Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport

Sights & sips: Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport

Two lounges and a restaurant to love at SEA Airport

Who says airports are no fun?

The Stuck at the Airport food and drink team joined a food and drink tour of some swanky spots at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and found plenty to love.

Our tour included a stop at Alaska Airline’s recently renovated lounge on Concourse D, the oh-so-swanky American Express Centurion Lounge on the mezzanine of the Central Terminal area, and Salty’s at the SEA restaurant, also in the Central Terminal.

The Alaska Airlines lounge on Concourse D has 50% more seats and upgraded amenities, including loungers, a barista station and expanded hot food options.

Thankfully, the make-your-own pancake machine is still onsite.

We’ve been waiting for a chance to get a look inside the American Express Centurion Lounge. And it is a ‘wow’ as we’ve heard.

Besides being beautiful, and beautifully laid out, the lounge has a wellness/coffee bar, a cocktail bar, plenty of relaxation areas and work spaces, two phone rooms for privacy, and loads of artwork, including a collection of photographs of musicians and other notables who hail from Washington, including Kurt Cobain and Bill Gates.

The food offerings are top notch and include a menu curated by Chef Kristi Brown. She’s a James Beard Award semifinalist and owner of Seattle’s Communion restaurant, which serves “Seattle Soul” cuisine using fresh local ingredients.

And, over at Salty’s at the SEA, an outpost of the much-loved Salty’s seafood grill on Seattle’s Alki Beach, passengers can order from a menu filled with Pacific Northwest seafood items and creative cocktails AND get great views of take-offs and landings.

Here’s a short video of our some of the sips, sights, and bites from our tour.

High tech ways to clean an airport

(Courtesy C&W Services)

I’m finishing up my May “At the Airport” column for USA TODAY and wanted to share this preview of one of the entertaining new tools several airports are testing and using: robotic floor scrubbers.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is testing one out. Pittsburgh International Airport has served as a testing ground for an automatic floor scrubber as well.

But at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, an autonomous floor scrubber is already on duty full-time. Here’s a short video that shows the machine at work and employees describing how it works, how it helps get the job done, and how much it entertains passengers.

Stay tuned for more details on other high tech ways airports keep the terminals clean.

Bike to the airport?


Bike to or from the airport? In many cities you can do that and an increasing number of airports are making it easier to park, store, assemble, disassemble or make needed repairs to your bike.

Earlier this month Seattle-Tacoma International Airport marked National Bike Month with a new bicycle assembly/disassembly station, along with updated bike amenities that include tools, a bike pump, new bike racks, storage options (both short- and long-term), improved signage, and an updated bicycle resources webpage.

Other airports with bike stations and support include San Francisco International Airport, Portland International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, and Victoria International Airport on Canada’s Vancouver Island.

(Photo courtesy Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)

The buzz on bees at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport


Busy bees are hard at work in hives out on the property of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Inside the airport, there’s also now an exhibit with bee-themed art and educational information about the importance of pollinators.

Titled Flight Path, the exhibit explores bees and flight through a variety of mediums including paintings, blown glass and a mosaic and includes the work of 24 Northwest artists.

Last year, the airport hosted 18 hives. This year, the Port of Seattle is working with a local group called The Common Acre to host 1.5 million honeybees in 24 hives on unused vacant land near the runways.

Sea-Tac isn’t the only airport with hives. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has honeybee hives on property as well and products made from the honey is for sale inside the airport.

Bee outfit

Maps for sale at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport

This delights me to no end. And not just because it is at my home airport.

On Friday – just in time for the long holiday weekend – a new store selling maps, globes and other fun travel-related items opened at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

SEA_Metsker Maps

Metsker Maps has cartography roots in Seattle dating back to 1880 and a popular store in downtown Seattle at the Pike Place Market. The shop sells maps of all kinds, globes, books, guides, travel accessories and children’s items.

Modern-day map apps are useful and all that, but “maps tell us where we are, remind us of where we have been and inspire new adventures,” said Metsker Maps president Jay Brown.

I’ve got a trip coming up in a few days and I’m already planning on heading to the airport extra early so I can visit the store. One map I hope they have in stock is a scratch off world map .

“No need for map pins here – just scratch the country you have been to and the colorful underlying layer is revealed!”

I want to buy this map, unfold it at the gate for my international flight and see if between me and my fellow travelers we’ve got the whole world ‘scratched.’