon Island. Departing passengers can park their vehicles in the airport parking garage. The fourth floor is mainly used for short-term stays, while the third, fifth and eighth floors are less expensive for longer-term stays. There is also an overheight vehicle parking area, and spaces on the fourth and fifth floors for handicapped travellers.
Passengers on departure flights can also travel to the airport by taxi, from any area, and by the public buses operated by King County Metro. Many private shuttles serve the airport from all areas as well, such as the Airporter Shuttle, Capital Aeroporter, the Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter, Downtown Airporter, the Island Airporter, Olympic Bus Lines, Shuttle Express, Quick Shuttle and the Vashon Shuttle. The trains that run to the airport are perhaps the most convenient and cost efficient way to travel. They leave from the Westlake Station in downtown Seattle, and arrive at the airport approximately thirty to forty minutes later. The trains are frequently available, and can be taken from one of eleven stations between the airport and the city. They are also operated by the King County Metro.
Seattle Tacoma International Airport is the primary hub for Alaska Airlines, and a hub for Horizon Air, a regional subsidiary of Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines carriers 35.7% of the airport’s total passengers, while Horizon Air carriers 14.1%. In 2011, the airport recorded 32.8 million passengers, which was a significant 4.01% increase from 2010. The airport is currently ranked as the sixteenth busiest in the United States, and as the 25th busiest for aircraft movements, which is recorded at around 310,000 every year. The busiest domestic routes served from Seattle Tacoma Airport are to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis and Atlanta. The Airline carriers with departures to these destinations are Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways, AirTran and Sun Country Airlines.
International departures are handled by the airline companies of Air France, Lufthansa, Condor, EVA Air, Air Canada Jazz, Horizon Air, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Korean Air, Sun Country Airlines, Emirates, Asiana Airlines, Air Mobility Command (AMC) and AirTran Airways. 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.
Seattle Tacoma Airport consists of a Central Terminal building, four concourses and two satellite terminals. The concourses are referred to by the letters A, B, C and D, and the satellite terminals are known as the North and South Terminals. Most areas of the airport are used for domestic arrivals and departures, but the South Terminal handles international passengers. The concourses are all connected, and within walking distance of the Central Terminal, but the automated people mover train of the airport will be taken to reach the gates found in the satellite terminals. It is a train on the secure side of the airport. Concourse A has 14 gates, Concourse B has 13 gates, Concourse C has 10 gates, Concourse D has 11 gates, the North Terminal has 14 gates and the South Terminal has 13 gates. There are four main checkpoints at SEA, and a fifth that can be opened if needed during peak periods.
Passengers should arrive at least two to three hours before their departure flight, leaving plenty of time to browse airport shops, stop at one of the many restaurants and to check-in and pass security. Certain airline companies offer online check-in facilities, while seven of the airport’s carriers allow passengers to check-in and print their boarding passes at the self-service kiosks on the 4th floor of the parking garage. Conventional check-in counters are available as well. Ensure that you know which items may be packed in carry-on luggage and the regulations surrounding liquids carried in hand luggage. Passengers may also like to clarify the weight of baggage allowed with their airline company.
The airport is well equipped with various useful facilities for arriving and departing passengers. Parents will find a modern and comfortable Mother’s Room and kid’s play area at the beginning of Concourse A, and business travellers can find a quiet zone at Gate B4. There is also a very smart conference centre at the airport. Further facilities include a full-service US Bank, lost and found offices, baggage storage services, a massage bar, US Bank ATMs, currency exchange services, internet phones, free wireless internet and shoeshine services. The airport lounges include an Alaska Airlines Board Room, a British Airways First Lounge, a British Airways Terrace, a Delta Sky Club, the Korean Air Lounge and two United Clubs. The airport is fully accessible to disabled passengers, and assistance can be arranged with either the company of Huntleigh or with the airline company concerned.
Further details regarding Seattle Tacoma International Airport departures can be obtained online, or by contacting the airport at (206) 787-5388 or (800) 544-1965.
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