West - Overnight in SEA-TAC
Jan 28, 12, 1:53 pm
Hi! I'm Z, and I'm brand new to flyertalk.
I have a flight leaving Seattle-Tacoma airport at 6:20 in the morning. I'm staying in Olympia, Washington with a friend who doesn't have a car, and I can't take public transit at 3 am. I'm wondering if it would be possible for me to get to the airport at 10:00 the night before my flight and stay there, and I have a couple of questions.
Can I get through security at around 10:00 or 11:00?
Will they let me through security the night before my flight leaves?
If not, what's the maximum time before my flight that they'll let me through?
And if I have to stay landside for a couple hours, will they let me, or will security kick me out?
Are any airport shops/cafes/restaurants open 24 hours?
Have any of you done this before?
Is this actually the worst plan ever?
Oh, and I am flying Southwest, have no checked luggage, and am set up for online check in. I'd really appreciate any help I can get with this, and I'm really sorry if this is the wrong thread.
Jan 28, 12, 5:23 pm
You can almost always get a 3* (Hilton, Marriott, Doubletree, etc.) Sea Tac hotel for $45 on Priceline. It would be much more comfortable than sleeping in the airport.They're all within walking distance of the airport and most, if not all, have 24 hour/day shuttles.
There is a 24 hour restaurant called 13 Coins directly across from the airport. It's expensive and the last time I ate there (last month) it wasn't very good. There are Denny's in either direction when you leave the airport that are open 24 hours. Nothing inside the airport, especially inside security, is open 24 hours.
Jan 28, 12, 10:52 pm
I do not think they will let you through security eight hours before your flight leaves. I am not even sure TSA mans their posts 24 hours. I don't think there are any departures between the EVA Air service to TPE, which leaves at 0100, and the first morning flights around 0515. There is nothing open airside after about 2200 anyway, it's dead as a dodo.
There are a few seats in the landside area where you could just hang for six or so hours, but it would be extremely boring and uncomfortable. Recommend the Priceline hotel option instead. $40 well spent.
Jan 29, 12, 10:33 pm
The thing about getting a hotel is that I am way, way too cheap to justify spending $40 to stay somewhere for eight hours. But I'm not really worried about being bored, I have an android tablet and and two ipods, the airport supposedly has wifi, and between all my devices I should have enough battery to last me even if I don't find an outlet. I'm really just concerned with being kicked out of the airport, but hopefully I'll be able to hunker down behind a car rentals counter or something.
Jan 29, 12, 10:47 pm
Welcome to FlyerTalk, tsigma.
Be sure to check out the "The Guide to Sleeping in Airports (http://www.sleepinginairports.net/)" - there are more of us out there. In particular, SEA rates pretty well for cheap airport sleeps - start here (http://www.sleepinginairports.net/usa/seattle.htm#.TyYueVxSQsI) and the link that leads here (http://www.sleepinginairports.net/list.asp?region=2&country=USA&prov=Washington&city=Seattle&terminal=SEA).
And later, be sure to add your experience for others faced with this challenge.
Jan 30, 12, 1:58 pm
I have overnighted at SEA-TAC when there were weather issues. It is no fun. Be prepared to be COLD as everything shuts down, the heating is reduced.
You may have to do some talking and show your ticket frequently.
Jan 31, 12, 6:23 pm
Can I get through security at around 10:00 or 11:00? Probably not.
Will they let me through security the night before my flight leaves? - isn't this the same question as the first one?
If not, what's the maximum time before my flight that they'll let me through? - AFAIK On the calendar day...so after midnight And if I have to stay landside for a couple hours, will they let me, or will security kick me out? No. In fact, I think you're less likely to be noticed if you stay landside, than hanging out in a deserted terminal.
Are any airport shops/cafes/restaurants open 24 hours? - There is a 24 hour starbucks landside. Not sure about airside.
Have any of you done this before? No.
Is this actually the worst plan ever? Not the worst plan, but it seems silly to me to be grousing about $40 for a hotel, unless you are desperately poor, which I doubt you are considering the gadgetry you are carrying. With a $40 hotel room, you can get some sleep without worrying about your gadgetry walking off with someone, watch tv, SHOWER... which your fellow passengers will appreciate, and possibly score free internet and breakfast depending on which hotel you get.
Jan 31, 12, 8:13 pm
but hopefully I'll be able to hunker down behind a car rentals counter or something.
I would strongly recommend you not try this unless you want to be seriously delayed on your flight.
Jan 31, 12, 8:32 pm
I've slept at SEA countless times. Here's my recommendation:
Terminal A has excellent sofa/futons. They are also next to power port so you can charge your cellphone.
The mexican restaurant opens 24hrs. The main starbucks open till around 2am.
During the night all the lights are on as well as heating. You will be fine with a sweater.
TVs are on 24/7 so its a little bit annoying if you are a light sleeper. IME, I sleep just fine.
Airtrain closes around 11pm.
You can get through security around 10-11. Check timetable.