Arrival/Transfer at Seattle

Old Sep 2, 19, 11:28 am
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Arrival/Transfer at Seattle

Arriving on a BA flight and transferring to an Alaska Airlines flight, is it reasonably easy and does it involve changing terminals?.Separate tickets so will be picking up luggage
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Old Sep 2, 19, 11:38 am
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It will be reasonably easy. You will use the airport automated subway.

In the south satellite (international arrivals) terminal you clear immigration, then pick up your checked luggage and proceed through customs.

You will go to the central (also called main) terminal to check in for your Alaska flight. The flight itself will likely be out of concourse C or D, or the north satellite.




There is additional information here:
SEATAC International Arrival





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Last edited by muji; Sep 2, 19 at 12:29 pm
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Old Sep 2, 19, 11:53 am
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Seattle let foreigners on Esta's use the APC kiosks, so you can get through pretty quickly and out with your bags in decent time.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 12:41 pm
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Thanks both, very helpful info.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 1:27 pm
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Alaska have a check-in desk in the Satellite where international flights arrive. Follow the directions and it is only a few yards after leaving customs. One word of caution - if your bag is not tagged through to your final destination - do not give it to the guys who are keen to put it on the conveyor until you have been to the desk and got the correct tag!
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Old Sep 2, 19, 1:30 pm
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OP is on separate tickets so bags won’t be checked through to anywhere
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Old Sep 2, 19, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by red duster View Post
Arriving on a BA flight and transferring to an Alaska Airlines flight, is it reasonably easy and does it involve changing terminals?.Separate tickets so will be picking up luggage
We did just this last year but the BA flight was delayed which meant we missed the connection and the whole process became a lot more complicated, even on a single ticket. But that's another story.

To clarify the other responses you've had, there is an Alaska bag drop immediately after you exit customs in the international arrivals satellite. In theory this should be easier, as then you won't have to cart your luggage on the transporter; in practice, when we tried it, there were only two desks open and the queues were very long so we went to the main Alaska terminal where there are a lot more counters.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 2:08 pm
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Even with separate tickets just check in on line. Show your boarding pass at the belt after security the baggage reclaim area and customs. The workers at the belt will tag and send your baggage directly onward. You can then go directly to your gate. It is pretty smooth at SEA international transfer.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
OP is on separate tickets so bags won’t be checked through to anywhere
The guys at the belt were keen to take the bags anyway - hence the comment.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
OP is on separate tickets so bags won’t be checked through to anywhere
All bags have to be collected at point of entry into the USA, regardless of how a connecting flight is ticketed?
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Old Sep 2, 19, 4:34 pm
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Yes, all bags have to go through customs...like most places, it's a walk through unless they decide to check you. Once you exit the customs area, you will see the area where they will take your bags but, as above, I'd be careful to be sure they do re-tag them or they will simply sit at Seattle. If you go to the Alaska customer service desk also right in that same area, you will get new bag tags for sure. Then it's to the underground train and around to the terminal for your flight....that should be on the departures board unless you have allowed several hours for the connection. the train system is efficient....no more than 1/2 hour from exiting customs if you can get your bags re-tagged quickly right there. If you have to go to the main terminal to check in again, then you have the potential for a very long TSA line...they are known to be an hour at SEATAC sometimes. Depends on many factors.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by red duster View Post
Arriving on a BA flight and transferring to an Alaska Airlines flight
red duster, there is more good information here:

https://www.portseattle.org/page/int...al-connections
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Old Sep 2, 19, 7:09 pm
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Beware connections at Seattle- it can be a very lengthy process currently. I arrived from LHR (admittedly on Virgin rather than BA) 2 weeks ago. Held in the corridor after leaving the plane for an hour because “The passport control area is full, so we are holding you here for safety “. Another 30 minutes to get through passports, Long lines at customs, then about 40 minutes to pass through security again for connections. Luckily I had a long connection, but it was 2 hours 30 minutes from leaving the plane to having my first cold one in the lounge.

Chatting with regular travellers in the queues it seems like there has been a lot of congestion and delay over the summer
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Old Sep 2, 19, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by OldVines View Post
Beware connections at Seattle- it can be a very lengthy process currently...it seems like there has been a lot of congestion and delay over the summer

I can attest that this is true. It has been terrible, even for simple arrivals, let alone connections. Too many flights all arriving at about the same time.
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Old Sep 2, 19, 9:48 pm
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I arrived in Seattle on BA from LHR on Saturday 10 days ago and the immigration, customs and baggage collection were all very swift - less than 35 minutes if I remember correctly.
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