New Seattle Airport Rental Car Facility = Bleh + A Tip For Hertz Platinum Members

I had a quick trip to SEA this week and had learned the new rental car facility had opened up.  For as long as I can remember, all the rental car companies at SEA were located in the parking garage adjacent to the main terminal.  Easy in, easy out.  But, 3 weeks ago they opened up a new facility.

And, it’s nowhere near the airport.

You board a shuttle bus outside the terminal, and the only place they’re loading up right now is all the way down at one end.  So, depending on which gate you arrive at, it’s a real hike.  I’m a Hertz Platinum member which, in most cases, means they’ll pick me up right at the terminal.  However, when I called the Plat desk they said Seattle was not doing so.

I hopped on the bus for what was a decidedly NOT short ride.  The facility itself is brand new, nice, just a pretty hefty hike from the terminal.

Rental Car Facility

Rental Car Facility

If you’re Hertz Gold or Platinum, you don’t need to go inside.  There are escalators on either end of the building.  The far side of the building (down by Thrifty) is the escalator closest to the Gold pickup area (which is also where Plats pick up).

For Platinum customers, the Plat line obviously still has the wrong instructions as they sent me to the regular parking garage.  I was a bit frustrated when the manager greeted me at the rental location.  She quickly put me at ease, telling me that they will pick-up AND drop-off cars at the airport with 20 minutes notice.  She gave me a card with a phone number on it to call, so if any Hertz Platinums need to use this service, drop me a note and I’m happy to share.

I took advantage of the service on my way back, calling the line about 20 minutes out.  When I pulled onto the arrivals deck there was an employee in a bright yellow Hertz jacket waiting for me.  2 minutes later I was in the terminal and 20 minutes later my invoice was e-mailed to me.  Perfect drop off!

As a fairly useless side note, I had 3 rental cars this past week and actually saw a couple cool features in one.  Surprisingly, it was the new Ford Explorer.  I’ve always been an import guy (Toyota, Nissan, Lexus), so was surprised to see how intuitive some of the new features were.  The touchscreen was very readable and all the buttons on the main console were touch sensitive.  Just touch lightly and they respond, no need to push, very accurate.

Rental Car Facility

The other cool thing the car had was a digital screen tachometer.  There’s two pretty decent resolution displays on either side of the speedometer and one of them is a video tachometer.  Short video below for anyone that finds it interesting:


  1. Yeah, the new location is unfortunate. It would be nice if the airport extended the people mover out to the rental car station (very unlikely given the distance) or had built it adjacent to the light rail station. Shuttles at SEA seem to take forever because they have to do a loop on surface roads.

    Two notes about the car: I find the digital speedometer in my Civic very useful and would prefer that to the digital tachometer. I also think the touch-sensitive buttons are a bit of a concern since they’re hard to use without diverting your eyes from the road and looking at the display (one reason I don’t like the climate control system on my dad’s Prius.)

    1. Scott,

      I agree about the people mover, but, like you I think it’s not going to happen. Happy to hear Hertz Plat is keeping my experience fairly close to what it used to be. As to the buttons, I actually found them easy to use. YMMV, I guess.

  2. SETAC was great when you walked across the street and got into your car.
    Now it feels like a Japanese Subway experience as you are jammed into a bus and driven off site, which adds 25 minutes to the trip. The Hertz employees on site indicate that everyone has complained but it was the brain child of the Transportation Authority. Our government at its best 🙁

    One more reason to go Platinum and have the door to door service!

  3. Hi,
    I’m flying into seatac today and realized I don’t have the number for the plat desk. Would you share? Thanks and happy new year!

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