Lucky Passengers at This Airport Can Now Schedule Airport Security Appointments

Here's a new (and free!) way to skip the line

Thanksgiving Travelers Pass Through Seattle Airport After Holiday
David Ryder / Getty Images

We certainly love traveling here at TripSavvy, but if there's one minor travel-related annoyance we have, it's the long lines at airport security. While there are paid programs that can expedite your experience (TSA PreCheck and Clear, for instance, which give members access to express lanes, among other benefits), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, or SeaTac, is launching a pilot program that allows passengers to pre-book a time slot for their security checks for free.

As travel ramps back up after the COVID-19 pandemic, lines at airport security are inevitably going to grow—especially as the TSA is currently understaffed. So travelers who don't have TSA PreCheck or Clear might have to brace themselves for longer wait times. But that won't be the case at SeaTac. Starting today, the airport will allow passengers to pre-book security appointments through its SeaTac Spot Saver program.

The free service is split into two options, depending on what airline you're flying. For now, priority access will be given to passengers flying on Alaska Airlines, which is hubbed at the airport. If you're flying Alaska, you'll be able to make your appointment online starting 24 hours ahead of departure. Once you've booked your slot (which can be made for the entire party you're traveling with, by the way), you simply show up at the airport at that time and head for TSA Checkpoint 5.

If you're flying any other airlines, you can only reserve your spot once you've arrived at the terminal, either by scanning the QR code posted on signs near TSA Checkpoint 2. Essentially you'll be joining a digital queue. You'll be given a wait time, during which you can roam freely throughout the landside terminal—go shopping, have a bite to eat, check your bags, or just sit and relax. Then when your spot opens up, you head back to TSA Checkpoint 2 to go through security, all without waiting in the physical line.

While the service is completely free of charge, it's only available to passengers who don't have TSA PreCheck or Clear. And for now, SeaTac Spot Saver will only be operational from 4 a.m. to 12 p.m.—peak travel time—through Aug. 31. But if the program is successful, we definitely expect to see it expand.

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