Seattle's New Airport Is Really Small — and That's 100% the Point
The entire terminal feels like a lounge.
The traditional airport experience is one that most people dread. Traffic, malfunctioning check-in machines, flustered representatives and the cattle-like feel of security don’t often make air travel enjoyable.
Until recently, residents of Snohomish County, Washington flew out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, making the 45-minute drive south (without traffic) before dealing with the inherent stress of a busy, metropolitan airport. That all changed with the opening of the Paine Field airport in Everett, Washington.
Paine Field’s new, two-gate passenger terminal is small, with 18 daily flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose on Alaska Airlines, according to the airlines’ website. Starting March 31, United will also have flights from Paine Field servicing San Francisco and Denver.
Paine Field’s website states the airport will “offer travelers from Seattle and Northwest Washington a time-saving choice for commercial air flights up and down the West Coast” and that it’s an “ideal choice for passengers looking for a world-class travel experience paired with the attention to detail only a smaller airport can provide.”
The airport has floor-to-ceiling windows, gender-neutral and family restrooms, and a Beecher’s cheese shop set to open soon. The $40 million terminal funded by a private investor is one example of private money getting involved in public offerings.
For those who are fed-up with high-anxiety travel days, small, privately funded airports like Paine field may be the answer.