Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
|Continent: North America||Country: United States||Region: Washington|
|Seattle-Tacoma International Airport|
|Overview map||Google Maps|
|Approach||119.2, 120.1, 120.4, 125.9, 126.5|
|Plane Spotting Hotels guide|
- 1 Official Spotting Locations
- 2 Other Spotting Locations
- 3 Locations to Avoid
- 4 Regular Traffic
- 5 Facilities and Transportation
Official Spotting Locations
The "Viewpoint Park" overlook on the West side was closed in 2001, and has now disappeared under the 3rd runway.
Other Spotting Locations
To the North of the airport there is a small park at 24th. Ave S. and S146th St. Arriving traffic on the 16L and 16C can be logged and photographed from here. There is room for about five cars to park. The Port of Seattle police occasionally patrol here although technically it's not airport property. A quick ID check and they'll leave you alone. This spot is best in the morning hours and a 300mm telephoto lens is recommended.
The Seatac parking garage offers a great spot for photography of airplanes. It is located on the eighth floor on the northwest side of the parking garage. This spot is the only suitable area on the eighth floor to view planes on the tarmac or runway. The eighth floor of the parking garage is used for weekly parking, so if you plan to park in the parking garage, you can do so on floor four, five or six only. Get there early if you plan to take pictures because by 2PM the sun is directly in your eyes. Heat haze in the summertime sets in at around 10-11AM.
When planes are landing on runways 34R and 34C, 188th Street and 16th AVE offers good spotting opportunities. From this location you can take pictures of planes landing over the 188th Street tunnel. The best time to take pictures from this location is from 3PM to Sunset. Police activity is usually a minimal.
To the immediate S. of the airport is the Tyee Valley Golf Course. Assuming you're not playing a round, there are a couple of spots nearby. The car park offers views of arrivals on both runways although the trees can get in the way.
A road goes around the W. side of the course allowing for spotting runway 34R traffic (that on 34L flies directly overhead), but the subjects for photos will be a bit high and it's only good in the afternoon on sunny days. The road bends halfway down so has 2 names - 18th Ave. S. and/or S196th St.
Locations to Avoid
Pretty much anywhere along here, from the fire station to the FedEx facility is off-limits. The Port police will respond very quickly to anyone "loitering" around here and move offenders on.
- Alaska Airlines (737-700/800/900)
- Horizon Air (Q400)
- SkyWest (CRJ-700)
- American Airlines (MD-80, 737-800, 757-200)
- Delta Air Lines (737-800, 757-200/300, 767-300, A320/319, A330-200/300, MD-90, CRJ-200/-700/-900, ERJ-145)
- Frontier Airlines (A318, A319)
- Hawaiian Airlines (767-300)
- jetBlue Airways (A320, ERJ-190)
- Southwest Airlines (737-300/500/700)
- Sun Country Airlines (737-800)
- United Airlines (737-300/800, 757-200/300, 767-300, 777-200, A319/320)
- United Express (EMB-120)
- US Airways (A319/320, 757-200)
- Virgin America Airlines (A320)
- AeroMexico (737-700)
- Air Canada/Jazz (A319)
- Air Canada Jazz (CRJ-100, E190, Q100/Q300)
- Air France (A330-200)
- Asiana Airlines (777-200ER)
- British Airways (747-400, 777-200ER)
- Emirates (777-200)
- EVA Air (777-300ER)
- Hainan Airlines (A330-200)
- Icelandair (757-200)
- Korean Air (777-200ER)
- Lufthansa (A330-300)
- SAS (A340-300)
- China Airlines Cargo (747-400)
- Cargolux (747)
- EVA Air Cargo (747-400F)
- FedEx (A300/310, MD-10, MD-11)
- FedEx Feeder (C208, ATR-42)
- Great Wall Airlines (747-400F)
- Korean Air Cargo (747-400)
- Martinair Cargo (MD-11)
Facilities and Transportation
Taxi / Airport Hotel Shuttle
Taxis and Hotel Shuttles are located on the third floor of the parking garage. From the baggage claim, go up to the parking level, go across a sky bridge, and down to floor three.
To catch the Downtown Airporter - a shuttle that takes you to the Sheraton, Westin, Hyatt, Warwick, Downtown Hilton, Crown Plaza, Madison or Fremont hotels in downtown Seattle - from the baggage claim, go south (carousel numbers going down) all the way down to door 00 located inside the atrium or north of carousel number one.
If you arrive early and your airline will not let you check your luggage until a certain number of hours before your flight, you can drop it off at Ken's Baggage. It's located on the baggage claim level in between carousel number twelve and thirteen.
There are two booths at the airport to convert foreign money into United States Dollars. One is located by the Northwest Ticketing counter on the ticketing level, and one in the baggage claim across from Carousel number two.