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As families grow, there can come a time when a standard hotel room with two queen beds just isn’t going to cut it. Large families – or those traveling with extended family – need more beds, more storage and, let’s face it, more privacy. If a visit to Orlando is on the horizon for your …If a visit to Orlando is on the horizon for your family, and you need — or want — more space than a standard hotel room can provide, there are certain properties that will better suit your needs than others.
Airports like to boast that they serve as the front doors to their cities and as the welcome portals for international travelers arriving in the United States.
But at many airports, the welcome experience for international travelers is not all that impressive. Arriving passengers must often take long walks down windowless corridors, gather their luggage in crowded baggage halls, and wait on frustratingly long lines to clear customs and immigration.
For years, the international arrivals experience at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has been like that.
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On peak summer days international passengers are commonly held on planes because there aren’t enough gates at the current 1970s-era facility to deplane all international passengers.
Then, “when they are let off the plane, we often have to keep passengers in the corridors because we don’t have enough space inside the facility to process everyone,” Lance Lyttle, SEA’s managing director told TPG. Once inside SEA’s current arrivals facility, passengers must then go through immigration, reclaim their luggage in a crowded baggage area with only four carousels, then line up again to go through customs, recheck bags for connecting flights, and board a train to the main terminal.
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From picturesque beaches to dreamy mountain retreats, these weekend getaways are the perfect change of scenery.About two hours or less:
Soon that experience will be streamlined and far more pleasant.
SEA is putting the finishing touches on a new, much bigger, light and art-filled international arrivals facility – the IAF – and giving the media and the public a first look at the space in a series of live streaming video events today, March 3.
In the new sustainable, energy efficient IAF “you get your bags first, then go through combined immigrations and customs process and that’s it. You are either here in Seattle, or you connect to a flight,” says Lyttle. “It’s a big deal for the passengers coming to the city, to the region, and to the United States. Especially those coming for the first time.”
Under construction since 2017, the IAF was supposed to open at the end of 2021. The pandemic delayed the opening and increased the project budget by $18 million, to $986 million. But all the planned conveniences, high-efficiency baggage services, other improved technologies, and “wow” factors are still there.
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Esmé Brings Old-School Charm and Panache to South BeachYou might overlook the property amid diners eating al fresco on Española Way, but when you pass through the threshold into the 145-room boutique hotel, it feels as though you’re slinking through the best of the Mediterranean over the decades. It’s not distinctly Spanish or French, but the sentiment is unmistakable as you meander through white-washed Spanish-style paseos and Art Deco-designed rooms that imbue France’s Années folles (“the crazy times” of the ’20s).
Thanks to the addition of eight “swing’” gates that can serve both domestic and international flights on Concourse A, and the creation of an secure travel corridor on this concourse, SEA now has 20 gates that can accommodate arriving international flights.
Arriving passengers at SEA’s South Satellite gates will now make their way to Grand Hall just east of Concourse A for baggage and customs processing via an 85-foot-high aerial walkway that is 780 feet long.
The steel and glass walkway is the longest aerial walkway over an active taxiway. And, weather-permitting, passengers that use that walkway “will have a specular view of Mount Rainier, the surrounding mountain ranges, and the city skyline,” said Lyttle. “It will be a tremendously different customer experience” and a great first impression, or welcome home, for passengers coming to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.”
All arriving passengers will make their way to the 450,000-square-foot grand hall. Instead of four baggage carousels, there are seven much larger ones.
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Natural attractions and otherworldly landscapes make Utah one of the most unique states to explore.Soaring sandstone arches and towering hoodoos make Arches National Park in eastern Utah one of the most striking places in the state. Plus, the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the distance only add to this area's beauty. If you only have a few hours to explore, drive the 18-mile scenic road (Arches Scenic Drive) to enjoy a brief, but thorough tour of the park. You'll pass Balanced Rock as well as the Windows area, which is home to a large concentration of arches. Luckily, there are plenty of spots to pull over and admire the views.
Thanks to a variety of enhanced technologies, the much larger facility will be able to handle 2,600 passengers per hour, which is more than double the amount of passengers the current facility can handle. And the minimum passenger connection time – a key service measurement for airports – will be shaved to the target 75 minutes from 90.
SEA airport is well known for having art throughout the facility, and the IAF included the opportunity to add more.
The five 50-foot, brightly painted, site specific sculptures suspended over five of the baggage carousels are part of Chalchiutlicue, by Marela Zacarías. The three spinning suspended metallic mobiles in the Grand Hall are part of Ned Kahn’s work titled Magnetic Anomaly.
Timing is right for the IAF opening
The Port of Seattle, which operates SEA airport, is conducting final readiness testing in the IAF and will begin welcoming early morning international flights and arriving passengers in the Grand Hall later this month.
And even though the facility is opening later than originally planned, the timing now seems right.
I'm a San Diego-based travel writer and I think these 13 hotels offer everything you've been dreaming about in a vacation
From relaxing beach hotels to downtown historic properties, and spa resorts with great golf, these are the best hotels in San Diego, California.Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was historically a modest seaside town with no more than a few charming beachside cottages to mark it as a vacation destination. Those days are long gone, and it has evolved into a dynamic coastal resort, replete with high-rise hotels and condos. The crepe myrtle trees that gave the town its name are still present — if a little eclipsed by the developments — but Myrtle Beach has become one of the region's most popular family resorts.
While international traffic was down more than 80% from 2019 to the end of 2020, SEA says it has recovered more than half of its pre-pandemic international destinations. SEA currently has 11 airlines serving 14 international destinations, including Qatar Airways to Doha (DOH), which was the first new international carrier to begin SEA service since the start of the pandemic. In the next few months, both Turkish Airlines and Finnair are scheduled to begin new service to SEA too.
Featured photo: Courtesy of Port of Seattle
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for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
8 Unmissable Weekend Getaways in Colorado .
Photo by Virrage Images/Shutterstock Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction has canyons as deep as 500 feet and rock monoliths as tall as 450 feet. With spectacular snow-capped peaks, scenic drives, red rock canyons, dude ranches, hot springs, and communities with echoes of the Old West, Colorado has long served as a beacon for those with an adventurous spirit. There is so much to see and do in Colorado—far more than could ever be included in a single guide—but consider these eight high-altitude playgrounds a jumping-off point for some of the best weekend getaways in Colorado. 1.