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Cruising through the TSA Security Line


February 15, 2023

Patti Knight is a busy lady with no time and patience for long lines. Her time is spent cruising to car shows with her husband Scott in their beautifully restored 1965 Buick Wildcat. They are active members of the Burien Elks and donate a great deal of their time to the charitable organization. And she travels several times a year through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to visit her daughter in Orlando, Florida. And like most busy people, Patti Knight hates to wait in line. That’s why she’s telling everyone about SEA Spot Saver. “The most frustrating thing for me about visiting the airport is standing in line at the TSA checkpoints. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m doing nothing and not seeing any progress,” Knight said. Last September she flew to Orlando to visit her daughter and used SEA Spot Saver, the program that provides timed entry to the TSA Checkpoints at SEA Airport, instead of waiting in the security line. The program was piloted by SEA Airport and is one of the first of its kind in U.S. airports. Since the program started in May 2021, Spot Saver has served almost one million people. Since SEA Spot Saver started, you've wanted more entrance times. We heard you and have expanded the hours to accommodate evening flights. And increased the sign up period to up to allow you to register five days before your flight! Here’s how it works: 1. Sign up online up to five days ahead or right before your trip to get a timed entry slot.

  • Do it ahead of time: Register on the SEA Airport website or download and sign up on the FlySEA app

  • Do it when you arrive: Scan the QR code on signage to get in line now

2. You receive an email confirmation with a QR code 3. Bring your QR code to the airport 4. Go to your assigned checkpoint and look for the SEA Spot Saver logo or use the interactive map for step-by-step directions.

  • SEA Spot Saver is available at TSA Checkpoints 3 and 5 (closest to the C, D, and N Gates) or

  • TSA Checkpoint 2 (closest to the A, B, and S Gates)

5. Go to the front of the TSA Checkpoint lane at your assigned time, scan your QR code, and go! 6. Relax and start to enjoy your trip!

  • Learn about SEA Spot Saver

  • Try the new bites, brews, and boutiques in the N Concourse

With SEA Spot Saver, Knight bypassed the line altogether on her last trip to Orlando. “I got to the airport, checked in, and there was a line of about 200 people. I walked right up to the front of the line and was at my gate in about 20 minutes from the time my husband dropped me off at the curb.” Knight is a frequent traveler, and now a pro at saving her spot. She’s used the program five times to travel through SEA and has the process down. “The online signup process is really easy and I have always been able to find a time that works for me. At first when I had trouble finding the QR code on my phone, the people were very kind and friendly and helpful. Now I’ve got it down and I just go right through security.” Here are Patti’s pro tips for using Spot Saver:


1. Surprise and delight your friends with a group reservation With Spot Saver you can reserve an entry time for a group up to 10 people. Knight says “I had CLEAR for a while. But that and PreCheck only apply to the person who has the account. I don’t understand the point of that. If I’m with other people like my husband and daughter, I’m not going to leave them behind in line. With SEA Spot Saver I can sign us all up at once. When I’m traveling with other people who don’t know about the program I will sign us all up as a group and then when we get to the gate they’re thrilled and surprised as we walk to the head of the line. They ask ‘how’d you do that’?” 2. Don’t stress. You’ve got some flexibility “There’s 15 minutes of leeway before and after your assigned time slot. That really makes it easy and takes the stress out of airport arrival. You’ve got 30 minutes to enter so knowing that I have that window of time removes a lot of stress for me.” 3. Keep it a secret Just kidding! We want everyone to use this program, so the hours and time slots were recently extended and the time was expanded from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. And Patti Knight wants everyone to know. She tells everyone, and so should you! “I found out about Spot Saver on Facebook. I use it every time I go to the airport and I literally tell everyone who’s going out of town any time soon. I say ‘Do you know about this?’ Spot Saver is fabulous — I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do this. (But I tell people if they want to use it, don’t use it at the same time I’m going through the airport)!” 4. Take your time on the other side With the time that she saves standing in line, Patti Knight takes a minute after security to relax and get herself organized. “Once I’m through, I will stop to shop and get plane snacks, something to drink on the plane, and magazines at Hudson. Because I’ve saved time I can usually sit and have breakfast somewhere.” 5. Start your vacation early Knight says that opting out of the stress of standing in line and worrying about whether you will make your flight makes her enjoy her travels even more. Her vacation starts at the airport. “There’s enough stress involved in traveling and getting to the airport, so everywhere I can cut down on stress I do. Once I’m through security, I’m calm and more relaxed. I’m not stressed getting to the gate. I would rather be sitting reading a book and organizing my stuff than standing in line and worrying. “ Take it from a pro traveler like Patti Knight and give SEA Spot Saver a try. “It would be nice to have this in all airports,” said Knight.

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