Going to the airport is about as appealing as taking a quiz you knew was coming but only prepared for the night before. How far is the gate? Did I pack enough underwear? How many times does plane cabin air get recycled, anyway? Food often falls way down the checklist—comfort might never even come to mind. If you’re flying Alaska Airlines, though, more dining options recently landed—and they’re served in a space you might actually want to be in.
On Thursday, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle announced the grand opening of the first phase of Sea-Tac’s new North Satellite section. This arrival—an expansion to the tune of $658 million—includes eight new gates, renovation of the old ones, and, perhaps most notably, a new Alaska lounge.
The 15,800-foot lounge is clean and futuristic, reminiscent of Star Trek's mess hall with bright, tailored upholstery and minimalist chair design—except more hardwood, and, sadly, without Whoopi. It woos with the things it knows jet-setting Seattleites like best: floor-to-ceiling windows, views of downtown and the Olympic mountains, craft beer (12 on tap, including a special Fremont Brewing IPA), grab-and-go cafe bites, worked leather, mid-century furniture, including airplane engine–inspired hanging lamps. The catch to partaking in all these amenities: You have to be flying first class, be a lounge member, or buy a day pass (though, if you have an Alaska credit card, you can get half off on the latter).
Out in gate seating, there are lots of charging stations so you’ll be able to power up while you swing by a new iteration of Skillet, have a cup at Caffe D’Arte, or a noodle bowl at family-owned Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen. A more unexpected feature is a nursing suite on the mezzanine, projected to be fully operational by August. An upgrade over the mobile nursing rooms scattered at-random across airports, these suites promise traveling mothers “spa-inspired design and high-end finishes”: three curtained alcoves, a lounge with comfy seating, stroller storage, charging stations, and lots of counter space.
Whatever harried state you might arrive to Sea-Tac in, the new expansion may, at least for a moment, quell any travel anxieties.