DETROIT, MI — Visitors at Detroit Metro Airport are the latest to receive passes from TSA into the terminal. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) amended rules last year giving some airports the chance to allow visitors into the gate area without an airline ticket.
Entry without a boarding pass into the gate area hasn’t been allowed since airport security was increased after September 11, 2001.
Detroit is the third airport to give non-flyers a little more access, Pittsburgh and Tampa Airports have already enacted the new rules.
Through the DTW Destination Pass program, unticketed visitors interested in entering the gate area of the airport beyond security will need to register the day before their planned visit on the airport’s website, and if approved, will have to follow the same security procedures as ticketed passengers, according to the Wayne County Airport Authority. Those under 18 must have an adult with them.
"Now those who are not flying can enjoy the many amenities of the airport, surprise an arriving traveler or spend extra time with a loved one who is departing. Last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) amended its regulations, giving airports more flexibility when allowing non-ticketed visitors into the gate area," the authority said.
Not all flyers are fans, though. Some fliers are concerned the program will further congest the gate area, slow security screenings, and lead to longer wait times.
TSA addressed these concerns saying they will monitor and adjust staff as needed to accommodate passenger volume, give checkpoint priority to ticketed passengers, and suspend the DTW Destination Pass Program during peak departure times.