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[Speculation] Should AS Funnel More Transit Passengers Via PDX as SEA Is Overcrowded?

[Speculation] Should AS Funnel More Transit Passengers Via PDX as SEA Is Overcrowded?

Old Oct 26, 21, 12:48 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
The modern gates at SEA (N and A) are light years better than the ones constructed when 737s held about 120 passengers tops (S, B, C, D). When you have a 180-200 passenger plane using a gate holdroom that maybe seats 150, this is what you get.

DL doesnt have this problem as much because a lot of their gates are in A. AS is doing better now that N is finishing up. I guess S and international are next.
I'd trade the light years better N gates for having connections that didn't require a train ride.
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Old Oct 26, 21, 1:04 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
I'd trade the light years better N gates for having connections that didn't require a train ride.
Never really understood the hate for the train at Sea-Tac. They come every couple of minutes, and the whole loop can't take longer than about 3 minutes. From one end of the system to the other, even with two connections, it would be difficult to spend more than 15 minutes on them. If you're on Alaska/Horizon, it's going to be more like a maximum of 5, total. It doesn't even qualify as "inconvenient".

The crowded gates aren't good, but I find that to be very manageable. Mainly by not even going to my gate until close to boarding. So it's either a lounge, a restaurant, the central terminal seating, or the first quiet gate I see on the way there. Which is pretty much the same as what I do in PDX, or anywhere else. I do enjoy that Portland is a more laid-back experience, but it really isn't enough to prefer one over the other.
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Old Oct 26, 21, 1:18 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Calculon View Post
Never really understood the hate for the train at Sea-Tac. They come every couple of minutes, and the whole loop can't take longer than about 3 minutes. From one end of the system to the other, even with two connections, it would be difficult to spend more than 15 minutes on them. If you're on Alaska/Horizon, it's going to be more like a maximum of 5, total. It doesn't even qualify as "inconvenient".
I would rather spend 7 minutes walking between gates in the same concourse than five minutes walking to a station, three minutes waiting for a train, three minutes on the train with several dozen of my not closest friends, and five minutes walking from train to gate. No surprise there.
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Last edited by elCheapoDeluxe; Oct 26, 21 at 1:24 pm
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Old Oct 26, 21, 2:16 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
I'd trade the light years better N gates for having connections that didn't require a train ride.
Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
walking between gates in the same concourse



*Laughs in SFO/LAX/ORD/JFK*

Try the AS connection experience on arrival at TBIT to LAX T6 sometime. SFO international to AS domestic isn’t exactly amazeballs either. It’s not a seven minute walk. Maybe a 10 minute sprint.

SEA is very compact compared to like, everyone that’s a major international airport. I mean, if you hate trains, you hate trains… but I’m pretty sure some of the DEN gates might be closer to COS.
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Last edited by eponymous_coward; Oct 26, 21 at 2:26 pm
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Old Oct 26, 21, 2:51 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
I would rather spend 7 minutes walking between gates in the same concourse than five minutes walking to a station, three minutes waiting for a train, three minutes on the train with several dozen of my not closest friends, and five minutes walking from train to gate. No surprise there.
Strikes me as exaggerated, but ok.
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Old Oct 26, 21, 3:10 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Calculon View Post
Never really understood the hate for the train at Sea-Tac. They come every couple of minutes, and the whole loop can't take longer than about 3 minutes. From one end of the system to the other, even with two connections, it would be difficult to spend more than 15 minutes on them. If you're on Alaska/Horizon, it's going to be more like a maximum of 5, total. It doesn't even qualify as "inconvenient".
A few months ago, I had to take the train from C (arrived on Horizon) to S (leaving on BA). At the first train station I found an elderly (say, 70) gentleman, probably not from this country, staring at the train system map, clearly confused about something. I asked him if he needed help, and he said that he couldn’t quite understand how to get to his Qatar flight. I started explaining (pointing, hindered by face mask muffling) and ultimately decided it was just easier to tell him to just tag along, since he was going to the same place (S) anyway. He was grateful and we both made our flights, but I could tell that he was still confused by the fact that we took three different trains to get to our destination. I suspect he thought “surely there is any easier way to get there that this guy doesn’t know about.” (of course, I could have just walked to B and taken one train, but due to the crowds in the C Horizon “walkway” and a foot injury I chose to minimize my walking)

I recently booked a flight for my elderly MIL to visit us. I excluded SEA from the possible routes because I couldn’t imagine her navigating that airport for the first time successfully. Sadly, PDX wasn’t an option thanks to AS cuts, and so she ended up on UA via SFO. Then UA messed up my carefully hatched plan by moving the connecting flight on the return into the “international” terminal, but live-coaching via phone helped her made the connection. Next time I’ll order her a wheelchair or do a MR to accompany her.
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Old Oct 26, 21, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post


*Laughs in SFO/LAX/ORD/JFK*

Try the AS connection experience on arrival at TBIT to LAX T6 sometime. SFO international to AS domestic isn’t exactly amazeballs either. It’s not a seven minute walk. Maybe a 10 minute sprint.

SEA is very compact compared to like, everyone that’s a major international airport. I mean, if you hate trains, you hate trains… but I’m pretty sure some of the DEN gates might be closer to COS.
17 year United 1K here. ORD gets a bad rap - going from the far reaches of C all the way to the tip of F isn't that bad compared to all these airports where a train is required. And that's the WORST that it gets for a domestic single airline connection in the entire airport.

SFO was formerly my home airport so I didn't do a lot of connecting - but the worst UA connection (it is their hub - they probably would have the worst) would be from the old E pier out to the intl G gates. Easy walk. No train waiting required. Those two airports are actually very compact for walking compared to many. SEA at AS - about average. Things like ATL and IAH are horrendous.

Since OneWorld I've switched more of my flying from UA to AA. Ugh - I forgot how much I hated the trAAin.

Last edited by elCheapoDeluxe; Oct 26, 21 at 4:04 pm
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Old Oct 26, 21, 3:57 pm
  #38  
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Off topic, but on that three ride excursion a couple of months ago I was wondering what Seatac’s plan is for when the train system has an outage (breakdown, maintenance, accident, hack)? Are there secret walkways to/from the satellite terminals? (don’t say that won’t happen, because it has happened in other airports).

edit: 20 second “research” - looks like they may have a fleet of buses somewhere in reserve? https://www.airlinereporter.com/2016...-mover-system/
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Old Oct 26, 21, 5:21 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
17 year United 1K here. ORD gets a bad rap - going from the far reaches of C all the way to the tip of F isn't that bad compared to all these airports where a train is required. And that's the WORST that it gets for a domestic single airline connection in the entire airport.

SFO was formerly my home airport so I didn't do a lot of connecting - but the worst UA connection (it is their hub - they probably would have the worst) would be from the old E pier out to the intl G gates. Easy walk. No train waiting required. Those two airports are actually very compact for walking compared to many. SEA at AS - about average. Things like ATL and IAH are horrendous.

Since OneWorld I've switched more of my flying from UA to AA. Ugh - I forgot how much I hated the trAAin.
Yeah. Thing is I do ORD and SFO as an AS pax (often connecting international). Its uh, less than ideal. And LAX is a joke, though thank goodness terminals are connected behind security.
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Old Oct 26, 21, 6:25 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
And LAX is a joke, though thank goodness terminals are connected behind security.
The 4-5-6 tunnels are a lucky happenstance of the original 60's airport design. They were built for airport employee mobility and service, and earthquake safety. There were never intended for passenger transit.
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Old Oct 27, 21, 8:10 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Off topic, but on that three ride excursion a couple of months ago I was wondering what Seatac’s plan is for when the train system has an outage (breakdown, maintenance, accident, hack)? Are there secret walkways to/from the satellite terminals? (don’t say that won’t happen, because it has happened in other airports).

edit: 20 second “research” - looks like they may have a fleet of buses somewhere in reserve? https://www.airlinereporter.com/2016...-mover-system/
Thanks notquiteaff, I had also wondered the same thing as even at large airports like ATL and LHR that have satellites, they have tunnels that can be used even when the trains are running. The bus angle sounds like a disaster especially now with the much larger crowds going to N and S. At least S now has the overhead walkway when it opens. It may be for international arrivals only but in an emergency, it is at least a way to get passengers from S to A without a bus.
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Old Oct 27, 21, 1:12 pm
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Yes, I would love more PDX flights! Especially to and from JFK.
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Old Oct 27, 21, 1:31 pm
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SEA is one of my home airports, but it is busy with all of the connecting passengers and doesn't really have many affordable food options like it used to have. DFW might have some confusing connections, but it mandates street pricing and has something like five 7-Eleven locations and multiple fast food chains. SEA has a Qdoba and a very expensive McDonald's.

ATL is actually a great airport for connections as it has a very simple design with a train and tunnel connecting the centers of most concourses and tons of very large restrooms. It also has the Varsity.

I've been flying DL a lot lately out of SEA (lower prices, better flight times, and changeable tickets) and the A and B gates tend to be much less crowded than the C and D gates, while the N gates are slightly less crowded and have limited low-priced food options. The lack of low-priced food options works for an airport such as PAE or BLI with few connecting passengers, but is annoying for larger airports such as SEA, LAX, and LAS.

WN arguably has the best gate situation of any airline in SEA with multiple gates close together in the Concourse B which don't require a train ride or long walk, are relatively quiet and are close to the Qdoba and McDonald's.
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Old Oct 27, 21, 2:07 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Tide_from_PAE View Post
SEA is one of my home airports, but it is busy with all of the connecting passengers and doesn't really have many affordable food options like it used to have. DFW might have some confusing connections, but it mandates street pricing and has something like five 7-Eleven locations and multiple fast food chains. SEA has a Qdoba and a very expensive McDonald's.
Since this is about PDX, I just want to mention that the Port of Portland also mandates street pricing. And I find the selection of food vendors to be quite good.

https://www.portofportland.com/about/pdx
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Old Oct 27, 21, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Since this is about PDX, I just want to mention that the Port of Portland also mandates street pricing. And I find the selection of food vendors to be quite good.

https://www.portofportland.com/about/pdx
Agreed - As a Priority Pass holder I feel silly not going to Caper's but if/when it goes away I'm looking forward to revisiting some of the restaurants. A hot bowl of Mo's clam chowder or Bambuza Pho pre-flight is always nice. And a Yumm bowl makes for a great grab and go if you're short on time. I usually fly out early-ish so I'm not really looking for a drink but PDX sure could use another sit-down restaurant/lounge (especially if AS were ever to funnel more people through). The Henry's Tavern is always completely packed.
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