PAX West: A Local's Guide to Seattle, Part 1 (Travel & Transit)
Welcome to Part 1 of 3 in our Local's Guide to Seattle! As Seattle residents and seasoned PAX exhibitors/attendees, we wanted to provide a general overview of the city and convention along with some tips and recommendations.
If you're flying into the city, chances are you'll be coming through Seattle Tacoma Airport (SeaTac). The airport is about 15 miles south from downtown Seattle, where PAX West is held. There are a few options for getting to and from the airport:
Train - The Link light rail runs directly from SeaTac into downtown. It's about a 40 minute trip, but less than $5 USD which makes it the most affordable option outside of a really great friend picking you up.
- The walk from baggage claim to the Link station is a bit long, so if you're carrying multiple bags and/or bags without rollers, it may be worthwhile to grab one of the carts to transport your items part of the way.
- The train can get pretty crowded if you're arriving during a heavy transit period. Be prepared to stand and keep your bags with you if there are no seats or baggage compartments available.
- Westlake Station (your stop) is about a five minute walk from the Washington State Convention Center. While there aren't too many large hills to worry about, this is a heavily foot-trafficked area and busy at all hours. Plan your route to the hotel ahead of time to avoid getting lost while wheeling your luggage around!
TNC/Rideshare - Seattle has a variety of TNC (Transportation Network Company) rideshare apps like Uber, Lyft, Wingz, etc. available. Taking a rideshare from SeaTac to downtown usually costs $20-40 USD depending on peak hours, but sharing your ride with others can knock that down by at least half.
- There is a designated pick-up area in the parking garage, just a short walk from baggage claim. Cross the skybridge into the parking lot, then take the elevator or escalator down to the 3rd floor. Follow signs for "TNC/Rideshare" to the pick-up zone in Rows G-J.
- The wait time for your car can be as long as 20 minutes depending on time and availability. There is limited seating in the pick-up area, so keep in mind that you may not be able to sit while waiting for your ride.
- Compare pricing! Sometimes one rideshare is cheaper than the other due to demand or availability, so it's worthwhile to check the fare on multiple apps to make sure you have the best rate.
Taxi - SeaTac has taxis available for a flat rate fee to downtown. Generally, this is $40-50 USD plus tip.
- Taxis are lined up at all hours and have the shortest wait time. If you are arriving on a very early or late flight, on a tight schedule, and/or just want to get to your hotel as quickly as possible, this is a good option.
Keep in mind that when you get into your hotel, there will likely be large lines as everyone in town for the convention will also be checking in. If you booked through OnPeak or a similar service, you should have your hotel confirmation number ready.
With most major hotel chains, you can create accounts to gain points with each stay. Hilton, SPG, and others even have apps for your smartphone with additional conveniences, such as mobile check-in (where you can pick your room before you arrive), and digital key entry (where your phone is turned into your room key). If you have these options available, you can skip the line and go straight to your room!
If you stay in a hotel more than once a year, it's well worth it to sign up for accounts at the hotels you stay at to make sure you're maximizing all the benefits available. Free amenities, early check-in, and late checkout are just some of the perks; over time, you can also accrue enough points for free hotel stays.
Safe travels, and we look forward to seeing everyone at PAX West!