Returning a car to Seatac with a lot of luggage to check.
November 28, 2013 8:30 AM   Subscribe

I have more luggage than I can carry by myself. I have to return a rental car and check my luggage. Is there an easy way to do this at Seatac?

Right now, I am thinking I may pay the four dollars to park in the terminal direct access parking lot, rent a cart, check my stuff, get back in the car and drive it to the rental car place, then take the shuttle back. Alternately, I could take my luggage on the shuttle, but that seems like a pain and I would rather have it checked earlier than later just in case of some delay with the shuttle.

I realize I will probably have to spend money to do this (paying for parking, cart), but if there was some way around it I would rather not. My plan also seems like it will take a bit of time, and obviously the less time this takes the better.

I am flying United. Is there anything I am overlooking? For instance, maybe they allow parking for luggage unloading and quickly giving my stuff to the United kiosk counts for that? I don't want to get a ticket or inconvenience others, especially since I am unfortunately traveling the day after Thanksgiving and I imagine there will be lots of traffic.

It seems like they don't have curbside luggage pick up.

So, what is the best solution?
posted by tweedle to Travel & Transportation around Seatac, WA (9 answers total)
Call up the rental car company, they may have people that can help you out (for some generous tips?)
posted by sandmanwv at 8:36 AM on November 28, 2013

Seatac does have curbside checkin - costs a few bucks, but would be a lot easier than your other options.
posted by leitmotif at 9:18 AM on November 28, 2013

I've still seen the uniformed guys with luggage carts outside on the street in front of where the United departures desk is. I don't know what that's about - I always go inside and check in at the desk. Maybe that's exactly what they're for? Try call United and see if they have a way to help?
posted by ctmf at 9:19 AM on November 28, 2013

For instance, maybe they allow parking for luggage unloading and quickly giving my stuff to the United kiosk counts for that?

No. The Port of Seattle Police drive through and make even people who are waiting for passengers in their vehicle drive around. You can expect an unattended car to be ticketed and towed quickly.
posted by grouse at 10:23 AM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

While Seattle does have curbside check-in, in my experience with the rental car shuttle, the shuttle bus drops you off allllll the waaaaaaaaaaay at the ennnnnnnnnnd of the terminal, and it is quite a hike. The shuttle bus will not drop you off in front of the United curbside desk.
posted by ambrosia at 10:57 AM on November 28, 2013

We had this problem last year... We had to get from arrivals to the taxi area, and paid a porter to move all of our luggage.

Worst airport arrival area I have ever experienced.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:59 AM on November 28, 2013

I don't know about SeaTac, but all of the other US airports I've been to have carts for rent near the rental car return.
posted by brujita at 12:19 PM on November 28, 2013

Who did you rent with? Hertz at SeaTac offered to drive our family back to the airport in a car after we dropped it off so we wouldn't have to lug the luggage and kids through the shuttle.
posted by saradarlin at 1:45 PM on November 28, 2013

I've gone through Seatac and I can't imagine any way of doing it easier than you described (park in short-term lot, rent a cart, check luggage, then dispose of car). It'll be time consuming but seems like the least-stressful route.

The only other alternative is to call the rental car place and see if they can arrange something for you, but I would really hate to be at the mercy of the rental car place's employees when I was trying to make a flight. At the very least I'd call the day before at about the same time as you're planning on leaving and see if you can verify that the person who says "oh yeah sure we can help you!" will actually be there when you arrive and need help. Too easy for them to say there will be help and then leave you in the lurch. Seems risky.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:57 PM on November 28, 2013

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