Travel Smarts

Flying from Paine Field in Everett

Travel Smarts

Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Paine Field Passenger Terminal

After years of debate, delays, plans and promises, commercial air service started from Paine Field/Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington, on March 4, 2019.

As of March 11, 2019, Alaska Airlines operates 18 daily flights from Paine Field (PAE) to eight cities, including Portland, Los Angeles and Phoenix. United Airlines kicks off its Paine Field service on March 31 with six daily departures to two cities. 

Together, the two airlines will offer 24 daily nonstop flights to nine cities in the West. 

Paine Field’s two-gate terminal is an unusual private-partnership between Propeller Airports and Snohomish County. Aside from the upscale look and feel of the $40 million terminal, security screening and other operations are the same as in any other airport.

It only feels easier to maneuver.

Seattle and northwest Washington join regions such as San Francisco, Chicago and New York City that are served by more than one airport. And because Paine Field is about 23 miles north of downtown Seattle and about 36 miles north of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, it also means that many travelers in our region now have an alternative to battling Seattle’s clogged traffic to catch a flight from Sea-Tac Airport. 

The Places You Can Go

The 18 nonstop Alaska Airlines flights from Paine Field are operated by the carrier’s regional affiliate, Horizon Air.

The schedule includesfour daily roundtrip flights to both Los Angeles (LAX) and Portland (PDX) and two roundtrips daily to Las Vegas (LAS), San Jose (SJC), San Francisco (SFO) and San Diego (SAN). 

Alaska’s Paine Field schedule also includes a daily roundtrip from PAE to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and John Wayne/Orange County (SNA). 

On March 31, United Airlines will begin service between PAE and San Francisco and Denver (DEN). There will be two daily flights between PAE and Denver and four daily flights between PAE and San Francisco.

Both airlines are using 76-seat Embraer E175 regional jets on these routes. Horizon E175s have 12 first-class seats, 12 in premium class and 52 economy seats. United’s E175s have 12 seats in first, 16 in Economy Plus and 48 in economy class. 

Feel and look of the Paine Field Terminal 

The 30,000-square-foot terminal was designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects, the same company that designed Sea-Tac Airport’s soaring Central Terminal, as well as Denver International Airport. 

The building incorporates lots of glass as well as specially-chosen woods, limestone and a variety of other high-end materials and acoustical treatments. With museum-quality sculptures out front, a concierge desk inside the front door, and fireplaces, couches and leather recliners in the post-security waiting area, passengers may feel like they’re at an upscale, private lounge rather than a commercial airport.

Amenities and extra touches inside the terminal include free, fast Wi-Fi; power ports at each seat; single-occupancy restrooms; a water-bottle filling station and display cases with memorabilia honoring Paine Field’s history as well that of Alaska Airlines and United. 

Seattle-based Beecher’s Handmade Cheese operates three food and beverage concessions at the Paine Field Passenger terminal: a pre-security Café Vita coffee shop and, post-security, the Upper Case Bar and a Beecher’s grab ‘n’ go café. 

Arriving passengers have to walk no more than a minute or two from either gate area to the one-carousel baggage claim in the arrivals hall.  

One of the best amenities at this new airport may be the view outside the terminal windows and the glass-sided jet bridges. Paine Field is home to a Boeing assembly plant and a variety of aviation-related businesses and passengers may spot anything from wide-body aircraft fresh off the assembly line to Boeing’s giant 747 Dreamlifter cargo planes flying parts in from Japan.

Parking and getting to and from Paine Field 

Parking options at the Paine Field passenger terminal include valet, premium and economy/ extended stay. 

Valet parking is offered curbside from 4 a.m. until the last flight arrival of the day. The service includes luggage assistance and delivery of your car in front of the terminal when you return. Rates are $20 for up to 3 hours, with a $40 daily maximum. 

Premium parking is available in two uncovered parking lots adjacent to the terminal. Four free electric charging stations are located in this lot (parking rates apply). Rate are $5 for each 30 minutes, with a $30 daily maximum.

The economy/extended stay lot is a five-minute walk from the terminal. Rates are $5 for each 30 minutes, with a daily maximum fee of $20. 

Information about getting to and from Paine Field passenger terminal by taxi, ride-hailing services, the Bellair Airporter shuttle and by public transportation can be found on the airport website

–Written by Harriet Baskas
—Photographs courtesy of Paine Field Propeller Airports

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