Sea-Tac Airport braces for 350,000 flyers over Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and about 3.5 million people are expected to fly this weekend.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, TSA expects to screen more than 70,000 people Friday alone.            

TSA is projecting more people to fly this year than last by about 10%.

It's always suggested you 'arrive early' at the airport, but this weekend it's highly recommended as there is still a considerable amount of security happening. 

Security Checkpoint 3 is still closed as construction crews add two more lanes. However, the airport should have other security checkpoints open.

TSA projects agents will screen more than 365,000 people flying out of Sea-Tac Airport this holiday weekend. Whether you are flying out or you're dropping off or picking up at the airport, expect some congestion. According to the Port of Seattle, the busiest times will be between 4 and 8 a.m., then again from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

If you're taking the Light Rail to the airport, remember there is still limited service between Seatac/Airport and Angle Lake Stations and reduced service between Stadium and Seatac/Airport stations. This is for a maintenance project Sound Transit is working on through the end of June.

FOX 13 talked to some travelers on Friday morning about their experience at the airport. Some said they got to the airport as early as three hours prior to their flight.

"I travel here for work, and it's horrible, I hate it," said Alex and Jade, traveling back to California. "We were here three hours early, because I knew it was going to be a super long line."

"Like an hour and a half, an hour," said Andrew, a traveler from Seattle. "A little risky, but we should be okay."

Some tips from TSA to make sure your travel plans flow smoothly:

Be ready: have your photo ID and boarding pass out and ready to show to the agent

Pack smart: double-check you don't have any liquids in your carry-ons, as this will slow you down in line

Tag your luggage: many bags and suitcases look the same, so make sure you have a bag tag or label to help you locate your bag quickly in the sea of suitcases

As always, it's recommended you arrive early, at least two hours. Just to give yourself that time to get through security. Typically, it's recommended you utilize the SEA Spot Saver feature, if you don't have Clear or TSA Pre-Check. However, travelers told FOX 13 on Friday morning, it was not available and fully booked. Your best option is to get to the airport early to make your flight.


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