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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

January 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Record crowds, record shopping, at Sea-Tac Airport

Sea-Tac Airport can be busy at the best of times. When problems occur, like Alaska Airlines’ major computer outage in October, passengers waited in line for hours. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times.)

If Sea-Tac Airport is feeling awfully crowded to you lately, from the security checkpoints to the shops and departure gates, that’s because it is.

Sea-Tac had a record number of passengers  – more than 33.2 million – in 2012, says the Port of Seattle which runs the airport. That beats the previous record from 2011 of 32.8 million passengers.

With the airport so busy,  how can you avoid the crowds, especially at the security checkpoints?  Just choose the checkpoint with the shortest line as they all give access to all the departure  gates. And if you qualify, use TSA’s PreCheck system  which lets pre-approved passengers  use a special fast-clearance lane.

All those passengers at Sea-Tac shopped and ate, too,  at a record rate with sales of $180 million in 2012. Among the stuff they bought:

-1.7 million bottles of water

-230,000 bags of M&Ms

-90,000 neck pillows

-20,000 copies of “50 Shades of Gray” – the biggest selling book.

– Almost  10,000 “Sleepless in Seattle” pajamas/nightshirts.

 

 

 

 

Comments | More in airlines, Northwest, Sea-Tac Airport | Topics: PreCheck, Sea-Tac Airport, Sea-Tac concessions

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