Nostalgic for a time when you could greet a returning flyer at the gate when they landed? Wish you could wait with a loved one for their flight? One U.S. airport is loosening the rules and letting non-ticketed passengers pass through security and go as far as the gate.
California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) recently announced a new program that will allow people who aren’t flying to pass through security and meet passengers at the gate when they land or wait with them until takeoff. Or, if you don’t know anyone who is flying but want to pay more to eat and drink at a restaurant inside the airport, you’ll be able to do that as well.
The program, called the ONT+ Visitor Pass Program, “allows the non-traveling public to visit ONT and enjoy the amenities on the post-security side of the passenger terminal,” according to a statement from the airport. “Obtaining an ONT+ Visitor Pass allows our visitors to spend more time with their friends and family or shop and dine at the airport.”
To participate, go to Ontario Airport’s website up to seven days before your visit to the airport to submit an application. You’ll need to fill out a form with personal information such as name, date of birth, and gender, which will be sent to the TSA for approval.
If you’re applying in advance of your visit, you’ll get approval after midnight on the day of your visit. If you’re applying on the same day as you want to go to the airport, you’ll be notified of approval within 15 minutes.
At the airport, you’ll show your pass on your phone (printed passes are not accepted) at TSA in lieu of a ticket, and go through the same security screenings that you would if you’re flying. ONT+ Visitor Pass users can not use TSA PreCheck or CLEAR expedited screening programs.
There are limited visitor spots available every day, so if you’re unable to select a particular date or time on the application form, it means the slots have sold out.
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