The security lines have been easing this week at Sea-Tac Airport after TSA staff hours were increased, and should get even less congested after a checkpoint opened Friday morning for cruise passengers. Last week, some travelers were stuck in security lines for more than an hour and around 150 passengers missed Alaska Airlines flights because of the delays.
“The security lines have improved this week, with wait times of less than one hour,” said airport spokeswoman Christina Faine. “We have communicated our concerns to TSA, who subsequently made staffing changes to allow overtime.”
Also making things better is the reopening of Checkpoint 1, at the south end of the main terminal, at 9 a.m. today (a day earlier than expected). The checkpoint had been closed for redesign/construction, which took more time than expected, so it can handle cruise passengers and their baggage. Thousands of cruise passengers stream through Sea-Tac each week on their way to and from Seattle-Alaska cruises, and taking them out of the general mix will speed up security screening at other checkpoints.
Checkpoint 1 is for cruise passengers only. Other travelers can use any of the other four checkpoints ( 2, 3, 4, 5) since they all give access to all gates. So scout out the checkpoint with the shortest line (see a map of Sea-Tac checkpoints and their hours).
Still, airport officials are advising that passengers arrive at the airport two hours before a flight because of the summertime increase in travelers. If you have extra time at the departure gates you can always get a snack, shop or listen to local musicians who are playing at the airport.