Record-Breaking Summer at Seattle: 15.3 Million Passengers

Interior view of Seattle-Tacoma Airport terminal.
Photo Credit: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) experienced a significant surge in travel during the summer months of June to August 2023.

The airport recorded a total of 15.3 million passengers passing through its gates, indicating a very strong summer travel season for the airport.

Exceeding previous 2019 record


Notably, SEA witnessed its busiest day in history on July 24, with a staggering 73,651 outbound travelers undergoing security screening.

In total, over 198,000 travelers, including departing, arriving, and connecting passengers, traversed the airport on that day.

This milestone surpassed the previous record of 72,154 passengers set on August 16, 2019. To provide context, the daily influx of 166,000 travelers at SEA during the summer months would have made it the fifth-largest city in the state.

Lance Lyttle, the managing director of SEA Airport, expressed his appreciation for the high demand for travel, highlighting the enthusiasm of guests to explore new destinations during the summer.

He added, “The high demand for travel shows our guests soaked up every opportunity to travel this summer,” said Lyttle.

He went on to note, “We set records in both general passenger volume, but also international travel. Seattle is on the map for guests from around the world. We could do none of this without the hard work of our SEA Airport team.”

Lyttle also went on to thank SEA’s partners, including the TSA. He commented, “We could do none of this without the hard work of our SEA Airport team, our airline partners, partners at the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and our airport dining and retail operators”. 

TSA perspective


TSA Federal Security Director for Washington, Greg Hawko added to this commenting, “With the summer travel season in the books, we at TSA want to thank the Port of Seattle, the airlines, and all the airport stakeholders for their partnership and support.”

Continuing the trend of setting records, SEA achieved another milestone on July 29 by marking its busiest day for international travel.

On this day, 8,512 passengers passed through customs at the airport’s International Arrivals Facility, surpassing the previous record of 8,472 passengers set on July 16, 2023.

The remarkable passenger volume and the airport’s growing prominence in international travel solidify Seattle’s position as a sought-after destination for travelers both domestically and globally.

The success of SEA Airport during this busy period reflects the commitment and hard work of the entire airport community in ensuring seamless and enjoyable journeys for all passengers.

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By Lewis Dwyer 3 Min Read
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