Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is one of my favorite airports of all time. There’s a SubPop records store and a Beecher’s cheese shop. Those are two very random things that can make me happy, in one airport! That being said, just because it’s a personal favorite, doesn’t mean it rates highly in terms of convenience. Not everyone is looking for that old Death Cab for Cutie vinyl to take with them.
It is located about 15 miles from Downtown Seattle, so prepare for any traffic accordingly. Because it is a gateway for air and cruise ship travel to Alaska and Canada, on any given day there could be hordes of tourists everywhere. There are 80 gates, a central terminal with two satellite terminals (regional and international arrivals). Concourse A has Air Canada, JetBlue, Delta, and United. B has Southwest, Virgin and more Delta. C is Alaska (it’s hub is here, and includes a new lounge) and D are Alaska and American. The South Satellite is for international carriers. There can be a lot of walking between terminals and their tram isn’t the most convenient.
Now the fun stuff, if you’re landing in the daytime, you’ll descend over a hazy gray landscape dotted with the islands of the Puget Sound or you’ll see Mt. Ranier. It’s really pretty. There’s a couple of seafood restaurants in this airport, which might seem like a bad idea during travel, but they’re not terrible. Of course, you’re in Seattle, so there’s Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and a random California shoutout to Coffee Bean. In fact, if you’re entering security in the central terminal, you will be greeted by Starbucks.
Something that could be annoying: there’s 12th man stuff everywhere, literally I think every being who lives in Seattle is required to own a jersey or some sort of Seahawks gear and they must wear it to the airport.
Remember: ✈️ = black hole sun ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = nirvana
Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️ (there’s an underground tram that connects the concourses, but it’s somewhat inconvenient to get to. It’s a very long walk between concourses, I’ve done it many times in the name of mac and cheese)
Convenience of security lines: ✈️✈️✈️ (can be a wait, especially if only one security area is open [they do a weird rolling system of opening security lines depending on the traffic]. However, there can be one separate line just for TSA Precheck which is ✈️✈️✈️✈️).
Dining: ✈️✈️✈️ (Ivar’s, Anthony’s, Beecher’s–concourse C such creamy mac and cheese goodness, there’s also locations in Pike’s Place and NYC), along with the usual fast food, coffee options)
Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi, charging stations under the seat everywhere)
Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (shopping is random, but interesting i.e. SubPop store, Alaska lounge, live music. The amenities celebrate the city itself which I appreciate.)
Rental car facility: ✈️✈️✈️ (super easy to use, the buses come pretty frequently)