Sea-Tac expects record-breaking holiday weekend

The Port of Seattle is gearing up for a record number of Thanksgiving travelers by enhancing amenities for travelers throughout the airport. Nearly 800,000 travelers are expected to go through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday week. Those travelers will be greeted by additional staff, comfier airport seating and refreshed restrooms among many other improvements.

The busiest days for the November holiday season will be: Sunday, Nov. 27 (140,227 passengers), Monday, Nov. 28 (135,665), and Wednesday, Nov. 23 (134,877).

Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24 is the least traveled of the week (81,522).

In six years, Sea-Tac’s passenger totals increased by nearly 15 million – 31.5 million in 2010 – compared to 2016’s projected total of nearly 46 million.


Thanksgiving comfort enhancements at Sea-Tac

  • New seating with built-in power and USB outlets, including work stations near gate areas.
  • More frequent restroom cleaning.
  • Upgraded LED lights that are twice as bright while using half the energy.
  • Digital display of arrival time for North Satellite train.
  • Additional  customer service “Pathfinders” working more hours of the day.
  • Volunteers to help travelers along with an additional team of college interns.
  • More traffic control staff to keep driveways moving.
  • TSA security line improvements
  • Optimized line configurations to improve traffic flow.
  • Digital displays of line wait times.
  • Water bottle dumping stations at checkpoints to remind travelers full bottles not allowed in carry-ons.

Tips for busy times

Consider taking public transit options like Link Light Rail, King County Metro Transit or Sound Transit. This is also a great idea to pick up incoming visitors at a location away from the airport.

During peak periods, arrange pick-ups and drop-offs at the opposite location. Arrange pick-ups at the departure level (upper) in the evening. For drop-offs, go to the arrivals (lower) drive in the morning when that area is less busy. The busiest times are mornings for the departure level and evenings for arrivals.

Travelers are recommended to arrive two hours prior to domestic flights and three hours for international travel to allow time to park, get through airline ticketing/bag drop and security checkpoints.

– Port of Seattle