Seattle airport too much traffic

Old Jan 22, 20, 8:31 pm
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Seattle airport too much traffic

How often have you guys experienced this?

Supposed to depart from BOI at 7:15 for SEA. But then we get told that there is too much traffic at the Seattle airport so they're delaying our departure from Boise by 45 minutes. As we're sitting out on the runway.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:35 pm
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Ever fly into Atlanta, Chicago, or New York City? It happens when airports get busy and the airspace around them is congested. I've had plenty of SJC-SEA flights where they hold us on the ground for a few minutes and then fly a sine wave pattern over Oregon just to slow us down.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:51 pm
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not at all uncommon for ATC to meter the arrival flow into SEA, particularly at peak hours

BOI (and PDX, where I’ve experienced it more than a few times) is close enough to where they impose the delay in terms of a wheels-up time, whereas flights from more distant points generally get some enroute vectoring (similar to what SJC ORD LDR described) and/or airspeed adjustments
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:54 pm
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Unfortunately, this is very common with the rapid growth in Seattle; the airport at SEA is space constrained and the airspace around it also has a number of restrictions.

Also keep in mind that SEA's busiest bank of departures and arrivals occurs mid-morning, right around the time your flight is scheduled to land, because those are the time slots that connect to the international departure bank.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 9:01 pm
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I got the impression that OP is posting in real time (flight was supposed to leave at 715pm, arriving ~8pm) ... the 730-930pm period is pretty densely packed with inbound flights too
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Old Jan 22, 20, 9:16 pm
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It looks like SEA is getting like the NYC area where schedules depend on VFR but winter storms disrupt that delaying things significantly. My Flights from PSC are often delayed 5-15 minutes on wheels up due to congestion at SEA too.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 9:43 pm
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I was about to book a MSP-SEA-YVR with at 34 connection in SEA. Itís a legal DL connection but from what Iím seeing on this thread, may be too risky or overly optimistic.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 10:25 pm
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I've flown ZRH to JFK on DL and AA often, these flights were scheduled to arrive in JFK mid to late afternoon--a (relatively) slow period for JFK, but the airspace over FRANCE was congested so we sat at the gate for 20 to 30 minutes.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 10:34 pm
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Welcome to travel within the Northeast on a daily basis.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by S_D_P View Post
I was about to book a MSP-SEA-YVR with at 34 connection in SEA. Itís a legal DL connection but from what Iím seeing on this thread, may be too risky or overly optimistic.
it may well be risky, but as long as youíre not connecting to the last flight of the day there will probably be a fallback (DL, AS, AC) within a couple hours

DL is also notorious for padding schedules, and in more-or-less-normal weather conditions it isnít unusual for medium- to long-haul flights such as MSP-SEA to actually arrive early (gate availability is another issue however)
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Old Jan 22, 20, 11:31 pm
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As others have said, this is very common at busier airports like JFK, ORD, etc. What I do find maddening at SEA, which happens to my home airport, is the fairly regular lack of gate availability upon landing. It's usually only a 5 or 10 minute delay, but there have been times that I've waited up to 45 minutes. SEA is very clearly bursting at the seams and is thankfully undergoing expansion.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:18 am
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I have never heard of this happening before. Usually they have you wait on a taxiway or on a pull-off somewhere. I've never heard of them holding a plane on the runway where they tie up the departure airport.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:36 am
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Unfortunately, congestion at major airports is what happened when customers demanded more flights. Instead of a couple of flights a day from say MSP to SEA on a 767 or A330 there are now 5-6 flights a day with a mix of 739's and 757's. Or say MSP to JFK instead of one or two flights on a 757 there is now multiple using 717's or A319's. Those extra flights on every route add up quick.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by musicdude91 View Post
How often have you guys experienced this?

Supposed to depart from BOI at 7:15 for SEA. But then we get told that there is too much traffic at the Seattle airport so they're delaying our departure from Boise by 45 minutes. As we're sitting out on the runway.
9 out of my 10 flights are like this, ATL, NYC, CHI, etc I am surprised when we go straight to the run way and take off as opposed to sitting on the tarmac
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Old Jan 23, 20, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
Welcome to travel within the Northeast on a daily basis.
In +/- 20 years SEA has gone from sleepy to totally paralyzed / overwhelmed. DL's expansion had a lot to do with it, but so did the Port of Seattle's steadfast refusal to meet forecast traffic demand. Incredibly, with 24.8 million pax boardings in 2018, SEA now handles more pax than EWR, IAH, MSP or PHL... and more than twice as many as IAD, SAN, or SLC. Northeast traffic levels bring Northeast-style delays.

I'm very glad to have moved away from the PNW... I no longer have to cope with SEA on a weekly basis. Last time I was there the place was mobbed with standees and queues for everything and it was just a regular operating day.
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