Sea-Tac accelerates trip through Customs

john.gillie@thenewstribune.comJanuary 12, 2014 

International travelers weary after a long flight have a new way to clear Customs at Sea-Tac Airport.

The Port of Seattle, Sea-Tac’s owner, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Thursday introduced 14 new Automated Passport Control kiosks at the airport. Those kiosks are designed to cut the entry process in half for eligible U.S. and Canadian citizens.

Sea-Tac is the fifth U.S. airport to have the kiosks installed, according to the airport.

“This is the latest in our cooperative effort with Customs and Border Protection to provide simple, easy-to-use and customer-friendly solutions to make the traveling experience as positive as possible,” said Charles Goedken, manager of International Services at the airport.

“This is necessary to meet the demands of the rapidly increasing number of international flights we are seeing at Sea-Tac,” he said.

Sea-Tac has seen its international traffic jump by nearly 10 percent in each of the past two years. The airport now offers nonstop flights to Tokyo’s two airports, to Osaka, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and Taipei in Asia. Delta Air Lines will add two more flights to Asia from Sea-Tac next year to Hong Kong and Seoul.

In Europe, Sea-Tac has nonstop flights to Paris, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Reykjavik in Iceland. Emirates Airlines connects Sea-Tac to Dubai.

To use the new kiosks, eligible passengers will proceed directly to the Automated Passport Control where they will follow on-screen instructions to scan their passports and to answer questions about goods they are bringing into the country. They will receive a receipt from the machine, which they will present to a Customs and Border Protection officer.

John Gillie: 253-597-8663

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