SEA is a mess

Old Jul 25, 18, 10:56 am
  #1  
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SEA is a mess

I’ve flown through SEA twice in the last week and today is a third experience where delays caused by the POS are creating havoc. One day seems to be weather (sunny skies with a cloud or two causing atc to slow traffics - based on what we were told) and today we have been waiting for our aircraft to be towed from the South ramp to the gate due to ‘traffic’ on the ramp. We are now on our 4th gate change and even the gate agents are beyond frustrated. In fact, they are switching gate agent crews as well.

It seems that SEA cannot handle the growth and traffic. Delays seem to be increasing and I’m strongly considering avoiding it for future connections. Beyond ridiculous.

An example of when competition doesn’t serve the passengers.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 11:04 am
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Agreed. After a not-optimal connection there attempting to get from YVR to SBA that concluded with a run through the airport, I'm trying to route some of my connections to smaller PNW destinations through PDX as much as possible--the reliability rates out of PDX are much better. Looks like other people are starting to catch on too--fares for DCA-PDX are getting higher, though they're still not quite at the DCA-SEA level. Since March of this year, I try and make sure my connections through SEA involve a 737 or 320. Whenever a Q400 is involved I'm usually running.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 11:26 am
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I have missed my last two connections in Seattle. In both cases, the originating flight departed on time, but it is now impossible to make many connections at SEA with less than 60 minutes due to crowding. In both cases, the connecting gate agent closed the door at T-15, even knowing we were sprinting to reach them. In both cases, the connecting gate agent was extremely rude and downgraded us from paid F to Y when reaccomodating. In both cases, we were refused any compensation above the suspiciously low refund of fare difference to which we were entitled (the latest one came in at $49 on what was, as I recall, about a $400 ticket).

I usually qualify any grievances against Alaska with “but I still love them!” That is getting harder to do.

But I still love them!
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:11 pm
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This has been a developing problem for years. I have flown back and forth from SEA to PDX and the trip back is usually delayed due to ATC delays. It has not mattered whether it was mainline or Horizon, indeed I was usually catching the mainline from PDX to SEA around noon and 4 out of 4 times it was delayed about 30 minutes due to traffic in SEA. It was getting to the point where I would causally mention to the FA "bet we are going to have an ATC delay" and of course she would look at me strangely until the announcement came from the pilot then it was "how did you know?"......course that was until the fifth time when I said that but we took off on schedule. That being said, we usually land fairly close to the scheduled time...usually. There was an incident last week when we were delayed due ATC and a fellow came marching forward saying "I have to get to Seattle now for a meeting" and was planning on getting off the plane and finding another flight. The FA was very polite and simply asked what other flight is going with an ATC hold? He sat back down.

I agree, the Port of Seattle needs to moving quicker to address the growth, however between limited area for growth and the Port being a government agency, I don't expect relief soon. Luckily I do not connect through Seattle, I live here.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:19 pm
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SEA airport is frustratingly awful seemingly by its own mis-management and poor planning.

Security is awful (why do they keep moving Precheck even -futher- away?) , the gate space is gross, the center court is under construction -yet again- , and the satellite terminals are annoying to get to, the lounges are perpetually slammed, and it's just kind of an ugly and cramped.

Remote stands are doubly awful (which I've had my last two flights.)

PDX all the way.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:44 pm
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I have encountered slow downs of the aircraft inbound as far east as well into Montana even a couple years back. Frequently when inbound on AA from DFW I was encountering loops last year. I do know the smaller aircraft are subject to outright cancellations as needed. What I don't understand is that I don't see full utilization of all three runways. I presume they are still too close to each other to allow true back to back throughput, but still I will sit in long takeoff lines (esp. midday) and only one runway used for takeoffs. Center is usually the one that is used ad hoc.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
I have encountered slow downs of the aircraft inbound as far east as well into Montana even a couple years back. Frequently when inbound on AA from DFW I was encountering loops last year. I do know the smaller aircraft are subject to outright cancellations as needed. What I don't understand is that I don't see full utilization of all three runways. I presume they are still too close to each other to allow true back to back throughput, but still I will sit in long takeoff lines (esp. midday) and only one runway used for takeoffs. Center is usually the one that is used ad hoc.
I have parallel landed in SEA many times; dependent on ILS, weather category, etc. I am sure take off could be done parallel as well, though I am no expert on that and I am sure someone can chime in here. However, one would wonder that the great minds of airport operations would be looking at all possibilities of improving flow. There always seems to be a "regulation" that will hinder (and possibly rightly so) what would be an efficient fix.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by obnoxoid View Post
Agreed. After a not-optimal connection there attempting to get from YVR to SBA that concluded with a run through the airport, I'm trying to route some of my connections to smaller PNW destinations through PDX as much as possible--the reliability rates out of PDX are much better. Looks like other people are starting to catch on too--fares for DCA-PDX are getting higher, though they're still not quite at the DCA-SEA level. Since March of this year, I try and make sure my connections through SEA involve a 737 or 320. Whenever a Q400 is involved I'm usually running.
I would love nothing better if they would make the PDX-BWI flight year round, even with a connection to SEA it is somewhat appealing to me as a change.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by pdxasflyer View Post

An example of when competition doesn’t serve the passengers.
Umm, no. Count the new non-stop destinations that have been added by Alaska and Delta. Count the routes that gained a competitor on a non-stop. Airport managers and knowledgeable flying public would kill to have SEA's problem.

If airport authorities built capacity to add 150 flights into every plan people would be complaining about that, too. If PDX serves you, with far fewer destinations and frequencies, fine.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Umm, no. Count the new non-stop destinations that have been added by Alaska and Delta. Count the routes that gained a competitor on a non-stop. Airport managers and knowledgeable flying public would kill to have SEA's problem.

If airport authorities built capacity to add 150 flights into every plan people would be complaining about that, too. If PDX serves you, with far fewer destinations and frequencies, fine.
It’s a matter of perspective. ‘Knowledgeable public’ is the minority, and to the contrary, the majority would not kill for SEA’s problem. Flight delays caused by too much traffic? Missed connections? To save a buck because competition was added? Umm, no.

Sure, new non-stops are great and all, but only when they can be regularly executed timely and reliably. Delta’s greedy insurgence into SEA has caused a turf battle they has feigned the benefit of new routes by them and AS, but service for passengers sucks when people are trying to get from point a to point b because they are effectively caught in the crossfire.

Today, I could have taken the direct flight from pdx. It was scheduled for an hour and a half later and would have put me in my destination later than I needed to be. Now, due to a 2-Hour delay because the POS could not get a plane towed from the south ramp to the gate means that the pdx flight is actually ahead of us and it’s not an isolated incident.

But if SEA suits you, fine.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 2:53 pm
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Waiting for PAI to open.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by lalala View Post
I would love nothing better if they would make the PDX-BWI flight year round, even with a connection to SEA it is somewhat appealing to me as a change.
ditto
and, of course, quit mucking around with the IAD schedule
Originally Posted by JPat View Post
Waiting for PAI to open.
PAE = Paine Field, Everett
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by JPat View Post
Waiting for PAI to open.
I'm wondering if the airlines will charge a premium to fly out of there.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:38 pm
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I fly almost exclusively DL now so I can connect in SLC instead of SEA. Reasons stated above- ATC delays, gate delays, etc. Real bummer since growing up in Seattle area, and up until recently used to love connecting there
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
I'm wondering if the airlines will charge a premium to fly out of there.
of course they will, they'll all have essentially little to no nonstop competition...connecting traffic, they'll probably also charge a premium unless it is treated as a SEA coterminal for fare construction purposes.

yes, SEA is a disaster, I am really curtailing my travel through there the past 2 years and trying to limit it to "by necessity only", though I do often choose to connect outbound internationally as it's the best of the bad options on DL. returning, I try to connect in SLC, because the SEA customs situation has become a real nightmare.
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