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Parking at Seattle-Tacoma
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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has a single on-site parking garage with 13,000 spaces; North America's largest parking structure under one roof. The garage is fully equipped for complimentary electric vehicle charging and offers parking spaces through a range of packages.
‘Terminal Direct’ is a premium parking service at SeaTac, reserving the entire fourth floor of the garage for short- and long-term parking under the package. The fourth floor connects directly into the main terminal building, guaranteeing passengers the shortest possible route from car to airplane.
Electric vehicle charging spaces, of which there are 12 in total, are available on the fourth floor for Terminal Direct customers.
Covering both short-term and long-term parking options, general parking utilizes all other floors of the main parking garage. Immediately next to the terminal, all spaces are convenient and prices are tiered by hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rates.
Extended stays of more than 30 days do have to be specially arranged with SeaTac Airport so they know in advance that your car will be parked there for longer than a month.
Electric vehicle charging spaces (36) are found on the fifth floor and the rates are the same as for the rest of general parking.
Motorcycles can park in the same main garage with the same choice of general or Terminal Direct parking.
Vehicles taller than 6.8 feet (2.07 meters) have to go to a separate lot accessed by entering the airport from South 182nd St off of Highway 99. Once on the airport property, stay to the left-hand lane and follow the signs to the lot, which is within walking distance of the terminal.
A 200-space cell phone lot with free WiFi allows free parking for up to 20 minutes to allow you to wait for the call to go to the pick-up area outside arrivals. The lot is just a few seconds’ walk from the main terminal area.
In addition to the main parking garage, there are also numerous off-site lots providing ‘park and ride’ services. Mostly just a few minutes from SeaTac Airport, these lots offer short- and long-term parking and a free shuttle bus service to and from the terminals.
Most of these lots can also be used with a valet service; you drive to the terminal where a valet will take your vehicle, park it off-site and have it waiting for you at arrivals when you get back to remove all hassle.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), better known to locals as SeaTac, is the primary airport for the Seattle Metropolitan area. Over 45 million passengers travel through it every year, making it the busiest airport in the Pacific Northwest and one of the 15 busiest in the USA.
Flying routes to Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, the schedules are dominated by Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Horizon Air. These three carriers share almost 65 per cent of the passengers at SEA and all operate hubs at the airport; it is, in fact, Alaska Airlines' main hub.
SeaTac is an in-demand airport that has gained 10 million annual passengers for three consecutive years. With three parallel runways and the largest parking structure in North America, the airport's growth is only limited by its single-terminal building. An extensive program of terminal modernization and facilities expansion is planned to ensure SEA can continue to thrive.
Located 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) south of Downtown Seattle, almost halfway to Tacoma, Seattle Airport is close to the I-5 that connects all the major cities along the West Coast. The Link light rail service is a line running from the University of Washington through the center of Seattle and then to various stops heading south to SeaTac Airport.
Direct bus services offered by King County Metro Transit connect from Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, Southcenter and Des Moines, whilst Sound Transit connects to the airport from Bellevue, Beaux Arts Village, Inglesea and Tacoma.
The airport serves passengers from across Washington State, with most coming from the immediate Metropolitan area and cities including Tacoma, Lakewood, Olympia, Redmond, Everett, Ellensburg and Yakima.
As Boeing Field was marked for military use in 1944, the future was changed for Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Flights began in 1947 with early carriers at the airport including Northwest, Trans-Canada, Western, United and Pan Am.
Works were undertaken to lengthen the runways and add a terminal concourse by the late 1950s in time for jet flights, including the first non-stop route to Europe on Scandinavian Airlines in 1966. Concourses continued to be added throughout the 1960s alongside an additional runway and airport parking garages.
Passenger numbers steadily climbed, passing 10 million a year as more redevelopment took place after airline deregulation in the late 1970s. They continued to climb by around 10 million every decade alongside constant terminal and concourse renovations that added restaurants, walkways and airport parking to keep up with the demand.
The Great Recession slowed growth in the early 2000s, but annual passenger numbers have increased by millions for three consecutive years. This incredible pace looks set to continue; Delta has announced plans to make SeaTac a Trans-Pacific hub for flights to Asia and a major redevelopment and expansion program has begun in the terminal buildings.
Passenger experience at SeaTac International varies greatly depending on the terminal or satellite terminal through which you travel. The North Satellite is overdue for modernization and about to go through a major redevelopment, so currently has relatively limited facilities. You can find a detailed listing of all current concessions on the Official Seattle-Tacoma Airport shopping website.
Across the whole airport, you can find a good selection of airport restaurants, essential shopping and general amenities and services. SEA has a large team of Airport Volunteers and Pathfinders to help you find your way around the airport; you can spot them by their recognizable teal and royal blue blazers.
SeaTac Airport provides extensive support for persons with disabilities and special needs including wheelchairs, restrooms, service dog facilities and areas of rescue assistance. If you have any special requirements, you can make inquiries in advance by calling (+1) 206-787-5388.
SeaTac Airport hotel and parking
Hotel and parking packages are a popular airport parking deal in the Seattle-Tacoma region, provided by a wide number of independent and branded hotels within in a 10-mile (16.1-kilometer) radius of SeaTac International.
Packages vary from hotel to hotel, but generally offer around a week of free parking in the hotel lot, as long as you spend at least one night at the hotel. Most of the hotels provide a free shuttle service to and from your terminal at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and some offer free parking for up to 30 days, which is certainly the most cost-effective option.
Hotels including Best Western, Comfort Inn, Motel 6, Ramada and Travelodge offer packages, with room prices ranging from budget to mid-range. You need to book a room and space in advance, but, if your travel plans change, most hotels allow free cancelations.
Seattle is famed for a vibrant music scene that has nurtured artists like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, Foo Fighters and Soundgarden. The SeaTac Airport music program provides the current scene’s emerging artists a huge platform to entertain travelers from all over the world at the terminal building.
Live performances are staged all week, regional music is played on the public-address system, short documentaries play on terminal monitors, web radio stations are available on the airport WiFi network and there are even music-themed art exhibits. The best place to experience the music scene is in the city itself, but you can get a fantastic taste of its diversity while you wait for your flight.
Seattle-Tacoma International has some incredible flavors spread around its terminal buildings. Dish D-Lish offers the best kind of fast food: hot and hearty sandwiches and other grab-and-go food packed with healthy options and salads. Ivar's Fish Bar serves up fresh seafood staples and is famous in Seattle for the smoked salmon and clam chowder dishes. Finally, Pallino turns out delicious flame-baked pizza in about 10 minutes while you wait.
The airport's art program features a diverse range of over 100 contemporary pieces by both renowned and emerging local artists. Sculpture, photography, painting, sound and glass pieces are all represented including numerous large-scale works.
Conveniently, Seattle-Tacoma Airport also offers a downloadable audio tour available free from the Apple App Store or Google Play; you can find links on the SeaTac Art Program Website. Taking the tour is a great way to pass some time at the airport and stretch your legs.
The award-winning Massage Bar has two concession spaces in the airport, including its 1,300-square foot (120.8-square meter) flagship store on Concourse C. Creators of the airport massage concept, the bar offers 15- and 30-minute chair massages of your neck, back, shoulders, arms and hands.
Foot massage and heat therapy are also available and everything is oil-free so you can easily fit in a massage and remove the stress of airports, even if you don't have much time.
It can be tough traveling with young children, especially if you're unlucky enough to experience delays. The Seattle-Tacoma Airport Playroom is a great space for children to have some fun and tire themselves out before you board the plane. The Playroom also includes a Mothers' Room; a private space with rocking chairs for nursing babies, in addition to the nursing suites located in other parts of the Central Terminal.
Seattle enjoys a lot of green spaces and great parks, but Chihuly Garden is something truly unique and unmissable. An expansive exhibit of Dale Chihuly's studio glass, there are indoor and outdoor pieces, some of which are 100 feet (30.5 meters) long.
It is striking most of the time, but visiting after sunset is highly recommended, as many of the sculptures are lit from the inside with vivid colors that illuminate the whole garden. The spectacle of the glass exhibits is supported by a café, theater and retail spaces, making it a great way to while away your spare hours only 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Sat nav instructions: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, 98109
Just eight miles (12.9 kilometers) from SeaTac Airport, the Museum of Flight is a great visit for any age group. The museum covers the evolution of flight, aircraft and spacecraft with extensive walk-through exhibits of the vehicles themselves, flight simulators and immersive displays.
Exhibits include a Concorde, a 747 jet, military drones, a Lockheed Blackbird cockpit, World War I fighter planes and an Aerocar. Including an entire building documenting early flight, extensive library archives and a cafeteria, the museum is an engrossing visit and an absolute must for aviation enthusiasts.
Sat nav instructions: 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, 98108
Close to the center of Seattle, about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, you can find the iconic Space Needle that dominates the cityscape. Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, it includes an observation deck that’s 520 feet (158.5 meters) from the ground, with a rotating restaurant just below it.
The views take in the Seattle skyline, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands and the mountain ranges of the vast Olympic and Cascade national parks found either side of the city.
Sat nav instructions: 400 Broad St, Seattle, 98109
A really striking piece of contemporary architecture, the Seattle Central Library is found in an angular glass building full of bright, open spaces and a vast, spiraling archive of over one million books and other materials.
Free tours are available if you want a guide, but it's a wonderful building to walk around by yourself and take in the incredible architecture and hidden reading spaces, as well as the extensive collection of books. With a cafeteria, WiFi and some good views out on the local neighborhood, the library is an ideal calm oasis in the city to spend some quiet time, just 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from SeaTac Airport.
Sat nav instructions: 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, 98104
Seattle’s music scene spawned grunge bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, so it’s no surprise that indie and rock music continues to thrive there. Recent years have also seen world music influences creep in and inspire some more experimental sounds in many other genres, such as hip hop.
Live music venues are dotted across the city, most notably in The Showbox in Pike Place Market.
Just 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) from SeaTac Airport, key venues there and in surrounding areas include the Triple Door, Moore, Paramount, Highway 99 Blues Club, Musiquarium Lounge, The Crocodile, Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Tula's and the Rendezvous/Jewel Box Theater.
Sat nav instructions: The Showbox, 1426 1st Ave, Seattle, 98101
Home to Major League Baseball’s (MLB's) Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field is a modern, retractable-roofed baseball park about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Combining the best of retro and modern features, Safeco mixes an asymmetrical grass field and great sightlines with luxury suites and an excellent range of food and drink.
An unbeatable atmosphere and the retractable, umbrella-like roof, which keeps “open-air” games going even in the pouring Seattle rain, combine to make this a memorable day out. If there isn't a game on when you’re there, the guided tour is in-depth and superb.
Sat nav instructions: 1250 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134
Focused on art-forms and artists from around the north west region, Tacoma Art Museum has a collection of over 3,000 pieces, including work from Dale Chihuly, Degas, Henri, Hopper, Renoir and Sargent.
The museum is about 24 miles (38.6 kilometers) from Seattle-Tacoma Airport and has a reputation for putting together superb special exhibits with a diverse range of subjects from Smithsonian portraiture to contemporary gay art. A modest art museum in terms of size, TAM is a couple of hours’ worth of stunning art in a beautiful modern building.
Sat nav instructions: 1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
Sat overlooking Elliott Bay, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest farmers' markets in the country and one of Seattle's most popular attractions. Famous for fresh produce and delicious seafood, the market includes plenty of other vendors on a number of levels; antique dealers, craftspeople, collectibles shops and restaurants amongst them.
Pike Place Market is a joy to explore and sample the food or chill out with a coffee and people-watch. The market is about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) from SeaTac International Airport.
Sat nav instructions: 1531 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Washington State Ferries run to and from a multitude of destinations up and down the coast, including the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry route, which takes about 30 minutes each way. Caught from the Seattle Waterfront close to Downtown Seattle, about 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) from SeaTac Airport, the ferry offers some stunning views of the coastline and the Seattle skyline on the short trip across Elliott Bay.
As popular with local residents for a day trip as it is with tourists, there are some great walks to be had and food to be eaten in Bainbridge.
Sat nav instructions: 801 Alaskan Way, Pier 52, Seattle, WA 98104
Technically, SeaTac International Airport has only one terminal, but it divides into several concourses (A, B, C and D) and two satellite terminals; North (NST) and South (SST). The satellite terminals are reached via a free shuttle train service running between all the terminal buildings.
The major and economy North American carriers are found on the concourses, whilst international carriers operate from the satellite terminals. Spirit and Sun Country Airlines fly in and out of most of the locations, so make sure you check your tickets to find out where you need to go.
If you do need help with anything whilst at the airport, look out for the volunteers and Pathfinders in teal or royal blue blazers. If you have any inquiries you need to make in advance, contact customer services at the airport on (+1) 206-787-5388.
|Alaska Airlines||CC / CD|
|All Nippon Airways||SST|
|Sun Country Airlines||ALL|
The airport is well located for finding quickly by road, whichever direction you come from; set your satellite navigation to ZIP code 98158. The I-5 West Coast Interstate runs from Vancouver and Canada north of the airport to Portland and south of the airport.
Look out for intersection 154 with Washington State Route 518 and exit west to the airport, which is only about one mile (1.6 kilometers) along the road.
Coming from the east, the I-90 connects from Boise and Spokane to the center of Seattle, where it connects with the I-5 about 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) north of SeaTac Airport.
If traveling by road without your own car, taxis (E-cab), limos (STILA), shared ride shuttles (click for the SeaTac Airport list of shared ride shuttle providers) and private-driver services including Uber, Lyft and Wingz, are all welcome to drop off at the airport terminals. The airport also has a rental car center hosting most of the major providers such as Alamo, Avis, Enterprise and Hertz.
Two bus services have stops at the airport; Sound Transit buses stop outside the Central Terminal building and have two routes passing the airport and connecting with Tacoma and other locations south of the airport. King County Metro buses have a stop located next to the Link light rail station, with numerous lines running through it and an extensive network of stops throughout Seattle and the area north of the airport.
Link light rail is one of the most convenient public transport options, since the station is immediately outside the Central Terminal area. You can quickly reach Seattle-Tacoma Airport from a number of locations in Seattle itself.
The route crisscrosses the mainline regional and national rail lines at various points if you need to transfer from or to another train service.
Services like Global Entry and TSA Pre-check are often the fastest route through security and immigration checkpoints at SeaTac. It's also worth considering that all five security checkpoints provide access to all of the secure, airside, gates, so if the checkpoint closest to your gate has long lines, you can just go through one of others and still get to your departure point after security.
Many of the airline lounges at the airport offer a day membership, providing you with access to benefits like a quiet lounge, complimentary drinks and snacks, fast WiFi, business services and even showers at the Delta Sky Club.
SeaTac is notable for having a lounge designated for all travelers and not just airline-specific ones. The Club at SEA is cheaper than the airline lounges with discounts available for booking a day membership online in advance.
Almost every major international airport has an art program, but the scale of the pieces at SeaTac and the inclusion of a huge amount of music-based entertainment make this one fly above the rest. The program is so good that it contributed to airport being awarded the Best Arrivals Experience by the Future Travel Experience Awards, so be sure to check it out on your way through SEA.
Free WiFi is provided in all terminals and other public areas of the airport. Check the wireless networks on your device for “SEATAC-FREE-WIFI”. The service is partly ad-supported, but includes some useful features like identifying where you are in the airport and providing information about nearby amenities.
The airport is open 24 hours, though there is minimal activity overnight. A few food and drink concessions stay open, but most of these are found beyond security, so it can be best to stay airside if you plan to stay the night.
There are numerous hotels located nearby and many of them provide free on-demand shuttle buses, which is an ideal option if you have an early-morning departure or late-night arrival.
SeaTac Airport is based in Seattle just south of the city center in the suburb of SeaTac (which is approximately halfway between Seattle and Tacoma). The entire Seattle metropolitan area is in the far north west corner of the USA, close to Vancouver and the Canadian border, in the state of Washington. The airport is in the 17801 ZIP code area, close to the West Coast I-5 road.
Uber, Lyft and Wingz are all welcome at SeaTac as part of a one-year pilot program to try and integrate the services into the ground transportation range. Specific pick-up and drop-off areas have been allocated on the third floor of the main parking garage, which are labeled TNC/Rideshare. If you're getting dropped off by one of these providers, they can use the usual public drop-off points immediately outside the departures level of the main terminal.
Smoking is forbidden in the airport interior, which includes e-cigarettes. Two designated smoking areas can be found pre-security outside the central terminal entrances.
Yes, there is a USO lounge at SeaTac for use by military members and their families.
Complimentary hot food and snacks, big screen TVs, a bunk room, theater lounge, showers, WiFi and family room are all included. USO volunteers are also on hand to help you with any questions or finding your way around Seattle-Tacoma Airport.
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