'With Port Valet, passengers are free to explore Seattle luggage-free and operators have more time to process baggage. Our role as an airport and cruise terminal owner makes it possible for Seattle to offer unique customer service and efficiency programs like this one,' said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, managing director of the Port of Seattle’s maritime division.
This will be the third year the popular program is in place, significantly improving the operational efficiencies of processing cruise passengers at both the seaport and at the airport. The reduction in congestion and passenger wait times has also improved the Port of Seattle’s ability to process larger cruise ships.
The cost of the program is expected to be $1.2m, paid for by the port through airline and port fees.
Easing the airport process
The potential for the most beneficial impact to the airport is a reduction of the number of cruise passengers who arrive at the airport during the peak morning hours. Passengers may stop off at a tourist destination or head directly to the airport, at a time that is convenient for them, without the hassle of standing in line at a ticket counter. This program frees cruisers of their luggage as they make their way to the airport, through security, and on to flights.
Passengers sign up for the complimentary Port Valet program while on their cruise, then receive their airline boarding pass before leaving the ship. With a boarding pass in hand, and without their luggage, passenger wait time for elevators is reduced along with congestion at the check-in counters for all Sea-Tac passengers. The program also eases congestion on the baggage system during peak times and has enabled Seattle to handle larger cruise ships.
Participating airlines include Alaska, American, Delta, Horizon, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Spirit. Participating cruise lines include Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.