Want to explore Seattle after your cruise and not sure what to do with your luggage? Or maybe you simply want to have someone else take care of your bags instead of having to lug them from the cruise port to the airport… while also being checked-in for your flight before you even leave the ship.
In that case, you’re in luck…
The Port of Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have a “Port Valet” service for cruise passengers that can save you a lot of time and headache. If you’re taking a cruise from Seattle and plan on flying home from the airport, then you’ll want to take advantage of this little-known cruise perk.
The Benefits of Seattle’s Port Valet Service
With the Port Valet service, cruisers disembarking in Seattle and headed to the airport don’t have to worry about schlepping their bags. The complimentary service will transfer your luggage from ship directly to the plane. In addition, you will be checked in for your flight and provided with boarding passes before you even leave the ship.
What this means is if you want to explore the city before your flight, you can do so without wondering what to do with your luggage. And even if you are headed straight to the airport, you can do so without having to carry heavy bags.
At the same time, since you are already checked in, that means when you arrive at Seattle-Tacoma airport, you simply head straight to the security gate instead of having to wait in line to get a boarding pass or drop off bags.
The service is free, and passengers pay only normal baggage fees an airline may charge for either checking a bag or excess baggage, not for the transfer service.
How to Sign Up for Port Valet
So how can you take advantage?
First, you’ll have to enroll. That can be done on the Port Valet website up until 4:00 p.m. the first day of your cruise. After that time, you can still enroll on the ship. It’s a good idea to simply enroll early online before the cruise. If you do wait, any questions you have should be able to be address by the Guest Services desk on the ship.
The night before your cruise ends, you’ll have airline boarding passes and special luggage tags delivered. Place these tags on your checked bags and then set them outside of your room. The ship’s crew will pick them up for you.
From there, your luggage is delivered directly to your airport, so you don’t have to check those bags. The next time you see them will be on the luggage carousel when you land back home.
Want to track your bags? You can do so at https://portvalet.maketraveleasier.com
Currently, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines participate in the program. If flying a different airline, then you won’t be able to take advantage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What flight times work for the Port Valet service? What if I fly out the next day?
Before you sign up, you’ll want to be sure your flight falls within the window to be eligible for Port Valet. For most airlines, the flight must be between 12 p.m. on debarkation day and 1:30 a.m. the next morning. For Southwest, the eligible window is between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the day the ship arrives back in Seattle.
Can I use this service if flying international?
Yes, the Port Valet service says you can use it even if flying international. The one exception is if you fly Delta. At this time only domestic flights on Delta are eligible.
Is there a charge for the Port Valet service in Seattle?
No, the service is free. There is no additional charge to use the Port Valet.
What if I have a charge for a checked bag on my airline?
Many airlines charge for checked bags. In that case, Port Valet says that any airline baggage fees are applied to your onboard account on the cruise ship. You’ll then pay them with the payment method on file, just like any other charges during the cruise.
What if I need something from my bag after it is picked up?
You should be sure that you have everything you need from your luggage before you set it outside your door. With the Port Valet service, once your bags are picked up you won’t see them again until you land at your home airport. You won’t have a chance to get anything from them once they are picked up the night before your cruise gets back to port.
What if I’m not traveling on one of the airlines offering the service?
As mentioned above, Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United all are participants in the program. That should cover the vast majority of passengers. If you are flying out on a different airline, then you’ll still need to bring your luggage with you the traditional way.
Have more questions about the free port valet service between the Port of Seattle and the airport? Let us know in the comments below.
What Passengers Think of the Program
Obviously having a completely free service that takes care of your luggage should be popular. And while not many people seem to know about the service (its only been around a few years), those that have used it rave about the program.
One passenger had this to say:
“It is GREAT!! You are given your airline docs (we were flying Southwest) and baggage checks on the night before docking. We attached them to our bags, put them in the hallway, and the next time we saw them was on the baggage carousel in Tucson. We walked off the ship with our carry-on in Seattle at 6:30, hailed a cab, and we were checked in and at our gate at the airport by 7:30. We were WAY early for our 11:30 AM flight, but that was fine. I had been concerned that 11:30 was too early, but everything worked out as well as we could have ever wanted. Seattle really had its act together, both for check-in at the pier and for disembarkation. I highly recommend the service!”
You can read more about the Port Valet service in Seattle here.
I saw where it said that if baggage fees are required by your airline, the fees will be applied to your sail and sign account. What about if you have already prepaid for return luggage fees online through the airline , will there still be fees added to your sail and sign account?
There shouldn’t be, but definitely check your account just to be sure.
We are flying home on Southwest and have purchased the SW Early Bird feature to be checked in 36 hours out automatically. Will Port Valet be able to “see” we are already checked in?
Don’t know that!
So do we still have to lug around our carry on bags or can we have them held and get them just before boarding?
Sarah — NCL Bliss on Saturday. See you there. Signed up in advance for the port valet service, but got the same cancellation notice from them. Not sure I understood the explanation.
This article seems to have lots of great information! However, don’t plan on this service on your cruise without trying to sign up ahead of time. I’m leaving in two days on the first Alaskan cruise of the season, and Port Valet informed me (and others on our cruise) that they weren’t offering their service for our cruise, even though we meet all the qualifications on their website, because the “airport is experiencing delays.” Be forewarned.
Hello… Is there a form, that can be completed, prior to the Cruise?
You can enroll online ahead of time here:
Seattle valet…can the luggage remain overnight at the airport?
We return on Sat. but don’t fly out till Sunday
Oh, not sure about that. I’d be worried about having my luggage out of my hands that long to be honest.
No, it’s for day of travel only. You must fly out by 11:59pm day of your disembarkment.
The website says by 1:30 a.m. the next morning unless flying Southwest. Close to midnight, but only by about 90 more minutes.
We get free baggage fees on Delta with an AmEx card and fly Sky Priority. Is that still the case with this service?
Not sure of the logistics in this case. Might give a call to the cruise line to see.
Is this service offered in San Diego?
Hello, my ship docks in seattle on july 24th 2020, however my plane out of seattle leaves on july 25th at 23:50 , can I still take advantage of this program? this would help me a lot because I would not have to carry my big suitcase all around seattle for basically two days
We wouldn’t want to risk it. That’s a long time to be away from your bags. Your hotel would likely have a bell desk where you can hold your bags. They will often hold them even after you’ve checked out.
hi. We are taking a red-eye out of SeaTac at 10PM on the day we disembark. Is that too late to use this service? I can’t find any time limit, but also value my luggage:) thanks!
Not sure of a timeline either, but given that it’s the same day, we can’t imagine it being an issue.
I paid for your Port Valet Service on the RC Ovation of the Seas departing Aug 2 and returning August 9.
(today is August 23) I placed my bag outside the room with the luggage tag delivered with the Southwest Airlines boarding pass, which included a luggage claim number, the night before arriving at the port as instructed. The bag was removed from there by your port valet service.
In short my bag, with two weeks of clothing, was lost! In addition to the airline bag tag there was a yellow and black paisley ribbon on the bag for quick identification on a luggage carousel, which makes it less likely to have been taken by mistake. I filed claims with both SW airlines and RC cruise lost and found. The cruise line claims no responsibility or reimbursement obligation as they put it on the port valet service. Who can I file a claim with? I estimate that the contents were worth at least $1500. I ‘ve spoken with several people at the cruise line and baggage company Bags, Inc. everyday since returning.
So far each pretty much said too bad for your poor luck, we have no responsibility. This is unacceptable. I and the other 17 people in my group will never take another cruise with Royal Caribbean or out of the port of Seattle if this is not resolved. Please advise.
Sorry to hear about your lost bag. We aren’t the port, cruise line, or baggage company. We are simply a website that offers information about cruising. It sounds like you are on the right path in contacting all the responsible parties, even if they are trying to pass the buck as you say.
Did you have travel insurance? That may be your best bet at this point. If you find you aren’t getting anywhere contacting the companies directly, we’ve seen some people have success getting issues resolved by posting on social media about their issues.
FYI, almost all credit card/ travel insurance policies won’t cover the lost luggage with their standard policies since the luggage/port valet is a third party. You have to ask if 3rd party baggage handling coverage can be added which would obviously be an additional fee and not every provider is even willing to cover a 3rd party. To avoid further miscommunication, I would recommend you specifically point out that it is a 3rd party and not a cruiseline or airline run service. Learned this the hard way.
Hi we are currently on the ovation of the seas arriving on 8/9/19 and flying out of SeaTac the same day. We are flying in southwest but signed up for the early bird check in. Is it an issue to be able to take advantage of the valet service? I am hearing mixed things from the staff onboard the ship.
Obviously the people on the ship should know best, but this is exactly what the valet program was made for. We’re not sure what the issue might be. We’d suggest going down to talk to Guest Services.
I will be arriving at the Seattle Airport very early in the morning the day of my cruise. The cruise is not scheduled to leave until 5pm. Although I know I will need to check in earlier than that, can I drop off my luggage at the port earlier ?
You can, but only your bags that you are checking. Any carry-on will obviously need to stay with you.
Thank you for your kind response.
We will be on Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas, arriving back in Seattle 8/23/19, my flight is on 8/24/19 06:25 am. Will I be able to use this service?
We would suggest not doing that given that you don’t fly out until the next day. If you are staying the night somewhere, then you can likely have them hold your bags even before you check in.
We are flying with United and there will be baggage fees. How are the fees handled. Thanks, S.L.
We just called the port and were told the baggage fees charged by the airline are charged to your shipboard account.