Busy Labor Day weekend travel expected at Sea-Tac

The TSA expects a bustling Labor Day weekend at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), with over 365,000 travelers passing through security from September 1 to September 6. To handle the surge, the TSA advises travelers to plan ahead and brace for crowds.

Since Memorial Day, TSA has screened an average of 2.4 million daily at 430 airports nationwide, with record-breaking holidays. This Labor Day, they predict screening 14.25 million passengers and crew, an 11% increase from last year. 

At SEA since May 25, TSA has processed 5.5 million passengers at an average of 62,000 daily, hitting a record of 73,651 on July 24. Greg Hawko, TSA Federal Security Director for Washington, thanked staff and urged travelers to prepare.

Peak times at SEA's security checkpoints are 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., with Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays being busiest. TSA aims for under 30-minute general screening and under 10-minute TSA PreCheck. However, capacity may be strained.

Currently, this is the type of screening that is available at each of SEA’s security checkpoints:

  • Checkpoint 1: TSA PreCheck® screening only | operational from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m.travel tips
  • Checkpoint 2, 3 and 5: General screening lanes
  • Checkpoint 4: TSA PreCheck® screening only | operational from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m.

TSA will deploy explosive detection canines, National Deployment Force officers, and utilize the International Arrivals Facility checkpoint to expedite screenings during peak hours.

See more SEA travel tips here.