A strike by air traffic controllers in Europe is having little if any effect on travelers at Sea-Tac Airport.
The airport’s sole daily flight to Paris departed and arrived on time Tuesday. The Delta Air Lines flight from Paris was running ahead of schedule Wednesday afternoon, said Sea-Tac spokesman Perry Cooper.
Other European flights from Sea-Tac to Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt were also operating as scheduled according to Flightstats.com. News reports from Europe on Wednesday said about half of the 600 daily scheduled flights from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport had been canceled.
About two dozen flights from London’s Heathrow Airport, most of them destined for French cities, had been canceled Wednesday. Easyjet, one of Europe’s larger discount carriers, warned passengers to be prepared for cancellations or delays to and from airports in France and Spain from Britain.
The air traffic controllers are protesting a plan by the European Union to consolidate air traffic control in Europe. The union says that consolidation is necessary to improve efficiency in Europe where individual countries each have authority over their sections of air space.
Although the European problem isn’t having any effect at Sea-Tac, Cooper cautioned travelers to allow extra time for parking and check-in at the airport because summertime crowds are building. On Wednesday, Twitter users were posting pictures of long TSA lines
“Schools are getting out, vacation season has begun and our summertime cruise ship passengers are arriving,” said Cooper.
Daily passenger counts at Sea-Tac are now routinely exceeding 100,000 passengers a day. That pace will continue through August. Those summertime passenger numbers exceed those the airport experiences even during winter holidays.
“You can already see the lines lengthening in the morning and even in the evening,” said Cooper.John Gillie: 253-597-8663 john.gillie@ thenewstribune.com