More than a million people are expected to pass through Sea-Tac airport this week and next.
More people means more chances for long lines and bottlenecks. But the airport has been working on ways to avoid that. Sea-Tac spokesperson Perry Cooper said the TSA has brought in more helpers to speed up the lines: bomb-sniffing dogs.
"As you pass by these dogs you essentially turn into like a pre-checked customer; you can go through the checkpoint line without taking your shoes off or your belt," Cooper said.
Cooper explained that the longest wait times don't happen at the security check point. It is the airport's arrival and departure drives where you'll find the biggest backups.
He said when picking up or dropping off travelers, think in opposites: "You don’t have to drop off people at the departure level, you can drop people off at the arrivals level. That opposite lane may have less cars."
Cooper also recommends visitors to the airport try alternatives to the arrival and departure lanes all together. The parking garage, the airport cell phone lot or just taking the light rail can all cut down on your time waiting in line.
Overall the holiday season is not actually Sea-Tac's busiest time of the year. More travelers pass through the airport in the summer months.
If lines feel slower during the holidays though, that might be due to the novice traveler. Cooper explained that the airport sees more novices during the holidays and they can often hold up lines. He recommends if you don't travel often to do a little research before heading to the airport.
Print your boarding pass before getting to the airport and review the latest TSA requirements. If you are bringing gifts with you, don't pre-wrap them.
But most important, Cooper said bring your patience and be prepared.