Sea-Tac Airport Offers Tips and Highlights for Holiday Travelers
Published on : Thursday, December 17, 2015
Pack your patience, plan ahead and enjoy yourself for holiday travel through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Over 1.5 million travelers will make their way through Sea-Tac during the two weeks including Christmas and New Year’s this year. With passenger growth continuing on a pace of 13 percent over the previous year, the amount of travelers during the winter season will be higher than ever before. Below we offer the latest numbers for the busiest days, tips and tricks for getting through parking and the terminal, plus opportunities to enjoy the season with some holiday cheer.
Holiday Traffic Numbers
The busiest days for the December holiday season [Dec. 15 – Jan. 5]:
- Wednesday, Dec. 23rd (137,500 passengers per day), Friday, Dec. 18 (132,500), Tuesday, Dec. 22 (130,000), Thursday, Dec. 17 (125,000), and Monday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 26th (122,500).
The lowest traffic numbers will be New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31st (97,500) and Christmas Day, Dec. 25th (107,000).
Additional Sea-Tac Airport Traffic Notes:
- Arrive Early! Travelers are encouraged to arrive a minimum of 2 hours before domestic and 3 hours prior to international flights to ensure you have time to park, access the terminal, manage the ticketing process and get through security checkpoints.
- The busiest times at the security checkpoints will be between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- For 2015, through November, passenger traffic is up 13.2 percent over 2014, including a 15.1 percent rise for international traffic. That trend will result in a fifth straight record year at Sea-Tac with a projected total over 42 million!
- For further context, an average summer day (June-August) this year saw over 140,000 passengers — the peak air travel time for Sea-Tac. Passenger traffic exceeded four million in one month for the first time ever in June. That record was broken in July and again in August. Traditionally, August is the busiest month of the year followed by July, June and May (December is 5th, November 10th).
- This is not the busiest time of the year at Sea-Tac, but it can feel like it when you’re here. Why? We don’t have as many overall passengers but we do have a lot of inexperienced travelers who may only fly once or twice a year – inexperience can back up checkpoint lines. Plus, picking up relatives for the holidays means more traffic on the airport drives.
Holiday Entertainment and Photo Opportunities, December 16 – 24
Enjoy live holiday performance art, parades, carols, puppetry, music, souvenir giveaways and more throughout the terminal! This annual Holiday Entertainment Program, sponsored by the Merchants of Sea-Tac Airport, brings in local and world-renowned performers from Dec. 16 – 24 during peak passenger traffic hours of 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. For social media lovers, take your photo as Sasquatch, a Seahawks fan and other Seattle-themed characters in fun face cut-outs.
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