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Feasible to Leave Airport During 10 Hour Layover in SEA?

Feasible to Leave Airport During 10 Hour Layover in SEA?

Old Jun 24, 16, 9:57 pm
  #1  
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Feasible to Leave Airport During 10 Hour Layover in SEA?

Through my finely honed skills at booking optimal flights, I find myself with a 10 hour layover in SEA this Sunday (FAI-SEA-KEF-ARN). That's a bit much of SEA even for an Alaskan like me!

I've never, ever considered leaving the security area during a layover in SEA, even with TSA Precheck, but with 10 hours to kill, it would be nice to head downtown to do some exploring. Complicating matters is that I'll have a carry-on roller bag with me, which I'd really rather not drag along with me on the train and exploring.

I realize that in these post-911 days, there are no easy places to safely dump luggage for a few hours.

So, do I have any good options? Are there in fact places I can stash my bag while I'm exploring, maybe nearby off-airport? (I'm tempted, of course, to check a bag, but with international flights and a tight itinerary the first few days I'm leery of that.)

Otherwise, I'll just bring a stack of reading that I'm way behind on.

Thanks for any suggestions!
Don
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Old Jun 24, 16, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by donkiely View Post
Through my finely honed skills at booking optimal flights, I find myself with a 10 hour layover in SEA this Sunday (FAI-SEA-KEF-ARN). That's a bit much of SEA even for an Alaskan like me! I've never, ever considered leaving the security area during a layover in SEA, even with TSA Precheck, but with 10 hours to kill, it would be nice to head downtown to do some exploring. Complicating matters is that I'll have a carry-on roller bag with me, which I'd really rather not drag along with me on the train and exploring. I realize that in these post-911 days, there are no easy places to safely dump luggage for a few hours. So, do I have any good options? Are there in fact places I can stash my bag while I'm exploring, maybe nearby off-airport? (I'm tempted, of course, to check a bag, but with international flights and a tight itinerary the first few days I'm leery of that.)
Here is possibility for stashing the carry on. I would call before Sunday to verify they are still in service:

http://www.kensbaggage.com/storageservices.html
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Old Jun 24, 16, 10:35 pm
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An alternative to downtown would be to take a brief taxi/Uber ride over to the airplane museum or whatever the one near SEA-TAC is called.

The Boeing plant is far on the other side of downtown from the airport. Their tours require reservations in advance and probably don't operate on Sundays.

You could rent a car and leave the luggage in the trunk. Unfortunately SEA now has a car rental center located some distance from the airport terminals, so you lose some time compared to many similarly sized airports. In addition to downtown [there's a tour of the "underground city", a good art museum, obviously the Space Needle, an art/glass exhibit that I think is permanently shown in a gallery in the little park around the Space Needle (plus more in one of the hotels, IIRC the Sheraton by convention center), the market, and in a small park along the way toward the U of Washington campus, a salmon "ladder" that's fun to see when the fish are active], you could take some scenic roads and bridges and perhaps check out the wine tasting rooms in Woodenville.
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Old Jun 24, 16, 10:37 pm
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pretty sure I saw the door open at Ken's when I arrived a couple weeks ago

it's about a 35-40 minute trip on the Link Light Rail to downtown (cost is ~$3) ... Sun is pretty chaotic with usually three cruise ships in port, but there are a ton of interesting things to see and do, and an abundance of good food and drink

this thread is from a couple years ago but still pretty relevant

I would make sure to get back to the airport ~2 hours before the KEF flight departs because TSA lines have been really nasty the past few months
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Old Jun 24, 16, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
An alternative to downtown would be to take a brief taxi/Uber ride over to the airplane museum or whatever the one near SEA-TAC is called..
Museum of Flight ...
a GREAT option if you are at all interested in aviation history

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
... a tour of the "underground city", a good art museum, obviously the Space Needle, an art/glass exhibit that I think is permanently shown in a gallery in the little park around the Space Needle (plus more in one of the hotels, IIRC the Sheraton by convention center), the market, and at the Hiram M Chittenden Locks in Ballard in a small park along the way toward the U of Washington campus, (which is NOT on the way from the airport or downtown toward UW), a salmon "ladder" that's fun to see when the fish are active. ...

Last edited by jrl767; Jun 24, 16 at 10:47 pm
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Old Jun 24, 16, 11:41 pm
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I've gone and spent time in Seattle with a layover half that long. 10 hours is plenty. And Ken's is a great place to leave your bag.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by donkiely View Post
I realize that in these post-911 days, there are no easy places to safely dump luggage for a few hours.
Ken's is an easy place to safely dump luggage for a few hours. I've used them several times to store my carry-on roll-a-board while I take the train to downtown for several hours of fun before returning to Sea-Tac and continuing on to ANC or FAI.

Just realize that while you may have Pre-Check with AS, you don't have Pre-Check with Iceland Air so allow for some extra time to stand in a non-pre-check TSA line, and take off your shoes, take out your laptop, etc, etc.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by tonei View Post
I've gone and spent time in Seattle with a layover half that long. 10 hours is plenty. And Ken's is a great place to leave your bag.
+1...heck, I make day trips to Seattle for under 12 hours relatively often, arriving at 8:30am and heading home on the 745pm departure.

Kens is operational and a great place to store the bag.

for PreCheck, yes FI will not offer it. if you feel you must have it, buy a refundable domestic ticket, check in and use the BP to go through, then cancel it for a refund.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by donkiely View Post
Through my finely honed skills at booking optimal flights, I find myself with a 10 hour layover in SEA this Sunday (FAI-SEA-KEF-ARN). That's a bit much of SEA even for an Alaskan like me!

I've never, ever considered leaving the security area during a layover in SEA, even with TSA Precheck, but with 10 hours to kill, it would be nice to head downtown to do some exploring. Complicating matters is that I'll have a carry-on roller bag with me, which I'd really rather not drag along with me on the train and exploring.

I realize that in these post-911 days, there are no easy places to safely dump luggage for a few hours.

So, do I have any good options? Are there in fact places I can stash my bag while I'm exploring, maybe nearby off-airport? (I'm tempted, of course, to check a bag, but with international flights and a tight itinerary the first few days I'm leery of that.)

Otherwise, I'll just bring a stack of reading that I'm way behind on.

Thanks for any suggestions!
Don
10 hours is plenty of time. Go out and take the Link train into downtown (~35 min), spend 6 hours seeing the Pike Place Market, going to some restaurants and seeing the city, then hop back on Link. I wouldn't say you have a ton of time to go trotting between different neighborhoods (maybe stick to downtown or Capitol Hill, and stay find stuff around a small-ish area), since you'll spend a lot of time getting around, but there's plenty to do with just a half a day in Seattle!

No matter what you're interested in, I'd definitely recommend spending some time in the city, even if your layover was half of what you have.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 1:12 pm
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A mix of some good info in this thread, and some really bad misinformation/ignorance.

Overall good: yes, Kens should still be a going concern, and an obvious place to drop your bag. Give them a call first to check open hours and what you can expect to pay. But consider checking that monster for your next leg - do you really want/need to lug that along with you? Might be cheaper to check it than store it for half a day...

The"airplane museum" is the Museum of Flight (MOF). It's located on Boeing Field, which is NOT on the other (far) end of the Seattle area. It does NOT require a reservation. Boeing Field is easy and quick to get to from Seatac if you have a car. If you don't, it's a bit of PITA to reach. Without a car, I'd take a taxi (without bad traffic, about 15 minutes dive from Seatac). The MOF is great if you have an interest in aviation, probably a yawn-fest if you have none. BTW, the other aviation museum/facilities that were probably referenced are at Everett's Paine Field, much further away to the north. There are actually a bunch of interesting facilities there, all of which seem to have been conflated (all of which have more restrictive hours and availability): there's the Boeing Factory Tour, Flying Heritage Collection, Historic Flight Foundation, etc. Those are not really practical for a quick visit unless you are really dedicated and organized, have planned ahead, and have wheels.

Note that traffic in Seattle is generally nightmarish now (the city - and the airport - is so overcrowded I hardly recognize it anymore, sigh...). Allow yourself way more time than you think it could possible take to get anywhere. It's Gay Pride weekend, too, (plus multiple sports events going on) which will make traffic worse than usual. At least Obama's just left town (an hour ago), so large swaths of the city won't be completely shut-down iike they have been for the past 24 hours, just the regular gridlock as is the new norm.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 2:06 pm
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Yes, Seattle is worth a trip from the airport.
Pride parade starts at 11am on Sunday and festivities continue throughout Capitol Hill and Seattle Center (space needle, experience music project and Chihully Glass gardens.).
Expect more crowds than usual and allow more time.
Weather will be perfect, 78-80 and sunny. A great opportunity for some pics of the city.
Enjoy the emerald city.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 3:10 pm
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Better option than Ken's: Check bags with AS skycap outside - and they both hold the bags - AND check them in to your flight for you - for $7 per bag. Even some CSA's don't know about this - it's a miracle! And then, take the lightrail downtown, or Uber. Perhaps with a strategic stop at one of the nice little shops in SODO....
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Old Jun 25, 16, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by sueinjuneau View Post
Better option than Ken's: Check bags with AS skycap outside - and they both hold the bags - AND check them in to your flight for you - for $7 per bag.
Checking in a carry-on bag kind of misses the point of it being a carry-on bag.
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Old Jun 25, 16, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy View Post

The"airplane museum" is the Museum of Flight (MOF). It's located on Boeing Field, which is NOT on the other (far) end of the Seattle area. It does NOT require a reservation. Boeing Field is easy and quick to get to from Seatac if you have a car. If you don't, it's a bit of PITA to reach.
Actually, the MOF is pretty easy to reach from SEA on transit. Just grab the light rail to the Tukwila station and jump the Metro 24/124 bus right to the front door. 30 minutes door-to-door: not much more than the extra time it'd take to rent a car and drive there, with no parking or driving hassles. Grab an ORCA card right at the light rail station, and load it up to get the free transfer between Light Rail and Metro. (If you're up in FAI you'll surely find a use for it again later, and it makes transit in the Seattle area super easy for some future trip.)

Today and tomorrow are particularly good days to visit, since it's the Grand Opening weekend for the new Aviation Pavilion where they're exhibiting a bunch of historic airplanes in a huge covered space next to the aviation high school for the Seattle area! Cool stuff. http://goo.gl/5E6s8y

Last edited by brizone; Jun 25, 16 at 7:26 pm Reason: Add ORCA purchase location
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Old Jun 25, 16, 9:30 pm
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You can also leave your bag with the doorman at any hotel downtown for a decent tip.
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