Pokémon no go: A trainer’s tips to avoid arrest or injury at the airport

By now you’ve all heard the stories (and seen the YouTube videos!). People falling into canals, driving into trees and trespassing on private property in their quest to catch that elusive Vaporeon or Porygon.

Yes, we’re talking about Pokémon Go. Sure, you’re pretty unlikely to encounter an open body of water during an airport travel day (maybe a big puddle on an extra rainy Seattle morning). And, catching a few Pokémon or stocking up at the plethora of airport PokéStops is actually a pretty brilliant way to spend a layover. But beware: overly focused Pokémon trainers are likely to cause traffic jams and annoy their fellow fliers.

Here are four tips for staying safe, keeping yourself out of trouble and scoring maximum Pokéballs the next time you travel, from Alaska Airlines’ top Pokémon trainers:

1. Watch where you’re going

This probably goes without saying, but the airport is a busy place. This summer, more than 130,000 passengers are traveling through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport each day. Stopping suddenly in the middle of a busy thoroughfare runs the risk of tripping your fellow travelers or delaying someone who’s trying to make a tight layover with only minutes to spare.

At airports like San Diego International Airport that are located near busy metropolitan areas, be extra vigilant as you travel to or from the airport. Just because you can see that Charmander doesn’t mean the taxi driver pulling up to the curb can.

Respect your fellow passengers’ personal space and avoid climbing over legs or reaching around torsos in your quest to catch ‘em all (that’s what incense is for, anyway). Nobody really loves waiting in line to board an airplane, so do your best to not make it worse for those around you.

2. Obey the law

Again, this probably goes without saying, but bears repeating in a secured area like an airport. There are a lot of spaces that the general public is simply not allowed to access. Avoid playing in security lines, near doorways to restricted areas or anywhere that you might get yourself tackled by airport police.

“You don’t want to accidentally chase a Pikachu the wrong way through a security exit and have security chasing you down instead. Don’t end up in the Poke-y dex!” says Abbey Elliott, social media program manager for the Port of Seattle.

Many flights in warm destinations like Mazatlán and Palm Springs, as well as regional flights on our sister carrier Horizon Air, board the plane outside using a ramp or stairs on the tarmac. Remember to watch where you’re going and beware of wandering into restricted space. Better yet, hold off on playing until you’re safely in the terminal.

3. Follow directions

When the cabin crew asks you to put your phone on airplane mode, or a customer service agent asks you to keep to the side of the jet way while you try to catch that weirdly strong Drowzee, please listen. And while you’re at it, please don’t ask employees to help you catch a Pokémon, or let you into a restricted area hunt. It’s their job to keep you and your fellow travelers safe and comfortable while you get from point A to point B. They really are just looking out for you.

4. Have fun!

If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and generally staying out of the way, you’ll find that the airport is a fantastic place to catch Pokémon, hatch eggs and add precious lures and potions to your backpack. At Sea-Tac, many of the PokéStops are located at airport art installations, so give yourself time to do the airport art walk while you’re hunting.


  1. My friends and I are planning on going to Japan to travel next week and we are hoping to catch some really good Pokemon while we are there. However, I never thought about it being a problem in the airports, and so I really appreciate your advice about not playing the game in the security lines. Yet, why could it be a problem for us to be on our phones while we are waiting to get through security? Those lines can be very long, which is why I think that it would be a good idea to be playing the game.

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