Waiting in line at security can feel like an eternity, but this new program allows you to make a reservation to fly through the airport in no time.
f you ask any frequent traveler to recommend a tip that makes navigating the airport a breeze, chances are they will vehemently suggest a trusted traveler program like “CLEAR” or “TSA Pre-Check.” These services allow travelers to move through security checkpoints in a fraction of the time than general security checkpoints. While airports have taken to mobile apps, in addition to marquees throughout the facility, allowing travelers to have an estimate of security checkpoint wait times, the downside is people still must stand in line and wait it out.
With SeaTac being a hub airport for several airlines and travelers journeying via cruise, there are times when it has more traffic than normal, increasing the amount of time a traveler needs to wait. However, one of their best-kept secrets is their new SEA Spot Saver program, which aims to curtail the experience of extensive airport wait times by allowing passengers to make a reservation to go through general security.
Recommended Fodor’s Video
Delta Air Lines and Alaska Air piloted the program last year. After much success and feedback, it is now a permanent feature at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, open to travelers using any airline. This unique program works like the fast-track process of trusted traveler programs, except it’s completely free. Yes, F-R-E-E! Here’s everything to know about using the program.
It’s A Hassel Free Process
Spot Saver only operates from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day from checkpoints 2, 3, and 5.
In addition to being free of charge, SEA Spot Saver does not require any kind of membership to use. Travelers simply provide their name, contact information, party size, and flight information and receive a QR code to be scanned by TSA agents at the checkpoint entrance. To make the process smoother, there are also designated lines and floor markers for those using SEA Spot Saver, making it easy to distinguish between the different security lines.
Your Entire Group Is Included
Speaking of party size, up to 10 people can be included with each reservation slot. This is a major bonus point for families because, with trusted traveler programs, only co-travelers of a certain age can move through the security checkpoint with them.
Reservations Are Encouraged
The program operates with both a limited schedule and availability; although walk-ups are accepted, it is highly encouraged to make an appointment. Travelers should also be advised that at this time, Spot Saver only operates from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day from checkpoints 2, 3, and 5. Reservations can be made up to three days in advance and as soon as 60 minutes before departure. Travelers should ensure they give themselves plenty of time to get from the baggage drop off to the security checkpoint for an on-time arrival for their appointment, as the grace period is only 15 minutes.
This Is Not in Addition to Trusted Traveler Programs
There’s an ongoing social media joke that having the “Clear + TSA Precheck” combo makes one feel like an elite traveler. It really is an undefeated combo. However, SEA Spot Saver is not an additional notch in anyone’s travel belt. This service is only for those without trusted traveler status, allowing them to move through general security checkpoints a bit faster.
The addition of this service is also a game-changer for carry-on-only travelers allowing them to reduce the amount of time spent at the airport before their flight. However, there is good news for those who may not be traveling through SeaTac any time soon, as a few other airports have also launched their versions of Spot Saver.
Newark Liberty International Airport uses the “Virtual Line” program. Similar services also available are “Fast Pass” at Dallas Forth Worth Airport and “Fast Lane” found at Los Angeles International Airport.