Good news for summer travelers: shorter TSA lines at Sea-Tac | KUOW News and Information

Good news for summer travelers: shorter TSA lines at Sea-Tac

May 26, 2017

The Port of Seattle is cutting down on passenger wait times at security screening checkpoints.

You might have seen it if you’ve been to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport lately: There are screens near the flight information displays that show the wait time for each security checkpoint. These help passengers find the shortest TSA lines to get to their gate as soon as possible.

Some reports show passengers stood in lines for over an hour last year.

Brain DeRoy is with Sea-Tac Airport. He said the displays, along with other upgrades, have decreased wait times.

“Thursday before Memorial Day for example, the longest wait we had was just for a short period,” DeRoy said. “It was for 19 minutes. But for most of the day it was 10 minutes or less.”

This year is the first full summer the airport is using the displays. DeRoy said they’ve also added more staff members to help things go more smoothly.

The airport is expected to get even busier in the coming years. Sea-Tac is already the nation’s ninth busiest airport and it’s set to expand. 

One way is through the North Satellite Modernization Project. That’s going to add more gates to the north terminal for Alaska Airlines. The expected completion date is in 2018.

So what’s DeRoy advice for traveling over the holiday weekend? Have a game plan.

“So kind of like how Pete Carroll and his football team approach a Sunday,” DeRoy said. “They don’t just show up on a Saturday and play on Sunday. They plan throughout the week. And this is something that travelers should really think of too.”