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nwray
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SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:08 pm

Had a chance again to fly out of SeaTac. It's amazing how busy the place is. For those who have passed through the airport, do you see any solution to the lack of space for the TSA lines? Is there any way logistically to improve things, or is the design of the terminal such that we're stuck with what it is now. Any thoughts out there?
 
Varsity1
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:35 pm

The airport is a good design, but incredibly over crowded. The only solution I can see is taking more space from the check in hall, as the sterile area is so packed you literally can't find a place to sit down.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:38 pm

Perhaps adding an additional story above where TSA runs now (where you look out the windows above as you are waiting to go thru TSA) and podt bag check, go up a level then post TSA go back down. At least you would not be taking away any space from what is there already. Worked there 4 years and it does get crowded,,,,,
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
williaminsd
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:50 pm

Just went through Sea-Tac yesterday. Not even during a peak time, but what a mess...

Some fundamental organization would help. Queues that spill into several different stations, including several you can't see from the original line. A "Priority" line that spills into the regular line at about 3/4 of way in. Agents who don't seem to be able to give any direction other than to mumble, "keep moving," but not even being able to suggest where.

An absolute disaster in every way and should be an embarrassment to both the TSA and to Sea-Tac.

Not being a local, is there any discussion of remedies?
 
7673mech
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:59 pm

Agreed that it can be challenging - went through mid-week, mid-day recently - was sent to a different line because "it was longer but moving faster". It would help if they had all checkpoints open during peek hours. I was amazed that getting through was easier at JFK on the way back then here.

This is the remedy. They have added dogs, trying to add manpower, and a contract company that is supposed to be organizing the lines. It is a failure. They need to replace the gentleman in charge and start over. If you do a web search to Seattle improving TSA lines - you will see a litany of news articles from the past year. Nothing has changed. I travel out again for the holidays - not looking forward to it. Alls you can do is be early and bring patience.
Last edited by 7673mech on Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:00 pm

You've got 50 million annual passengers in a facility designed for half that number. There are no good solutions without major reconstruction.

That said, such reconstruction isn't in the pipeline. Currently planned projects provide space for a lot of other uses (desperately needed new FIS, new dining/retail options, a few new gates) but do not add more room for TSA.

And TBH I don't think it's the worst in the country by a long shot. I fly out of Sea-Tac every few weeks, and rarely have more than a 20-minute wait. I've had much worse experiences in Phoenix and Washington-Dulles lately.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:39 pm

Builind a new airport in Vashon island
 
nwray
Topic Author
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:42 am

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:47 pm

mtnwest1979 wrote:
Perhaps adding an additional story above where TSA runs now (where you look out the windows above as you are waiting to go thru TSA) and podt bag check, go up a level then post TSA go back down. At least you would not be taking away any space from what is there already. Worked there 4 years and it does get crowded,,,,,


Yes, I thought that as well. Or possibly clear out all the offices on the mezzanine level and open it up for TSA clearance up there?
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:10 pm

What's even worse is the drop off and pick up areas. Getting in there by car during peak summer times, even on a weekday, is a nightmare. It can be almost impossible to drive in and pick up or drop off someone.
 
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ER757
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:15 pm

[list=][/list]
chunhimlai wrote:
Builind a new airport in Vashon island

LOL!! You would find a brand new definition of "NIMBY" if that was ever suggested. The locals would be throwing their Birkenstocks at whomever had that brilliant idea. I know you meant it in jest and it worked, got a good laugh.
I did fly into Wax Orchards there once on a Cessna, but that's O.T.

A couple thoughts on the SEA mess - first and foremost there simply aren't enough TSA agents for the amount of traffic flowing through there during peak season. The Port has told the TSA this until they are blue in the face at every single meeting. Falls on deaf ears. Add to that the fiasco with the automated screening at checkpoint 5 (frequently closed because of equipment malfunctions and aforementioned lack of staffing) and you've got a recipe for a long backup
Additionally, as mentioned above, the airport was not built to handle the current volumes. The explosion of the Alaska cruise market in recent years has made it all the more noticeable.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:46 pm

Disqualify congressmen from any form of pre-check. TSA lines world be fixed within the year, country wide.
 
Prost
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:50 pm

https://www.portseattle.org/sites/defau ... atives.pdf

403 pages, but you can take a gander at some of the projects they are thinking of. Starting at page 79 is the passenger terminal.

Page 100 shows how they plan on expanding TSA and roadway.
 
MIflyer12
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:32 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
Disqualify congressmen from any form of pre-check. TSA lines world be fixed within the year, country wide.


That's the Warren Buffet balanced-budget plan. "I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you've got the incentives in the right place, right? (Laughs)

https://www.cnbc.com/id/43670783
 
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flybynight
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:38 pm

I fly out of SEA about 2-5 times a month, and I have for many many years now. My pre-check helps a lot, but the biggest issue is knowing which of the 4 screening areas have a long line and which don't. There are a few TV screens that give an idea as you enter from the parking garage.
But at times everyone is jammed into the area behind Delta or AS not realizing a 2 minute walk can save you a ton of time. It is very hit or miss.
I found the north-most TSA point and pre-check usually the best, especially if you can take the pre-check lane to the far right, It sorta goes around the other area and leads you to an almost private screening area. Of course, you gotta have pre-check.

But as someone said, SEA is kind of a mess.
1 - the main food court is under a construction, so you can't sit at the cool viewing area
2 - Exit from SEA after 3:30 PM and heading north towards 405 and 5 can be an absolute parking lot. Horrible
3- I go straight into the parking garage, but I've seen the drop off lines at times and they are scary-long. Kind of sucks when it takes long to just get dropped off at the airport!
4 - North gates expansion has taken away 16L for a while causing further delays
5 - Not sure how far long the new international terminal has come along

When I compare SEA to the two nearest major aiports - PDX and YVR - it is definitely the least nice of the three. Not a ton of great eating options (there are some, don't get me wrong, but Wendy's doesn't qualify). For those who disagee with me, take a look at what PDX has to offer (and not just funky carpeting).
I really feel like SEA needs a major redo. How that would happen I don't know.
Heia Norge!
 
DFW17L
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:50 pm

SEA isn’t so bad...compared to LGA.
 
rampbro
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:00 am

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:08 pm

If you think TSA is bad between groundside and airside at the main terminal, woe betide you if you arrive international. Have seen 100+ connecting pax queued through 2 TSA lanes. Sometimes there is a 100+ line to get through the 2nd customs point, and then another 100+ for TSA. I have started exiting groundside directly after customs, taking the train back to the main terminal and re-entering via a TSA on that side.
 
gwrudolph
Posts: 425
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:34 pm

A little off topic, but related . . . Just went through LAX T7 recently and hadn’t been through there in a while. They did a great job at reallocating space and combining 2-3 checkpoints into one. Yes, they had to sacrifice space originally used for other things, but in doing so freed up a lot of space for replacing those other things. If they were able to do it with that LAX T7 mess, they can do it anywhere!
 
MIflyer12
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:56 pm

flybynight wrote:
When I compare SEA to the two nearest major aiports - PDX and YVR - it is definitely the least nice of the three.


Those are tough comparisons. SEA handles about 2 1/2x as many passengers as PDX. Smaller airports can be easier airports. As for YVR, the Canadian government spends about 2/3 more than the U.S. on transportation infrastructure.

Just imagine Sea-Tac approaching carriers 10-15 years ago with the message: We want to spend a LOT more money. It's going to be paid for by direct users - landing fees, gate charges, PFCs and car rental taxes.
 
WkndWanderer
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:44 pm

Up until a few months ago, checkpoint 5 was also regularly used as a general screening line, but is now a pre-check line along with checkpoint 4. Checkpoint 4 is allegedly supposed to also allow general screening after 12PM, but in practice it is frequently just closed altogether after that time. This has led to the checkpoint 3 line turning into an unholy, meandering mess that weaves around staircases, stores, and has a signholder to even indicate to people where the end of the line is. Since it's in the middle of the terminal, anyone trying to walk past is caught in the mess or can't navigate through. The checkpoint 5 line in the meantime is at the end of the terminal, closest to the light rail station, and that has lots of line room that doesn't get interference from passing foot traffic because it dead ends into the sterile area, is now routinely less busy than it used to be excluding some pre-check peaks after checkpoint 4 closes. Screening times may not have been any different in the old setup, but at least the distribution of people at the checkpoints was spread out more evenly instead of a huge number of people being forced into the checkpoint 3 line at points all over the airport.
 
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BenChSFO
Posts: 10
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:03 am

Friday mornings during the summer is the worst when the cruise ship passengers head home. The airport is a total mess with lines in every direction. The TSA staff are completely unhelpful and will tell you to go to the next area just so they can try and reduce the number of people in their area. The problem is, when you go to the next area, the lines are even longer.
 
mict
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:19 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:09 am

In a few months we will be able to use PAE for some flights, can't wait!
 
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smithbs
Posts: 462
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:16 am

SEA TSA has been a disaster during my couple flights this year. My solution: PAE!
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4414
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:54 am

flybynight wrote:
I fly out of SEA about 2-5 times a month, and I have for many many years now. My pre-check helps a lot, but the biggest issue is knowing which of the 4 screening areas have a long line and which don't. There are a few TV screens that give an idea as you enter from the parking garage.
But at times everyone is jammed into the area behind Delta or AS not realizing a 2 minute walk can save you a ton of time. It is very hit or miss.
I found the north-most TSA point and pre-check usually the best, especially if you can take the pre-check lane to the far right, It sorta goes around the other area and leads you to an almost private screening area. Of course, you gotta have pre-check.

But as someone said, SEA is kind of a mess.
1 - the main food court is under a construction, so you can't sit at the cool viewing area
2 - Exit from SEA after 3:30 PM and heading north towards 405 and 5 can be an absolute parking lot. Horrible
3- I go straight into the parking garage, but I've seen the drop off lines at times and they are scary-long. Kind of sucks when it takes long to just get dropped off at the airport!
4 - North gates expansion has taken away 16L for a while causing further delays
5 - Not sure how far long the new international terminal has come along

When I compare SEA to the two nearest major aiports - PDX and YVR - it is definitely the least nice of the three. Not a ton of great eating options (there are some, don't get me wrong, but Wendy's doesn't qualify). For those who disagee with me, take a look at what PDX has to offer (and not just funky carpeting).
I really feel like SEA needs a major redo. How that would happen I don't know.


I will take the furthest north checkpoint.... Everett! LOL!!!
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
JHwk
Posts: 577
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:59 am

gwrudolph wrote:
A little off topic, but related . . . Just went through LAX T7 recently and hadn’t been through there in a while. They did a great job at reallocating space and combining 2-3 checkpoints into one. Yes, they had to sacrifice space originally used for other things, but in doing so freed up a lot of space for replacing those other things. If they were able to do it with that LAX T7 mess, they can do it anywhere!

The LAX T7 upgrade was very expensive, but the most logical upgrade it seems. They increased the space for the Club ~3x with the new floor, and were able to convert the recovered space into a bathroom and customer service area, both of which were badly needed. The amount of structural work done really surprised me. It is nice to have a unified, single checkpoint now, and it makes for the best security experience across all the terminals.

Ultimately, if you are constrained by space, you need to find creative ways to add it.
 
jwvw89
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:02 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:37 am

A solution would be for the Port of Seattle to hire a security firm more competent than the TSA to handle PAX screening.

Last Friday at 5pm they had one Pre-check checkpoint open (checkpoint 5) at the far north end of the terminal. Walking off Int’l Blvd, I had to schlep from the south end of the airport to the north, then schlep back to the south end to get to the A gates. Eventhough it was peak travel time, they had checkpoint 4 closed and checkpoint 3 was snaking all which ways through the check in hall. A competent security firm would recognize the inefficiency of how the TSA conducts screenings at SEA.
 
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admanager
Posts: 284
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:41 am

I joined CLEAR so I could avoid TSA lines at SEATAC. Their mess is costing me money!
I don't expect too much out of SEATAC (Port of Seattle) - they kicked Ivars out; "it was unclear why the Port gave the 79-year-old Northwest icon a lower score in the “locally historic” category than a startup."
 
blrsea
Posts: 1950
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 2:22 am

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:33 am

rampbro wrote:
If you think TSA is bad between groundside and airside at the main terminal, woe betide you if you arrive international. Have seen 100+ connecting pax queued through 2 TSA lanes. Sometimes there is a 100+ line to get through the 2nd customs point, and then another 100+ for TSA. I have started exiting groundside directly after customs, taking the train back to the main terminal and re-entering via a TSA on that side.


True, SEA urgently needs more immigration officers too. The last time I flew into SEA, had to wait in line for more than 30-40 minutes. In fact, they wouldn't allow us into the arrival hall, had stopped queue at the upper floor. If you are a citizen, its better because they appear to have some kind of phone app that you can install and use to get through immigration line faster. For others, its painful.

For sometime, I think they had tried having some private officers to do line monitoring and helping out people, while the actual TSA folks did the clearance. Lines used to move fast. But last time I flew out, had to spend close to 45mins in queue to clear TSA. Royal pain!
 
twaconnie
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:18 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:22 am

DFW17L wrote:
SEA isn’t so bad...compared to LGA.

At least LGA will have new state of the art terminals in a couple of years.
 
gwrudolph
Posts: 425
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:03 pm

JHwk wrote:
gwrudolph wrote:
A little off topic, but related . . . Just went through LAX T7 recently and hadn’t been through there in a while. They did a great job at reallocating space and combining 2-3 checkpoints into one. Yes, they had to sacrifice space originally used for other things, but in doing so freed up a lot of space for replacing those other things. If they were able to do it with that LAX T7 mess, they can do it anywhere!

The LAX T7 upgrade was very expensive, but the most logical upgrade it seems. They increased the space for the Club ~3x with the new floor, and were able to convert the recovered space into a bathroom and customer service area, both of which were badly needed. The amount of structural work done really surprised me. It is nice to have a unified, single checkpoint now, and it makes for the best security experience across all the terminals.

Ultimately, if you are constrained by space, you need to find creative ways to add it.


Yep and SEA needs to do so. I was there about a month ago security checkpoint lines were obstructing the path to the checkin counters. People had to ask to be excused just t get to the checkin areas
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:30 pm

 
masgniw
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:14 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:32 pm

chunhimlai wrote:
https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1405251


I genuinely cannot tell if you're trolling or just providing genuinely horrendous ideas.
 
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flybynight
Posts: 1534
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:42 pm

F9Animal wrote:
flybynight wrote:
I fly out of SEA about 2-5 times a month, and I have for many many years now. My pre-check helps a lot, but the biggest issue is knowing which of the 4 screening areas have a long line and which don't. There are a few TV screens that give an idea as you enter from the parking garage.
But at times everyone is jammed into the area behind Delta or AS not realizing a 2 minute walk can save you a ton of time. It is very hit or miss.
I found the north-most TSA point and pre-check usually the best, especially if you can take the pre-check lane to the far right, It sorta goes around the other area and leads you to an almost private screening area. Of course, you gotta have pre-check.



I will take the furthest north checkpoint.... Everett! LOL!!!


Oh man, so will I since I live in Snhomish. I can't wait to use Paine Field. All those new widebodies waiting to be delivered is just thr frosting on the cake.
Heia Norge!
 
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flybynight
Posts: 1534
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:54 pm

DFW17L wrote:
SEA isn’t so bad...compared to LGA.


But LGA is getting a full reboot in fairness (finally!)
Heia Norge!
 
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ER757
Posts: 3787
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:16 am

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:55 pm

Had my first experience using the automated system at checkpoint #5 the other day - it went very smoothly. I think they may have finally worked out the bugs. It should speed things up somewhat, although it isn't going to cure all the ills of the security mess at SEA
 
SEAflyer97
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 9:10 am

Re: SeaTac TSA - any solutions?

Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:23 am

ER757 wrote:
Had my first experience using the automated system at checkpoint #5 the other day - it went very smoothly. I think they may have finally worked out the bugs. It should speed things up somewhat, although it isn't going to cure all the ills of the security mess at SEA

The problem is -- all general screen PAX are stuffed at Checkpoint 2/3. Unless they revert 5 back to both general screen and precheck, i don't see the problem getting solved.

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