bpat777
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TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:46 am

I travel domestically pretty often and have always found MCO to have the longest TSA lines. However, I flew out of SEA on a Sunday at 4p and have never experienced lines so long at the checkpoint nearest the B gates. If my hotel didn't honor my 2 pm late check out request I may have missed my flight. I will say it moved quicker than I thought but still took about 35 mins to clear. The line literally snaked around ticket counters and escalators before reaching where someone looks at your boarding pass then directs you to the appropriate lane.
Is this the norm for SEA? I was there last October however the lines weren't too bad although I used the checkpoints closer to the A gates.
 
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usxguy
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am

The lines in SeaTac can get fairly long, but that's where PreCheck and Clear shine very very very brightly.

Saturday/Sundays are super busy as you've got a lot of cruise ships doing turn-arounds from both Seattle and Vancouver.
xx
 
seat1a
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:20 am

The checkpoints with the dogs moves the fastest. Seriously. No need to remove shoes, laptop or other clothing. I believe it was in C.
 
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FA9295
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:26 am

My worst experience in TSA lines (in terms of the longest wait times) is definitely at MSP. It's been a long time since I've flown through SEA, but i'm sure it's comparable to that... Although, I'm quite surprised that the B gate(s) checkpoint was really that long, though; since Alaska and Delta don't both use those gates at all...
No, "FA" in my username does not stand for "flight attendant"...
 
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452QX
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:44 am

Checkpoint 5 has been closed for a while (construction?) which has negatively affected the other lines
Just a QX guy in an AS world
 
chrisair
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:57 am

SEA is the reason I purchased a Clear membership. Supposedly they're coming to Phoenix, but the five or so times I've flown through SEA this year, it's paid off. This time of year the cruise ships really, really screw everything up.

seat1a wrote:
The checkpoints with the dogs moves the fastest. Seriously. No need to remove shoes, laptop or other clothing. I believe it was in C.


Except the dogs can only work in small, short increments before needing a play break. When they're switching dogs, or the dog is out being a dog and playing with a tennis ball, the lines stack up tremendously.

For people with Pre, the dogs don't change much, if anything in the screening process.
 
rentonview
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:15 am

I had the same experience last month on a Monday afternoon at SEA and was initially convinced I was going to miss my flight. The central checkpoint was the only one processing general boarding pax, and just as you said, the line was frighteningly long. As in, perhaps 1000 ft with all the twists and turns... I’m not exaggerating. However, as soon as I caught a glimpse of the canine officer, I knew the line would move quickly. And it did, apparently once the dog was back from his break. It still took about 40 mins to get through the checkpoint, however.

I think the most aggravating aspect of this process at SEA is the utter lack of communication as to what’s occurring, which leads to people getting very upset when they’re in line. I had to talk a nearly hysterical woman down by explaining the canine process to her, and the TSA guys just stood there saying nothing, other than “Keep moving!”, like newly hired prison guards. Some simple signage would have done wonders, but perhaps there’s some sort of security concern with telling people in advance that they’ll be sniffed by a dog and won’t have to follow the usual shoes/laptop/liquids/body scan extravaganza afterwards. In any case, non-Precheck travelers need to give themselves plenty of time when departing SEA.

And I’m sorry, occasional travelers should not be forced to pay for TSA Pre just to get through a line in a reasonable amount of time. 15-20 mins is reasonable. 30-40 mins is not.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:26 am

SEA in general is over crowded. Try picking someone up or dropping them off there. It’s a long line of cars just to get in there.

I have a Nexus Card so I get Pre-check, but I don’t recall the regular security lines being as long as described here. Has it gotten worse?
 
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dennypayne
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:48 am

I've been flying in and out of SEA for 18 years now, and only a couple of times have I encountered really long lines. Most times I've gotten through in 5-10 minutes max with TSA Pre. But I arrived yesterday (Sunday) at about 9:30pm and as I exited to baggage claim, I noticed that all the lines were indeed ridiculous, snaking around everywhere as the OP mentioned. Definitely the worst I've ever seen it. I'm hoping it's not that way when I leave Friday morning.
My hovercraft is full of eels.
 
packmedic
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:49 am

When the cruise ships get back, you have hundreds of extra people getting to the airport at roughly the same time. It'll be like this all summer, then it'll cool down in the fall and winter
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mtnwest1979
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:51 pm

FA9295 wrote:
My worst experience in TSA lines (in terms of the longest wait times) is definitely at MSP. It's been a long time since I've flown through SEA, but i'm sure it's comparable to that... Although, I'm quite surprised that the B gate(s) checkpoint was really that long, though; since Alaska and Delta don't both use those gates at all...

Delta very much uses gates on B. About 7 of them or so.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
AY104
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:56 pm

Might as well get used to it. This has been going on for years, cruise ship season. Started here in Vancouver way back in the 80s, when I worked for Western/Delta. Now the ships are spread among Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria. On a given cruise ship day, at any given time, within about half and hour, the lineups were enormous. And we are talking thousands of people, not hundreds, descending upon the airport almost at once. Just imagine two or three cruise ships arriving, each holding between 1000-4000 passengers. And now the cruise ship traffic has increased hugely.
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:00 pm

I got GE (and the Pre-Check benefit that comes with it) solely because one of my most flown through airport is MCO. Best money I've ever spent, paid off the first time I used it.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
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FA9295
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:49 pm

mtnwest1979 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
My worst experience in TSA lines (in terms of the longest wait times) is definitely at MSP. It's been a long time since I've flown through SEA, but i'm sure it's comparable to that... Although, I'm quite surprised that the B gate(s) checkpoint was really that long, though; since Alaska and Delta don't both use those gates at all...

Delta very much uses gates on B. About 7 of them or so.

Yeah I know that now. When I wrote that comment I originally thought that they only used A and S.
No, "FA" in my username does not stand for "flight attendant"...
 
rentonview
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:42 pm

AY104 wrote:
Might as well get used to it. This has been going on for years, cruise ship season. Started here in Vancouver way back in the 80s, when I worked for Western/Delta. Now the ships are spread among Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria. On a given cruise ship day, at any given time, within about half and hour, the lineups were enormous. And we are talking thousands of people, not hundreds, descending upon the airport almost at once. Just imagine two or three cruise ships arriving, each holding between 1000-4000 passengers. And now the cruise ship traffic has increased hugely.


I misspoke in my earlier comment; I last flew out of SEA on Monday April 23rd (not May), and based on what I've found online, there shouldn't have been any cruise passenger traffic at that time. A Norwegian Cruise Line ship left Seattle on Thurs. April 19th for an 18-day cruise through the Panama Canal, but there weren't any other cruises until April 28th. While I know cruise traffic has an enormous impact on the airport throughout the summer, there's clearly another factor at play, or at least there was on that particular day.

https://www.portseattle.org/sites/defau ... Viewer.pdf
 
rentonview
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:00 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
SEA in general is over crowded. Try picking someone up or dropping them off there. It’s a long line of cars just to get in there.


When picking people up from SEA during peak times, I'm now asking them to walk to the light rail station, cross over the skybridge, then take the escalator down to International Blvd, where they can wait in a covered area. There are plenty of places for me park along the blvd. before they're ready for pickup. I don't expect my navigationally-challenged friends and family to use this procedure, however! :D
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:31 am

rentonview wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
SEA in general is over crowded. Try picking someone up or dropping them off there. It’s a long line of cars just to get in there.


When picking people up from SEA during peak times, I'm now asking them to walk to the light rail station, cross over the skybridge, then take the escalator down to International Blvd, where they can wait in a covered area. There are plenty of places for me park along the blvd. before they're ready for pickup. I don't expect my navigationally-challenged friends and family to use this procedure, however! :D


Noted, thanks. That's a good idea. I usually tell people to go to the departure level for pick up since it used to be less busy, except last time there was a sign telling drivers to drop people off on the lower level because it was less congested. Go figure.

I never drive myself there. I arrive by light rail.

Are other airports this bad? I know SJC and SNA aren't too bad for pick up and drop off.
 
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ER757
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:45 pm

rentonview wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
SEA in general is over crowded. Try picking someone up or dropping them off there. It’s a long line of cars just to get in there.


When picking people up from SEA during peak times, I'm now asking them to walk to the light rail station, cross over the skybridge, then take the escalator down to International Blvd, where they can wait in a covered area. There are plenty of places for me park along the blvd. before they're ready for pickup. I don't expect my navigationally-challenged friends and family to use this procedure, however! :D

A very wise suggestion, sir. I would do the same except that as a volunteer there I get free parking and I've never not been able to find a spot somewhere in the garage - although yesterday I did have to spend an inordinate amount of time going up and down the aisles until I spotted one.
As to the TSA lines, it's completely out of hand - the closing of checkpoint 5 is a big reason why since that's the closest access to the AS gates and closing it just shoves everyone into 3 & 4 which are already bad. The construction story as to why it's closed is at least partially B.S. The new scanner equipment they installed over there isn't working properly and that's the real reason it isn't open often. This is info I was told by one of the P.O.S. commissioners when I asked why checkpoint 5 wasn't open.
 
rentonview
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Re: TSA Lines and Wait Times at SEA

Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:20 am

Here’s some news on the situation: http://komonews.com/news/local/sea-tac- ... ear-so-far

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