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Sea-Tac Airport makes improvements for busy holiday travel week

SEA-TAC, Wash. – A record-breaking 800,000 people are expected to travel through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this Thanksgiving week.  That influx of travelers could mean big headaches before and after you carve that turkey.

“It just worked out better for the ticket my mother-in-law had and for the little guy who gets to enjoy some more days with the sun out there,” said traveler Jan Hogrefe.

Hogrefe will fly to California to join his family Wednesday — one of the busiest travel days of the year.

“The airport knows how to prep for it,” said Hogrefe.

Airport spokesman Brian DeRoy says part of that prep work was installing new digital wait-time screens.  He says you’ll also notice more customer service Pathfinders, volunteers, and interns to steer travelers in the right direction.  But some hiccups can’t be avoided.

“I’m late to catch a flight,” said one traveler.

“We kind of left one suitcase at home, huh? But we’ll manage,” said traveler Nicole Lapanja.

Lapanja herds her three kids into the security line just in time.  Thankfully, the lines are moving along.

“We’ve done a study on what ways to clear things up so if it’s the way people come in and out at the front of the lines, we have drink dump-out containers because people at the front of the line (with drinks) can tie things up with those,” said DeRoy.

Wednesday, Sunday and Monday will bring the longest lines and the travel woes we all dread.  So don’t check-in and print your boarding passes at the airport, do it at home.

“Arrive early, pack light, make sure you don’t have prohibited items in your bags,” said DeRoy.

While the airport is offering a holiday parking special, DeRoy encourages people to take the light rail.  A tip for next year:  Thanksgiving Day itself is the least busy travel day of the entire holiday week.