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Posted on Friday, November 19th, 2010

Dave!I hate... HATE... Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

And this is coming from somebody who lives according to a belief system that advocates not "hating" anything. But SeaTac brings it out of me almost every single time I pass through. Which is a lot, as you might imagine, given the amount of travel I have to endure.

Before I get into today's edition of Yet Another Reason I Hate Seattle Tacoma International Airport, a warning...

Rated R

Given that this is SeaTac we're talking about, I fully plan on cursing like a drunken sailor. Heck, the situation practically demands near continuous use of the word "fuck" in new and creative ways. If something like that offends you, then you should probably not read the rest of the entry.

Instead, look at the picture of this cute kitten and I'll see you tomorrow...


For the rest of you brave souls, this nonsense continue in an extended entry...

I... hate... Seattle... Tacoma... International... Airport... SO... much.

It... it... it... flames. Flames. FLAMES on the side of my face. Breathe... breathing... heaving breaths...

In all seriousness though, SeaTac does suck shit through a tube on just about every level. They just don't give a flying fuck about anything. Certainly not the comfort, convenience, time-constraints, or concerns of the passengers traveling through their piece of crap airport. Breaking down the story so far...

• SeaTac keeps ripping out gate seating in order to put in more shops. So if you just want to sit the fuck down for a while why you are waiting for your flight, tough shit. The C Concourse is particularly heinous, because Horizon Air has multiple flights leaving out of the same gate. The area is always crowded and it's always difficult to find a place to sit. So does SeaTac add more seats? Don't be stupid! This is SeaTac, so they TEAR OUT SEATS so there's even FEWER places to sit! On the bright side, they now have an office supply store, USA souvenir stand, and a nail salon. Asshats...

SeaTac No Seating
This space (and the two next to it) used to be all seating.

• SeaTac has one of the slowest luggage returns of any airport I have ever been to. The flight from Wenatchee to Seattle is about 35 minutes. More than once I have waited more than 35 minutes to get my bag because of some kind of failure with the luggage belts.

• SeaTac is completely incapable of dealing with major problems. I have been at SeaTac during a security breach (which was a total clusterfuck) and a weather closure (which was so laughably handled that it remains my worst airport experience of all time). I understand shit happens. That's a part of travel... that's a part of life. But when shit does happen, you'd better pray it doesn't happen at SeaTac, or else you're fucked...

SeaTac Cancels All Flights!

• SeaTac is breaking down ALL THE FUCKING TIME! I can't remember the last time I blew through SeaTac and DIDN'T see something busted to shit, out of order, or closed. My Flickr Photo Stream is (literally) filled with shots of SeaTac falling apart...

SeaTac Escallators BROKEN!

Their escalators go to shit... inside and out... so regularly that you'd think they take Ex-Lax...

SeaTac Escallators BROKEN!

And then there's flooding (which I've seen three times now). This one was really special because it was a flooding AND an electrical hazard all in one...

SeaTac Flooded!

• SeaTac just doesn't give a crap. They don't. It's bad enough that their shit is busted to hell all the time... but it's SeaTac, so they're not content to just be falling apart... they have to make sure their customers are as inconvenienced as possible because of it.

Take today for instance.

My flight out of Wenatchee was late arriving from Seattle. Who knows why, because the weather was actually very nice. Maybe their control tower caught on fire or something, I don't know. In any event, the late arrival of my inbound flight meant that I'd be over an hour late back into Seattle. Which also means that I would miss my connecting flight. Fortunately, Delta managed to rebook me on a new flight 30 minutes later, which was swell (thank you Delta!). This gave me just enough time to make my way to the Delta gates in the South Satellite from my arrival gate of C2. Here is the way you go if you follow the signs at SeaTac...

SeaTac Map
Despite what the map shows, you turn LEFT to get to the South Loop Train, NOT RIGHT!

But, since my Atlanta flight had already commenced boarding by the time I arrived in Seattle, I decided to ignore the marked route and instead take a faster route so I could get there as soon as possible. You do this by running all the way down the B Concourse, so you only have one stop on the South Loop instead of two...

SeaTac Map

The B Concourse is less crowded so you can move quicker through it, which is why I usually go that route. But it's tougher too, because the B Concourse is kind of long, and you have to go down three sets of escalators to get to the train stop.

So, I get to the B Concourse South Loop Station when all of a sudden I hear a Japanese voice saying "This platform is closed." It was kind of odd, so I ignored it. And then it repeated in English "This platform is closed." Since I was alone, I screamed "You've GOT to be shitting me! But, sure enough, the train arrived and zoomed right on by. FUCK!!

So now I have to run up three flights of escalators and go all the way back down the B Concourse THEN run to the A Concourse Station. As I am running up the stairs, I see a sign which says "This Station is Closed"... BUT IT'S POINTING THE WRONG FUCKING WAY!! Yes, it's pointing DOWN the stairs so nobody approaching the escalator can see it! And OF COURSE there was no sign at the beginning of the B Concourse WARNING people that the station was closed! That would be too easy... too smart... and this is SeaTac we're talking about! So back I go, having just wasted ten minutes of precious time...

SeaTac Revised Route

You'd think this would be the end of the story. But you'd be WRONG. Remember, this is SeaTac we're talking about! If they can fuck you over more than one way, you might as well grab your ankles, because here it comes...

When I'm on the South Loop Train... it ends up stopping at the B Concourse Station...

Revised, Revised SeaTac Route Map

Yes, that's right! The same station I had just ran from because it was fucking closed!

At this point, I'm convinced that the donkey-raping shit-eaters at SeaTac are just fucking with me. And the Port of Seattle. Obviously they're in on fucking me over too. I was convinced that one (or all) of the following scenarios were about to play out...

  • The train would break down, stranding me underground while my plane took off.
  • The South Satellite station would suddenly be "closed" and I'd be taken back to the main terminal.
  • The airport would fucking explode, thus making me miss my flight... but sparing me any further agony at the hands of the fucking dickwads at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alas, fate decided I was its bitch long enough, and the train pulled into the South Satellite where (surprisingly) all the escalators were actually working...

SeaTac Revised, Revised, Revised Map

Fortunately, I managed to get to the ticket counter, have Delta re-issue me a new ticket, and get onboard just as they were boarding the final zone. I had lost my First Class upgrade, but I just didn't care because I made my flight and that's all that mattered.

That Delta managed to pull a First Class ticket out of their ass and upgrade me anyway was just gravy. I know that flying mostly sucks now-a-days, but Delta seems to know how to treat their frequent fliers... at least most of the time. This day was filled with shit going wrong because of everybody except Delta, which left them to clean up all the messes which had nothing to do with them. That they did it so beautifully is pretty remarkable.

But I digress. Where was I?


I have tried to be understanding. I really have. I've put up with having no place to sit. With having escalators busted. With having to wade through pools of water. With having you fuck up every situation in the worst way possible. I've endured it all. It's annoying, but with times being tough and the economy being what it is, I can only guess you're having a hard time coming up with the money to get your shit together. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is, and I accept it.

But this was the last straw. Seriously, randomly shutting down a train stop AND NOT BOTHERING TO FUCKING TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE?!? This is amateur-hour fucking bullshit right here. People in the airport are often in a hurry, and turning your back on them as they try to just get to their fucking flight with their sanity intact is beyond LAME. Beyond FAIL! Beyond EPIC FAIL! The next time you close a fucking station, make sure there's a sign out to let people know so they don't waste their fucking time. And if you DO put a sign out, make sure it's pointing the right fucking direction so people can fucking see it. And why not warn people as early as fucking possible so they don't go on wild goose chases around your fucking airport? Your maps show that there's a train stop at the end of the B Concourse. People are going to go down the B Concourse to catch the fucking train. So why not put a sign at the BEGINNING of the B Concourse to tell customers that you've got some busted shit (again) and the fucking station is closed BEFORE THEY EVEN WALK DOWN THE B CONCOURSE?

I'll tell you why. Because you just don't fucking care. You never do. You haven't given a shit about you customers in a long, long time.

Even the free WiFi had to come from Google first before you'd lift a fucking finger to help us out.

For many of the people visiting Seatte, our airport is the "face" of our city. It's the first thing visitors experience when they get here. It's the last thing they experience when they leave. If you're not going to get your fucked up shit together for the sake of people living here... would you at least consider getting your fucked up shit together for our guests?

In all honesty, it's the very least you can do.

And as someone who has come to expect the very least from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, I wouldn't think it would be that difficult to live up to.

Especially with all that revenue you're getting now that you're tearing out all the seats in favor of nail salons and office supplies.


Categories: Travel 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. Sybil Law says:

    Airports in general are special spots of Hell on Earth, but this one seems particularly hellish, indeed!!
    I hope you send them this post. What a bunch of fucktards.

  2. Alexander says:

    Dave, I’m so sorry that you have to fly so much. I agree that the whole experience is like being anally raped (and not in a good way; apparently it’s going to come down literally to THAT if the TSA gets their way), and is reason why I absolutely refuse to fly. If I ever need to cross an ocean I’m going to be screwed, but as long as I stay on the continent I’ll take any other mode of transportation available to me.

    I’ve never been to Seattle, but from your description of the airport, if I were ever to get on a plane, I will definitely NOT be flying there.

  3. sizzle says:

    I am not looking forward to going to SeaTac on Monday. What an awful experience. 🙁

  4. Barnmaven says:

    But they have all that lovely artwork and sculptures of salmon and shit. I think that’s supposed to distract you from everything that’s otherwise broken or fucked up.

    I hate traveling. And now that it involves being molested by the TSA I think I will avoid it even more.

  5. Poppy says:

    I think my normally low blood pressure just rose through the roof reading your post.

    I was at that airport in 2002. I now remember it being the oddest airport I’ve ever been in, weird locations for flights to arrive to (like, in the middle of a hallway with 5 seats), and that’s where my ex got frisked because he was profiled and pulled out of line for extra screening because he was wearing an LL Bean field jacket. Fun times.

  6. The way things are going, we’re all going to be driving everywhere again like it’s 1977.

  7. Peter says:

    Since you have to drive all the way to SeaTac, isn’t it easier to use Vancouver instead?

  8. Sarah says:

    Oh, look at how cute that kitten is!

  9. Avitable says:

    But did they grope your penis?

  10. delmer says:

    I’m at Vancouver International right now taking advantage of their free wifi. (Which certainly take the sting out having arrived 10 hours before my flight… on purpose.)

    One of the things that troubles me the most about gate seating are the people who take up more than one seat. Sure, my bag is on a seat next to me right now, but out of the 100 seats I see in my area, only 4 have people in them. When we start to fill up I’ll put my bag under my feet.

  11. the muskrat says:

    I’m glad this post had pictures, so that I could understand its meaning. Otherwise, I would have only noticed the “f” words.

    Glad my one and only experience at this airport went well!

  12. I’m sorry about having to go through Sea-Tac so much. But I have to say, the beginning of that entry and the kitten pic made me laugh my ass off!

  13. Luna says:

    I hate hate hate Sea-Tac. Why on EARTH do they think adding loud obnoxious splashing noises to the water fountains is a good idea? There are no plugs anywhere unless you want to sit on the hard tiled floor next to the mens restroom, and it is impossible to get anywhere in any logical way. This is the worst airport. I hate it so much. And now I’m stuck here for another seven hours because they are all incompetent. :[

  14. mrpaws says:

    Know im about 3 years too late, but want to add my little vent… So I used the restroom in the south satellite on my way back to Indianapolis. Finish, stand up, turn around bend down to flush and smack my fucking head on this ridiculously placed bag stand. I appreciate a place for my bag, but im 5’11 – one average ass fucking height – and this thing is right in the path down to flusher.

    And oh ya, mark your shit better. Fuck you SeaTac!!!!

    • Dave2 says:

      Oh yes… I did that ONCE. And only ONCE, because I hit so hard that I saw stars. From then on, I’ve been overly-cautious because I don’t want to die in a SeaTac bathroom!

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