Picking Up Someone At Sea-Tac? 5 Things You Need To Know

If you're like most people, you look forward to enjoying visits by friends and family from out of town. However, you may not be crazy about the idea of having to pick them up at the airport. After all, traffic in the Seattle-Tacoma area can be heavy during certain parts of the day, and as you undoubtedly already know, planes aren't always on time, and those picking up passengers are often left at loose ends while waiting for flights to arrive. Fortunately, picking up someone at the airport goes a lot more smoothly when a little insider knowledge is a part of the picture. Following are five things you need to know about picking up an airline passenger from Sea-Tac.

The South Entrance to the Airport Is Less Busy 

Most people automatically head to the north entrance when going to Sea-Tac to pick someone up, but the south entrance at 182nd Street has far less traffic. This option is especially useful if you're picking up someone during peak hours. 

Get the Sea-Tac App

The Sea-Tac app provides both travelers and those picking them up at the airport with a wealth of knowledge about their individual flights as well as the airport itself. For instance, it will provide you with an automatic update of the status of any flights that you're picking someone up from, which may save you from having to sit around the airport waiting for a plane that's been delayed. If you're not driving, it'll give you the fastest current transportation options for getting you and the person or people you've picked up to downtown Seattle. 

You May Soon Have the Option of Going Right to the Gate to Meet Your Passenger

Sea-Tac is the second airport in the country to experiment with reviving the custom of allowing those picking up passengers to meet them right at the gate . Following the lead of Pittsburgh International Airport, Sea-Tac is making moves to allow visitors access the areas of the airport that are beyond the TSA checkpoints. They implemented a pilot program in November where they allowed a certain number of visitors per day to enter the restricted part of the airport after going through routine TSA screenings — something that hasn't been allowed at US airports since before Sept. 11, 2001. Officials at Sea-Tac will be making a decision soon on whether to move forward with this policy based on the results of the pilot program, so stay tuned. 

You Have the Option of Using a Cell Phone Parking Lot

Sea-Tac has an entire parking lot that provides a limited amount of free parking and is designated for those waiting to pick up passengers. The lot has free WiFi as well, and you can pick up your passenger outside of the baggage claim area. However, you must remain with your vehicle when choosing this option — you can't simply park your car and enter the airport building. Sea-Tac's cell phone parking lot is located on the Airport Expressway at the 170th Street exit. 

You Can Relax and Enjoy a Beverage or a Meal

If all else fails and you're stuck waiting in the pre-security part of the airport, that doesn't mean you've got no options beyond sitting on a bench and waiting for the plane to arrive — Sea Tac offers several options that are on the public side of the TSA checkpoints where those waiting for passengers can wait in comfort while having a meal or a beverage.

For more information on where you can park when picking someone up at the airport, contact a company that offers airport parking near Sea-Tac.