Sea-Tac Tower
Sea-Tac photo by Mozul

These are the steps you have to take between getting off the airplane and leaving the airport for international arrivals in Sea-Tac (or at least all the arrivals I can remember at Sea-Tac):

1) go through immigration
2) get your luggage off the carousel
3) go through customs
4) put the luggage back on a conveyor belt
5) take the people mover
6) go back up and wait for your bags again

Is there any other airport that makes you do steps 4 and 6? It’s crazy.

And why do you have to get your luggage, go upstairs, walk on the sky-bridge and take an elevator down again to get a cab? It’s like 500 meters and a dozens signs to find your way (I don’t take taxis often) while in most airports you can get surface transportation by just walking outside. And what’s up with $4 for a luggage cart? Those are free in virtually every other airport, and would be really nice for the cases you have to walk 500 meters with all your bags from the second baggage claim…

I could go on (and on), but I’ll stop there. The Port should drop the $400+ million parking garage and fix the airport that’s already there.

66 Replies to “Sea-Tac Annoys Me”

  1. For what it’s worth, luggage carts are *not* free anywhere I’ve ever been (and I’ve traveled a moderate amount in my life). And yes, international arrives frequently require you to claim your bags, go through customs, and return them to carousels, even if you’re coming in and staying in that city.


        I’ve seen these in every airport I’ve ever been to, including Montreal, Rome and Montego Bay (the 3 foreign ones I’ve seen). They always charge you.

        As for customs, my experience is limited to Seattle and Atlanta, but Stijn is right, that’s pretty common, at least for returning to the US. American Customs and Immigration is typically located on the “airside” and releases people back into the secured area. It’s a standard practice that has its drawbacks, but it’s certainly not the Port of Seattle’s fault.

      2. Every other airport you get your bags go through customs and you’re free. If Atlanta and Seattle both do that then both Atlanta and Seattle suck.

      3. Luggage carts in the international arrivals area at SEA are free of charge but you have to surrender them before leaving the terminal. Same with ORD.

        Luggage carts are free at most large European airports… but that’s probably because they’re not SmarteCartes. Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Brussels, Copenhagen, Heathrow, Charles deGaule they’re all free, and some even have smaller carry-on sized carts behind security!

      4. They were free at Narita (tokyo) before I left. Get to Seattle, $4, and you need cash.

        I just came from two months in Japan, I had no us currency.

      5. Yeah, in Japan and Taiwan, luggage carts are “complimentary”, meaning they simply give it to you and you can wheel it outside to wherever you’re going, either the bus station or pick-up area or the parking garage.

        And people say traveling to Japan is expensive….

    1. *Where* have you traveled? Your experiences seem very unique. Do you work for the Port of Seattle?

    2. Actually, luggage carts are free in most places I’ve been to…LAX, Singapore to name a few…

      In regards to Sea-Tac, I guess I’m a little confused as to what you are saying. When I’ve flown in from an internation or domestic flight, the only time I touch my bag is when I pull it off the conveyor belt and I walk out of the airport. What airline are you flying in on? Maybe it depends on that?!? I’ve flown in fron Virgin, United, and Alaska.

  2. I thought that was standard to do all those steps or at least the majority or those steps at US airports when arriving from an international flight.
    Either that or the customs and immigrations is located in/next to the main terminal.

    1. In SFO, LAX and JFK it must be in the same terminal with the baggage claim, because I never did that. Those are the only US airports outside of SEA that I’ve arrived from abroad into.

      In every foreign airport I’ve been in (I counted a dozen of the top of my head), I’ve been able to get the bags go through immigration and leave the airport without having to go through baggage claim a second time.

  3. In Atlanta you have to do the same stuff when you come in on an international flight. There is no way currently to leave the airport without going through the secured part of the airport. So you have to go through customs, drop your bags off on the conveyor, re-do security screening and head into the secured part of the airport. You eventually emerge on the other side at baggage claim to get your bags.

    This whole thing makes buying duty free liquor a significant challenge!

    1. That’s if you’re transfering. I’m not talking about transfering, I’m talking about landing and leaving the airport. Should be simple right? Not so!

      1. No, it’s not. In Atlanta when you arrive the Customs area releases you into the secured area on Concourse E. There’s no direct release to the “rest of the world.” So you either take all your bags through security or, if you have a gun or some shampoo, you check it. They chuck it on a baggage cart and send it to baggage claim, you get on the train thingy and go there too. But that way you can’t give your deadly shampoo to somebody boarding an airplane.

        I know it’s a pain, but it’s probably the least-impactful way to do it. If you put customs so that it drops people back into the open terminal, then everybody who has a connecting flight has to go back through the main checkpoints instead of the dedicated ones, which is bad because the customs ones are a lot quicker and allow people to make their connecting flights.

        The other problem is keeping the sterile (i.e. international, outside of customs) area intact all the way back. You either have to have customs next to the airplane, or you have to provide a way to move everybody from the plane TO customs, so that nobody can get out without going through immigration. The longer that corridor, the harder it is. In Seattle’s case, it would require a sterile train car, which can be difficult.

      2. I’m not really following what you’re saying. When I land at Heathrow, I go through customs and I have the choice of connecting or leaving the airport. If I’m connecting, I have to go back through security. Same thing as in Seattle.

        But if I’m not connecting, I get through customs and get on the tube and bob’s your uncle. In Seattle I’ve got this second baggage claim nightmare.

        I might mention that baggage claim system at Sea-Tac cost $150 million, more than the Sea-Tac extention and station:

      3. But at Sea-Tac there is no way to exit customs without going in to the secured area of the airport. They don’t want you to fly in from Mozambique and transfer your suitcase full of bombs to someone in the terminal who has cleared security and is now getting on a domestic flight. If they had an exit directly from customs to the outside world you wouldn’t have to reclaim your bags at the baggage claim. Although, last time I was at Sea-Tac, I thought I had noticed they now have a secured train car that you can take your bags on directly from customs that dumps you out past security.

        I think Sea-Tac is quite well laid out and pretty compact for a major airport. Even at Zurich and Copenhagen, where they have great transit, it is still a pretty long hike to get to ground transportation.

      4. That Mozambique argument is incorrect.

        Everyone of these other airports I’ve been in Europe and Asia manage to keep people who have not been through customs yet separate from those who have and still not require a second baggage claim.

        The problem is not with separating customs. The problem is with requiring a second baggage claim after customs. Sea-Tac is the only place I have been to that does this, though people say atlanta does as well.

      5. I assure you that that is the reason. Since 9/11 the US has far different procedures for dealing with international baggage than anywhere else in the world, so comparing to Europe and Asia is pointless. Whether you believe me or not, that’s up to you. I’m just sad to see this turning into the trashseattleblog instead of the seattletransitblog. There are people who design these systems who know what they are doing. Maybe to an outsider viewing things from the surface it may appear that things are done at random or for no other reason than to annoy people, but there is generally a reason behind everything.

      6. That’s a terrible answer.

        “America is different and worse and that’s okay and comparing us to place that are better is pointless!”

      7. There was a time, not that long ago because I remember it, when other places were falling over themselves to try to become like us. America and Seattle can learn from other places, and if pointing that out means I have to point what’s bad here, so be it.

        This isn’t becoming the “trashseattleblog” just because I point out that airport situation is confusing not just to me but to foreign tourists, especially those that don’t speak english.

      8. “America is different and worse and that’s okay and comparing us to place that are better is pointless!”

        Yeah, cause that’s exactly what I said. I said that post 9/11 the US has different security requirements than other countries, so to compare the experience of arriving in an Asian or European airport to arriving at a US airport is pointless. Apples and oranges. I was there when ARUP designed the new baggage handling system. It was nearly finished when 9/11 happened and they had to completely redesign it. All incoming international baggage is screened, regardless of whether you are connecting or not. It cost the Port hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with the new requirements and they finally just finished it 2 years ago. Large European airports were designed for large numbers of international passengers, because before Schengen most flights were considered international. SeaTac was designed for domestic travel. And SeaTac didn’t spring from the ground de novo in the last two decades like some of the mammoth Asian airports. SeaTac was state-of-the-art when it was expanded in 1973, they had a whopping 2 international flights and were considered the gateway to the Orient. I’m sure some day Narita will seem outdated too.

        And I apologize for the trashseattleblog comment. I don’t know how to put this politically, so I’m just going to say it, but the way you preface a lot of your posts it makes it look like you think Seattle is populated by bafoons and only you know how things should be done. You are fortunate to have people in government that actually read this blog and take into account the ideas presented here. If you want to be a legitimate journalistic source of new ideas and commentary and If you want to maintain any sort of goodwill or political traction with these people you can’t post things like “SeaTac annoys me” because it comes across as arrogant snobbery and diminishes the value of your other posts. There are ways to point out deficiencies or to suggest ways in which things could be improved without denigrating all of the hard work that other people have done. There’s a dearth of legitimate forums in Seattle that talk about the subjects you touch on here, and I don’t want to see you loose that legitimacy because you were cranky after your long flight. Leave the whining for the SLOG. :-) Just my opinion and if you want me to I’ll shut up.

      9. You’re talking about something else, though, Zed. Those baggage rules have nothing to do with a second conveyor! Nothing whatsoever! In SFO you get your bags and go through customs and are done. Is SFO under different rules than Seattle? Don’t be silly, that’s America and not Europe or Asia! Don’t just tell me that we have funny different customs in America and therefore can’y have nice airports, because we DO have nice airports in America.

        Narita will only seem old if they don’t keep it up to date. They have been keeping it up to date, though. And SFO is older than Sea-Tac but they keep it up-to-date as well.

        Thanks for the advice on the blog, I don’t agree though (obviously). These people are in government because they want to make our area a better place, and feedback the best way to do it. The airport is owned by the port, and I’m sure the elected officials there want to have the best airport they can. It’s a nice airport for domestic arrivals and a great airport for departing, but it’s a confusing place for international arrivals.

        If you don’t like the tone and think it should be all serious all the time, I think we can’t have a variety of tones and some fun and some serious and still be a good read.

      10. The rules have everything to do with the second conveyor. All of that luggage goes to the central terminal for automated screening before it goes to baggage claim or out to another flight. There is no way to insure that people bound for Seattle actually leave the secured area of the airport. Until they have a separate transit system and exit for international arrivals that won’t change. I don’t know what else there is to explain? I think most people like SeaTac and would call it a nice airport. Having to wait a little bit for your bags hardly makes it a not nice airport. And believe me, the Port gets plenty of feedback. I did their transportation and passenger flow studies back in 2000. The baggage re-check slow down is mentioned in their 2002 development report.

      11. I think you’ve come up with the solution to the problem, Zed: separate departures for international flights like SFO, Narita, JFK and many others have. Sea-Tac may just not be large enough for that, so in the mean time I get annoyed.

        I agree that Sea-Tac is a nice airport, but it has a few annoying features.

        The arrival system is separated, btw. The exit car in the train is the first one, the second car is the departure one, at least on the people mover I took today.

      12. Phew! Glad that’s over.

        I know that in 2005 they had discussed having a separate train car, I didn’t know if they had implemented it yet, but I did mention it in my first post. The problem with it is that it relies on a TSA person actually insuring that everyone in that car has gotten off. They had also discussed building an unsecured pedestrian exit tunnel between the south satellite and main terminal. But they probably won’t do that until there is a demand for increased international capacity, which may be soon.

        I know that everyone has their favorite parts of cities around the world that they would like to replicate here, I’ve been doing some dreaming about Paris’ T3 Tram line myself, but you have to remember that Seattle is still pretty young compared to most big cities. And compared to Chicago or San Francisco or London or Tokyo it’s actually still quite small. Tokyo could probably swallow Seattle and not even burp. The people that designed a lot of the infrastructure around here really had no idea how fast the city would grow.

      13. I think what is clear and agreed by everyone is that for international arrivals, steps 1-3 – immigration, baggage claim, customs – are standard procedures all around the world; after customs one is free and steps into the outside world. For Sea-Tac, however, before being free one has to go steps 4-6 because the only way to get out of the airport is to go the central terminal. Sea-Tac is the only airport I know that has situation but Atlanta has also been mentioned with similar steps.

  4. By the way, if you really don’t want to, you don’t have to place your bags on the conveyor belt to pick it up for the second time. You ‘can’ take them with you into the people mover, but they offer the conveyor belt option so not everyone clogs up the people mover and escelators.
    As for transfering to another flight you do indeed have to go through security again but that’s because you never enter a secure area really. If it were a secure area, you would enter the south satelite terminal instead of the immigrations and customs section.

  5. Okay, where has Andrew Smith gone, and where has everyone else gone, and what have they done in those places, transferred or ended their trip?

  6. Andrew

    I think steps 4 to 6 would not be necessary if international flights were handled at the main terminal. As it is now, I think all international flights are terminated at South satellite and all government services such as immigration, customs, agriculture, etc, are located there, hence, the need for steps 4-6. In most airports, passengers can get directly to the baggage area after customs.

    Regarding luggage carts, the US is the only country I know where airports charge for luggage carts, everywhere else is free.

    A final note, I noticed with great delight you used the unit metres (or meters) and not feet. Was that a conscious choice or was it automatically part of your thought process? In any case, this confidently shows that the metric system will eventually be widely used and accepted by the most people in the US.

      1. The problem at Sea-Tac is not having an international and a domestic terminal. The problem is that interational arrivals are processed at the South satellite, that’s why you need to get to a second baggage claim area in the main central terminal. If international arrivals could be handled in the central terminal, then steps 4-6 would not be necessary and passengers would be free after clearing customs.

      2. Well it’s either that or the airport could have exits and roadways, etc. that face the south terminal. The only way to get to/from the South Terminal is to go through the main terminal.

      3. I think it’s also in part that Sea-Tac gets so few international flights relative to the total volume of flights it deals with, so they’re very much a marginal part of its business. Every airport I’ve seen that handles them better (and most do) has more infrastructure designed around international arrivals, because they’re a larger proportion of their business.

        The small number of international flights also permits one of the things I find most charming about Sea-Tac: the way the languages on the matrix boards change depending on which country’s flight has arrived recently.

    1. Correction: I meant in most airports after baggage claim and clearing customs, passengers can get directly to surface transportation.

  7. Chicago O’Hare. Deplane, go through immigration (through thousands of people that all arrived on every flight from Europe at once), pick up bags, go through customs, have bags rescanned for “dust”, put back on conveyor, exit the international terminal, ride the train back to the main terminal, re-do security and go find your connection home to Seattle. This is the standard fare at US airports.

    SEA is quite pleasant and easy to navigate if you have ever been to busy world hubs ORD, LAX, FRA, LHR, CDG (got lost so bad here that I missed my flight home on a connection).

    What irks me about SEA is that they translate announcements and signs into several Asian languages. The announcement on the south satellite train to “please hold the hand rail” takes the whole trip to announce in various Asian languages. Unfortunately, that does not assist our new travelers on European flights. Last year SEA gained non-stop flights to FRA and CDG and there is not a single German translation in the airport. My poor grandmother who doesn’t speak English got lost in the international terminal, no one could even translate for her at Immigration when they asked how long she was staying and why she was here (10 days for her son’s 50th birthday) and no one bothered to explain to her that she had to get her bags, put them back and ride a train. She was nearly in tears when she got to us. That is a huge blunder on SEA’s part.

    1. You’re describing something very different in those steps. There, you are transfering. If you leave the airport, no transfer, do you need the conveyor belt?

    2. Actually the languages spoken by the train change throughout the day according to the arrival of flights. Or at least they used to. Not that they ever spoke Norwegian or Dutch when SAS and Northwest (for KLM) were the only flights from non-English speaking European countries, but they did speak Russian when Aeroflot flew to Seattle from Moscow and Kamchatka-not that either of those places are “European”. Besides, the only German who can’t speak English are the poor Ossies who can’t afford to come here; as well the Port of Seattle cannot be seen assisting former Communists.

  8. For all international flights anywhere in the world, steps 1-3 are standard procedure, that is immigration, baggage claim area, customs, (sometimes health and agriculture as well), then you are free to leave the airport. And in most airports around the world they are in the main building terminal.

    In Seattle, as I mentioned previously, the problem is that all those activities are done in the South satellite. To leave the airport, passengers must get on the people mover to main central terminal, then one is free – either to transfer to another flight or go home.

    1. Obviously, I have no problem with 1~3. Even 5 is fairly common, or at least not unusual. I specifically mentioned 4 & 6 as the problem steps because it’s a rare thing in my travels.

      1. I also have seen this situation only at Sea-Tac. Although now we learn that Atlanta also has the same procedures for international passengers. As for luggage carts do you know any airport in US where that is free as in other countries?

  9. And what’s up with $4 for a luggage cart?

    Two things going on here. One, this is part of WA and other area’s finding it more palatable to target out of town guests (hotel/motel tax, rental car tax, higher sales tax in restaurants and bars near stadiums).

    Second, ala “cart” is a trend in airline travel to make the ticket price seem low. Southwest will soon introduce pay to breath where the cabin will be pressurized with pure nitrogen (as an anti terrorist safety feature). To breath you stick your credit card in the seat back in front of you and use the pull down oxygen mask. A expected boost in revenue is expected from selling cigarette smoke on demand ;-)

  10. On the bright side, At least Seatac has an example of a fully automated subway rail transit system fairly close to home. ;)

  11. I agree, the international system at Seatac is pretty dumb. You should also know that the rental facility has been postponed temporarily as bond sales were a problem in December. Read the Port of Seattle press release. December 18, I believe.

  12. I think one of the major flaws in my experience is that the baggage claim area is open to the general public.

    Not that anyone would do this, but people could steal luggage from the baggage claim and run off without ever being spotted.

    Just sayin’. It just bugs me.

    1. LAX used to (10 yrs ago?) have security stop you and check your name against the baggage tags on the luggage ( the ones airlines affix ), on a random basis.

    2. How many airports do this any differently? Apart from EWR, the only airports I’ve seen that don’t have a public baggage claim area are those where there is still some govt formality to go through (e.g. quarantine in HNL, or customs as an international arrival to LHR)

    3. It helps to have people to meet you at the baggage claim. Then you don’t need a $4 smarteCarte.

      1. That’s one thing Sea-Tac does very well is the passenger-to-pick-up transfer and also the passenger-to-bus transfer, though there isn’t enough room for luggage on the 194.

  13. I haven’t read through all the comments (just the first few that seemed to focus on Atlanta), but it my understanding that all US airports have a similar setup. I think it’s mainly because of a security issue.

    You retrieve you check-in luggage prior to customs so that you can declare this and that. If you were allowed to take your bag right then an there, then you have your checked bag in the “secure area,” as evidenced by your needing to take the subway again to get to baggage claim. You checked bag could contain prohibited items, like a knife, gun, what have you and you could possibly hand it to another passenger who has already passed security screening. By putting your checked bag back into the system, it’s separated from you. I’ve heard of places where you actually have to be rescreened before reentering the secure area to make sure that you didn’t take anything from the bag. That’s what happened to me at JFK (pre-911). At Dulles Airport, you only “re-check” your bag and get re-screen if you’re connecting to another flight.

    Hope that helps explain it, if it hasn’t been explained already.

  14. Oh, and I’ve had to do that at SeaTac and San Jose when coming back from surf trips with an overloaded board bag with three boards in it, and a kid, and his gear…etc whine whine. It sucks, but then I always dislike the transfer/connections aspect of international travel. The being there part makes it all worthwhile.

  15. It looks like the shuttle is behind security:

    You can’t bring your luggage into a secure area without going through security. If this were to occur, then this post would be one complaining about having to go to security to leave the airport.

    The only way to fix this ‘problem’ is to create a way to bring the street to the door of the South Terminal and thus create a way to leave the South Terminal without going through the main terminal.

    $4 for a luggage cart is messed up.

    1. Actually the shuttle is devided into two. The front part is behind security and the back part is not behind security. Or the other way around. At least that’s the case with the shuttle going to South satelite and B-gates.
      While typing this I’m starting to doubt myself. This was the case about 2 years ago though. Not sure if it still is like this. But after going through customs you go to the right to baggage claim or you go to the left/straight forward for connecting flights. They both go in the same shuttle though obviously.

  16. Seattle residents pride themselves for being open to people and ideas from around the world. However, visitors arriving at Sea-Tac Airport could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The airport has a terrible and confusing international arrivals system. In most airports, international visitors go through the following three steps on arrival – passport control, baggage claim, customs. Due to poor planning by the Port of Seattle, passengers arriving here need to go through several additional steps – passport control, baggage claim, customs, dropping bags on a second conveyor belt, riding an underground train to the main terminal, walking a distance to reclaim luggage and carrying luggage up and down escalators to reach the taxi stand. To make matters worse, while free luggage carts are initially made available to international visitors (a common courtesy in most airports), visitors are left to try to find US currency to rent luggage carts when they reclaim their luggage. This is most inhospitable to visitors who might lack US currency on arrival. At this point, there is little to do to remedy the situation, save to congratulate the Port of Seattle and its architects for a job very poorly done.

    1. “At this point, there is little to do to remedy the situation, save to congratulate the Port of Seattle and its architects for a job very poorly done.”

      A little harsh, don’t ya think? Until a new international terminal, with its own baggage system, is built things aren’t going to change much. SeaTac wasn’t really designed to handle a lot of international flights. The current configuration was built in 1973 when there were only 2 international flights to Seattle. The baggage re-check is the same at any US airport because Homeland Security requires that all incoming international baggage be screened before leaving the airport. Unfortunately all of the baggage screening is done in the main terminal, so your bags need to take a trip to get there. The only time this isn’t true is if you are flying in from a pre-clearance airport like Toronto or Vancouver, in that case the baggage is screened before departure. The post-9/11 security requirements were extremely hard to implement and cost the Port of Seattle hundreds of millions.

      And unlike Europe, where most flights are international, most flights in the US are domestic, so airports are designed around domestic traffic.

  17. Does anyone have statistics as to what percentage of international passengers who pass through Seatac’s international arrivals hall actually end their trip in Seattle versus transferring to connecting flights and ending their trip elsewhere? Maybe the Northwest (Delta) flight from Tokyo is full of passengers transferring to a domestic flight to NYC or something.

    It seems the existing setup of rechecking baggage is appropriate for a place where a vast majority of passengers are not going to see their luggage until they land at another city on a domestic flight (which I would guess is the case in Atlanta). Maybe nothing should be changed if 90% of people hop on another plane in Seattle. (I am using such a high percentage to illustrate a possibility; I know it is not this high.)

    Does anyone have the numbers or know where to get them. I am confused by the Port of Seattle’s statistics page.

  18. The luggage cart thing is basically a USA-only thing that is due to the SMARTCARTE Cartel has shown airports how they can make a profit on something they either never provided before or provided for free at a loss (minus whatever advertising they could place on said carts)

    (C’mon folks, Pat Davis and Mic Dinsmore have expensive lifestyles to maintain!)

    Fortunately most of the machines I have been forced to use lately (and I try to circumvent paying for a cart as much as possible) DO take credit and debit cards, even for a US$3-4 charge.

    As for the whole customs in a remote/satellite terminal thing, SEA is basically alone in that. As mentioned ATL has it too, but I can’t think of any other. The new DEN made sure to avoid this by building a two-level (lower level used by international arrivals) aerial bridge from concourse A to the main “Jeppesen” terminal so passengers do not take the train over, they walk to the FIS.

    The only other place where this can happen, if you don’t follow the signs correctly is at IAD (Washington-Dulles which also has mid-field concourses) where there are two FIS, one for passengers destined for Northern Virginia and another for connecting passengers. There was a recent thread on FLyerTalk about this and the issues one can have if one does not read the signs correctly:

  19. Not to say SEA can’t improve and maybe ’cause I grew up with it but “there’s no place like home”. SEA is one of the cleanest airports I’ve visited. Relatives that visit from the UK and Ireland have no complaints. Compared to other airports construction and upgrades have been relatively smooth (Denver baggage handling fiasco anyone?). There are legitimate complaints and the place to bring it up is with the Port Commission.

  20. I’ve been through customs in a few airports myself. They all suck. It just varies to what degree they suck. I personially think that the best way is for everyone to get there luggage. after that customs officals hand check every bag. (I think that every bag should be hand checked in front of the owner before they get on the flight.) Then if all is well send them on there way with luggage intact. There is no real way to do a pleasant baggage check. This I believe is the most effective and the fairest. Also, I believed in this system before 9/11. I still believe airport security is a joke.

  21. At least you don’t have to leave the building like you do at LAX if you’re connecting to an international flight. Freaking confusing!!! It’s like “hey, we’re in LA after a domestic flight. NOW: time for you to find your way to an entirely different terminal by leaving the secure airport with minimal signage and occasional shuttles to get you there. Once there, you’ll have to go back through security! good luck…”

  22. HEY!!

    Looks like PDX makes you do a similar type of thing!!!

    Of course they only have three truly international flights a day (Canada flights are pre-cleared in Canada) and that is after a long drought of nothing. Once apon a time Delta had a big Trans-Pacific hub, back before “open-Skies” agreements and aircraft fuel ranges meant that service to bigger Delta cities like Atlanta made more sense.

    Plus U.S. Customs at PDX got a reputation for turning back Japanese Tourists on a whim, and garnered the name “De-Portland”.

  23. I arrived international in Seattle yesterday, and even though I had to drop off my luggage again after customs, it did not really had any time, since I had to wait for the train to take me to the main terminal. By the time I got to the carosel in the main terminal, my luggage was already comming out, so it did not really impact me. The only issue though is when you get to the main terminal, you have to pay for the stupid luggage carts (USA is only country that does this…stupid smartecart company), but arriving international in seattle was generally no problems at all.

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