December 24, 2012 10:15 AM   Subscribe

What should I expect flying with a young child (8) from Seatac on Christmas morning?

I fly out at 7:00 AM, boards at 6:30. I'm planing on getting there between 5:15-5:45.

Has anyone flown out on Christmas day? I imagine it will not be busy, but I also wonder if the airport will be lightly staffed, making getting any drinks and food after the security line difficult.

I'm not too worried about it, but if if I am totally wrong and it's like "OMFG madhouse get ready for hours of lines", then I should probably adjust my arrival time.
posted by roboton666 to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (7 answers total)
I often fly on Christmas day although never out of Seattle. Flying on 25 December is a dream. I have never had a problem anywhere with excessive crowds or lots of closed businesses. The only problem is that public transit links are often poor on Christmas.

I flew out of SeaTac yesterday and things went very smoothly. Lots of Transportation Security Agency staff on duty, and the security lines went as quickly as I've ever seen them there. The only problem was slightly elevated traffic on the public departures drop-off area for cars. I doubt that will be a problem tomorrow.

I'd try to be there by 5:30; 45 min before boarding is too close for my comfort. But you'll probably be fine anyway if you don't care about boarding first.
posted by grouse at 10:23 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

My brother always leaves 2 hours before departure at Seatac. Security at Seatac is weird - sometimes it is quick, sometimes very slow, and there is never any way to tell. Last time I flew out of there on an early morning flight (6:30 AM), we got to the airport a little after 5 AM and there was already a full line at the check-in counter. If you don't have any bags to check and already have your boarding passes, that will help.
posted by jenh526 at 10:45 AM on December 24, 2012

Bring some snacks in your carry on bag just in case. Have the kid wear slip on shoes if possible.
posted by dawkins_7 at 12:21 PM on December 24, 2012

Children under 12 can now wear their shoes through screening.
posted by grouse at 12:42 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

5:15 is probably a good target time. It also depends on the gate. N and S are a bit further as you have to take the train. Also you have to walk a long way if it's an A gate delta flight. C/D are much faster as they're closer. C gate security seems the fastest to me generally but i'm not at SeaTac that much these days. You can get to all gates from any security line so if one looks really bad it doesn't hurt to ask/check if the other lines are shorter.
posted by carlodio at 1:17 PM on December 24, 2012

We flew out of Seatac for the first time recently and noticed

a) We went through security really fast because the security folks with the big gold badges wanted to go on break asap

b) the food selection in the departure satellite was laughably, hideously bad, although the food court in the main terminal (after security) has all the usual civilized stuff like Starbucks and coffee shops with muffins.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:28 PM on December 24, 2012

Response by poster: Here's the report:

Arrived at 5:15, arrivals was pretty backed up. The check in terminals were all fairly bustling but we walked right up, checked a bag and reprinted boarding passes in less than 10 minutes.

Security took about 20-25 minutes total.

And our flight is 100% full!

All in all, really busy, but everything moved fairly briskly.

BONUS! there's a caffe vita and beechers in the c-gate!
posted by roboton666 at 6:21 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

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