An Overview of What to Expect at SeaTac International Airport

Shops, Restaurants, Baggage Claim and More

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport—more commonly called SeaTac Airport or even just SeaTac—is your air travel destination if you live in most of Western Washington. It’s the largest airport in Washington State, and one of the 20 busiest airports in the U.S. But SeaTac remains relatively easy to get around, and has plenty of shops and restaurants to make sure you’re not left in an amenity-free lurch before a flight.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
17801 International Boulevard
Seattle, Washington 98158

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    Things to Appreciate about SeaTac Airport

    SeaTac International Airport
    SeaTac International Airport. Kristin Kendle
    • The airport is easy to get to from I-5 via Highway 518, from 99, and from 509. The approaches to the arrivals and departures, short- and long-term parking areas are well-labeled, so driving in by car is also easy, as long as the pick-up area isn’t too crowded!
    • The Central Terminal is an attractive place to sit and relax before a flight or grab a bite to eat. There are plenty of things to do at the airport, if you get there a bit too early or have to wait around for a ride.
    • There’s a nice lineup of restaurants, ranging from affordable fast-food all the way up to an Anthony’s sit-down restaurant.
    • Short-term parking at the airport is almost always available and reasonable (usually under $5) if you’re just there to pick someone up and don't want to use the cell phone lot.
    • Art installations are located throughout the airport. The coolest of these are in the Central Terminal, including an impressive mobile hanging from the ceiling. Other artwork, like the fish swimming down the floor of...MORE Concourse B is a bit dated, but beloved to many frequent fliers.
    • Wi-Fi throughout the airport is free!
    • There is even a yellow lottery box in the Central Terminal so you can test your luck before or after a flight. If you’re lucky, maybe this will help lessen the blow that is airfare!
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    Sections of SeaTac Airport

    Central Terminal SeaTac
    The view from the Central Terminal. Alan Turkus

    When you walk in from the parking area or drop off area, you will be on either the main floor (where all the airline check-in desks are) or the baggage claim level of the Main Terminal. The Main Terminal leads directly back to the Central Terminal, where you’ll find restaurants and stores after passing through security. Concourses A, B, C, and D are all accessible from the Central Terminal. The airport also has two satellite buildings—South and North Satellite. To get to the satellites, you’ll need to take a short trip on an underground tram.

    See a SeaTac Airport terminal map

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    Shops and Restaurants at SeaTac Airport

    Hudson News SeaTac Airport
    Kristin Kendle

    SeaTac travelers are fortunate. All four concourses and both satellites have a number of stores and restaurants, so if you want to wait near your gate, there’s no need to remain in the Central Terminal. Concourses B and D are the least updated of the four and have fewer amenities, but still have enough for the basic travel needs, including the obligatory Starbucks and Hudson News shops. If you need more, you can walk between all concourses. Hudson News shops are located everywhere, in case you need a book or magazine, something for your headache, or a travel pillow.

    SeaTac International Airport is by no means a shopping destination, but in the past decade has upgraded its stores. Some of the best include Fireworks and Made in Washington in the Central Terminal.

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    SeaTac Airport is a transportation hub. You can get here by car, by taxi, by shuttle, or via public transportation.

    • Shuttles: Shuttles and ground transportation pick-up is available just outside of Baggage Claim. Phones with lists of shuttle company and courtesy vehicle numbers listed are free to use, and are located all in the ground transportation area.
    • Rental Cars: All rental car facilities are now located offsite. Shuttles are available out of the same ground transportation hub outside of Baggage Claim.
    • Taxis and Limos: Cabs, limos and other courtesy vehicles are on the third floor of the parking garage.
    • King County Buses: King County buses are located on International Boulevard, which is the street in front of the airport. To get out to the street, follow signs to the Link Light Rail Station and then exit to International Boulevard.
    • Sound Transit Buses: Sound Transit express buses are available right outside of Baggage Claim on the arrivals drive.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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    Baggage Claim

    SeaTac Airport Baggage Claim
    SeaTac Airport Baggage Claim. Kristin Kendle

    Baggage Claim is located on the lower level of the Main Terminal. If you’ve lived in the Seattle area for a while, you know that SeaTac’s baggage claim has come a long way! There are 16 baggage carousels, meaning that baggage does not suffer great delays. Getting your luggage can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes on average.

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    You can park in both short- and long-term parking right at SeaTac. For short-term parking, there is no better way to go. But for longer-term parking, many of the offsite lots offer better deals than the airport lots.