Summer Travel Season Traffic & Tips
The busiest travel season of the year is about to kick off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer travel season for many, however, the busiest days at Sea-Tac will begin the second week in June and continue all the way through August. Summer is the busiest time of the year (no, not the end-of-year holidays) when Sea-Tac will average about 100,000 passengers (inbound and outbound) per day. With that in mind, this is a good time to see what’s new; review travel tips; and check out the latest passenger traffic information, special offers, and links for additional information.
Traffic Numbers at Sea-Tac Airport
- From June through August, each day will average about 100,000 travelers through the airport. This coincides each year to the end of the school year and summer vacation. An average day for the year will be over 89,000 passengers.
- The two busiest days for Memorial Day weekend will be Thursday and Friday, May 25 & 26, with an estimated 95,000 passengers.
- The busiest days during the summer are forecasted to be August 12 & 13 with over 105,000 passengers per day. This is when travelers typically get their final vacation in before the start of school in September.
- The latest airport statistics in April show passenger traffic up 3.3% in that month, including a 6.6% increase for international passengers and 2.9% for domestic passengers.
- Through April 2012, airport passenger traffic is up 2.8% including 5% for international and 2.6% for domestic.
Traffic numbers for 2011
- A record number of passengers (32.8 million) went through Sea-Tac in 2011, and projections call for a 1.5% increase in 2012.
- Overall in 2011, each of the summer months (June, July and August) were the busiest ever for those months in Sea-Tac history. Seven months during the year were the busiest ever for those months.
- Read more statistical information on Sea-Tac passenger traffic.
- Waiting to pick-up passengers? Take advantage of the cell phone parking lot and the new QR code that you can scan for the most recent flight arrival information.
- Pathfinders throughout the terminal use iPads to help travelers with quick information.
- For users of electronics, take advantage of more than 250 new power plug-ins attached to seats at gate areas throughout the south satellite and concourses A, B, & C. More are coming and you can use it to check out our free WiFi!
- Find out about new concessions options, TSA security updates and even the new rental car facility at Sea-Tac Traveler Updates.
Save as much as $8/Day with Discount Airport Parking
Travelers can save as much as $8 per day for the Memorial Day Weekend period May 23-30. Choose ParkSmart and park for only $20 a day (regularly $28) in the General Parking section (Floors 3 and 5-8) of the Sea-Tac Airport garage. There are no added charges or fees when you exit, and no shuttle to slow you down. Download a coupon from the airport website.Check for additional parking promotions throughout the year.
Earn Airline Miles When You Park, Dine or Shop
Sea-Tac Airport partners with the Thanks Again loyalty program to offer airline miles when you park in the airport’s ParkSmart garage or make a purchase at any of our airport merchants. Enrollment is free so register today and earn airline miles for purchases you already make at the airport!
Summer Travel Tips
- Do Some Advance Planning – Confirm your travel details and make sure the name on your boarding pass and your government-issued ID match.
- Pack with Security in Mind – Know what is and isn’t allowed in carry-ons and checked luggage by checking the TSA website. Also see if you qualify for the new TSA PreCheck program.
- Get your Boarding Pass Early – Print it online before you arrive or use convenient check-in kiosks in the airport garage or at airline check-in counters. Passengers with only carry-on baggage can go directly to the security checkpoint. Passengers with luggage can go to airline bag-check points.
- Check the status of your flight online or via email notification – Check our flight status page for updates online or through email alerts.
- Arrive at least two hours before your flight – give yourself time to get through security.
- Park in the Airport Garage – Save time, stay dry and be close. No shuttles, covered skybridges and you are right next to the terminal.
Traveling Internationally? Sign-up for Global Entry
Frequent international travelers can significantly speed up their clearance process through U.S. Customs and Border Protection by enrolling in Global Entry, an expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. A five-year membership is only $100. Visit the global entry website for more information.
Find more information on these and other travel tips for those heading to the airport or picking up passengers on ourwebsite.
Airport Media Guide
News media, are you looking for answers to questions for your article or news story? Check the Sea-Tac Airport Media Guide. You can find fast facts about the airport, the latest statistics on passengers and operations, even a link to airport history. There also is a list of who to call based on the question or incident.