Sea-Tac security breach causes delays, grounds flights for under 40 minutes
Aug 22, 2022, 11:02 AM | Updated: Aug 23, 2022, 6:49 am
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
A security breach at Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport caused a shutdown on Sunday.
2. The breach lasted under 40 min and normal operations resumed. We are working w/ airport operations to see if there can be improvements made in the communication system to travelers -DC
— Seattle-Tacoma Intl. Airport (@flySEA) August 22, 2022
A passenger, who was in the secure area, mistakenly went through the C exit, realized she went the wrong way and went back.
“All of it was on camera and she didn’t interact with anyone, was located, and brought back to be re-screened. All clear. Nothing nefarious,” said Perry Cooper, the Media Relations Manager for Sea-Tac.
With any breach, the protocol is to stop all operations, checkpoints, exits, and boarding until the incident is cleared. In this instance, TSA agents held all passengers at their gate while officers arrived at the breach.
The situation is all clear and the airport is “back to normal operations,” according to Cooper.
It was unfortunate timing, as summer tends to be the busiest season of the year for the airport. The current traffic has dropped only about 13% compared to 2019 levels, according to Cooper.
Sea-Tac recently launched a “spot saver” program where people can schedule a 15-minute window in advance to go through security during peak morning travel hours. Travelers who don’t have TSA PreCheck or another premium service can use this program to simply walk up during their designated time and skip waiting up to a half hour in the general security line.
SeaTac Airport unveils program to help cut TSA security lines
People can reserve a slot up to 72 hours in advance or while at the airport. The program is available at TSA Checkpoints 2, 3, and 5, which lead to all gates.