The first time you find yourself in an airport as busy as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the one thing you notice is how noisy and intimidating the place can be. Never heard of that airport name before? Well, you can be forgiven if you live in and around Seattle because the common name is SeaTac Airport or just SeaTac.The presence of restaurants and shops for foodies like me makes spending time at this airport quite fulfilling, literary. Perhaps you are here to pick up someone or like me, use the airport as a travel hub, you really need to know or at least find your way around the airport.
First and foremost, for those who have no bearing of where the airport is, ask for downtown Seattle then drive 13 miles south.
What to know before heading out to the airport
It is easy to get frustrated when using such a huge airport facility and I was. Can you imagine that there are over 30 airlines that serve the airport? This means that there is never a moment at the airport when things are slow. How is it possible if more than a hundred destinations have their take off from SeaTac?
When you go through the main airport terminal, it takes you right back to the airport’s central terminal. This is where to eat because there is a lineup of stores and restaurants immediately after going through security. Travellers and those coming to meet people at the airport can hang around 4 concourses; A, B, C or D. luckily, all 4 can be accessed from the central terminal making it easy to move around. There are two satellite buildings at the airport – North and South. They are also connected to the central terminal but through loops trains that run non-stop. Seeing how much activity goes on at this airport at any given time, I factor in an extra quarter hour or so to find my way around. Try and see how easy your time at SeaTac will be.
Where will you park your vehicle?
Are you at the airport to collect someone that just flew in? This means that you only need short term SeaTac airport parking and you will be gone. This is always available and you will love it because it is cheap and convenient! I always came with a taxi until I discovered Parkos, instead of waiting in line to pay for parking through automated parking assist machines, use Parkos. This platform has been a lifesaver for many people including myself. Did you know that you can open the SeaTac parking portal for online reservation even before you get to the airport? This saves time, right? How about paying for valet parking facilities on those days when you just do not have the patience to park. More time saved.
The greatest advantage for using Parkos is the cost effectiveness of the service. Since the platform is able to draw a comparison between various parking lots available to them, price obviously comes up as parameter. The packages for airport parking are tailored to individual needs as well as duration of time the vehicle will be parked there.
On the numerous occasions that I have used Parkos, I have given them a rating of 5/5; first for their commitment to customer delight and then to safety. Parkos lots are thoroughly inspected before they can be vetted.
Have you suddenly changed your mind about travelling or did someone promise to take your car back home for you? No worries because Parkos allows service cancellation which I have used provided that it is no less than 24 hours before boarding.
How do I get to the airport? Have you somehow found that you are close to Highway from 99, and from 509? Getting to I-5 is quite easy because all you have to do is connect to I-5.
When it is time to eat and drink
A lot of people experience motion sickness but that is no reason to forgo eating when you are hungry and at the airport. I discovered that taking fast food hours before takeoff does not do my stomach any harm; I guess you just have to try a few things to find out the one that works for you. I particularly love fast food because of costs. I am looking to fill my stomach, not to empty my pockets. While there are high end restaurants for those who would like to treat themselves to some classy cuisine, price conscious travellers can still find something to bite on here.
Did you come from or are approaching your flight though concourse A? It does not matter where you are between the concourses or satellite buildings; there is a store and restaurant right where you are. This is especially helpful for travellers that have some extra time before they board but are not comfortable leaving their gate. Well, I was once this afraid too until I noticed something – most eateries and snack shops at the airport are designed for ticketed passengers. Why else would they be located after you have had your security check?
What to do with a layover?
The answer to this question really depends on how long that layover actually is; some are just simple transfers between planes and are 30 minutes long while others that involve connections between international flights can be as long as 24 hours. A layover at SeaTac Airport is an opportunity to not only tour the city but also pamper yourself to some personal treatments.
If you are not up for the idea of leaving the airport, you can pass time by viewing the original art pieces that line up the walls of the terminals. I prefer to head out to the town center then take a bus to one of the tourist attractions around. I have friends who would do nothing else if the massage bar at the airport is open. Well, I budget a lot and that is why I always have an eye in the pocket.
In addition to looking around and enjoying all the new things that come with airport scenes, I take time to explore extra airport amenities that could make my time at SeaTac Airport manageable; luggage storage facilities, forex exchange and ATMs. Do you feel lucky on this particular travel day? When I do, I try my luck at the lottery box situated in the central terminal. From my experience on bringing small children along on my travel, SeaTac Airport provides childcare facilities that mothers can feed babies from or watch them as they play.