Airport anticipation: Tips to slash stress and ease your journey
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There will likely be record-breaking numbers of air travelers this summer. Adding a little predictability to your summer vacation or business trip will reduce stress and give you more enjoyable experiences.
The insights of a travel expert, who travels with her husband and three daughters, are featured in these tips to get you from home to and through the airport with less hassle.
Before you go
There are apps to download. You may need some services on your flight.
- Ground transportation: Uber, Lyft and Sound Transit for getting there on Link light rail.
- Airline: App for your specific airline for gate changes, updates and check-in.
- FlySEA: SEA Airport’s official app, featuring real-time checkpoint waits and an interactive map for wayfinding, among other cool tools.
You can sign up for airline notifications and airport updates via text. Simply text Yes1 to 2729. Followflysea on social media to get travel tips or notifications.
It’s possible to check in online. You can check in at home, online, or in the app. Carry-on and checked luggage rules need to be reviewed to avoid surprises. You can check in up to 24 hours in advance of your flight.
Take a look at the menus. It is possible to find a great dining spot at the airport. If you have special needs, this step is essential.
It’s a good idea to maximize for the TSA. Travelers choose from a variety of ways to shorten line wait time. Haynes says that CLEAR and TSA Precheck are a significant investment. If you prefer a free option, the new Spot Saver program can be good. You can get the same perks without paying anything.
You can schedule your appointment with SEA Spot Saver up to 72 hours in advance. You can get in the special line for Spot Saver appointment holders after you arrive.
Don’t drive the traffic. Airport parking is going to be very busy this summer. Take public transportation if you want to avoid parking, long waits and that where’s-my-car moment. The best way to save money is to take a ride-sharing service to your nearest Link light rail station.
Arrive before the sun goes down. You have a lot of options once you are through security. With extra time built in, you will be able to deal with any gate changes and enjoy the airport’s amenities.
Haynes says that he started to see the airport as a destination. I go early because I like to eat there. If I want to buy a gift for someone, I can go to the airport shops. There are lots of things in the terminal.
Smart ways to spend a few hours (or the day) at SEA
Haynes stops for a glass of wine at the Vyne Tasting Room.
She takes her family to the restaurant Hachi-ko for a meal and then a treat at Lady Yum.
If you order food ahead of time, they will drop it off at the gate, or you can pick it up. The orderSEA.org website or the FlySEA app can be used to place your order.
It’s important for mental health during big trips. You can get a massage at the spa by calling. Drop into one of the seven airline or credit card lounges.
There is a sensory room tailored to the traveler, while a prayer and meditation room is for quiet reflection.
The Children’s Play Area can be visited by those with younger children. The new N concourse Nursing Suite has private spaces for parents to feed their babies or just relax. Haynes says it’s a beautiful place to get away from the bustle of crowds and get together.
Children’s bottles, pacifiers, and goldfish crackers can be found in new vending machines. Haynes says that the things that mothers survive on.
There are 12 escape Pods sprinkled among the concourses. You can either reserve a time at home using the app or sign up at the store. If you want to catch up on your queue, just take business calls. The pods are worth a stop, according to Haynes.
The airport has dozens of stores for apparel, travel essentials, makeup, and more. The modernized N Concourse contains 10 contemporary art pieces. Haynes and her girls like to visit SubPop Records.
The big return
The International Arrivals Facility in Seattle is a grand hall for baggage claim and customs processing if you go abroad. The facility has faster processing times for making connections.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is adding modernized spaces and better services to make your airport experience more predictable. The Skytrax Airport Rating is one of the most prestigious in the world. The FlySEA monthly email newsletter is for travelers.