Seattle to Become Second Major Airport to Open Non-Traveler Terminal Post-9/11

Nov 9, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is testing out a new plan that would make it the one of the only airports in the US to allow non-travelers in the restricted passenger-only areas beyond security.

Dubbed the “Visitor Pass Program,” the plan allows guests without same-day tickets to reach domestic gates within the terminal. According to a statement from the airport and reported by the Seattle Times, the program is set to begin Nov. 9 and is available to people who meet Transportation Security Administration requirements.

Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, non-ticketed guests were permitted to go beyond security checkpoints, allowing them to see friends and family off on their travels directly from the gate. With Seattle-Tacoma’s (SEA) Visitor Pass Program, that option is once again available in certain circumstances.

So what are those circumstances? Well, in order to get past security as a non-ticketed passenger, you must be quick. SEA will only allow 50 visitors per day, and you must sign up online before 1:30pm on the day before your visit. If you’ve been pre-approved, the TSA will notify you via email. The next day, you must pick up your pass at the airport after showing proper photo identification. Approved visitors will be required to go through the same security procedures as ticketed passengers.

For now, access is limited to Tuesday through Sunday between the hours of 8am and 10pm. The trial period will end on Dec. 14.

“For me it is nostalgic,” said Lance Lyttle, managing director of SEA. “As a child I used to go to the airport and watch loved ones board the plane and depart. The fact that you can say goodbye to your loved one or child or meet them at the gate and surprise them is very exciting.”

In 2017, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) became the first airport in the country to introduce a similar program following the Sept. 11 attacks. Intrigued by the program, SEA sent a team to PIT to learn about what would be needed to start its own visitor access program.

“Pittsburgh did the heavy lifting and figured out the TSA regulations,” said Perry Cooper, SEA spokesperson. “We said let’s give it a try and see how much interest we get.”

If SEA’s Visitor Pass Program is determined to be a success, the program will continue beyond December.

In addition to allowing guests into the airport to be with their family or friends throughout the airport experience, SEA is also hoping to boost retailers and restaurants in the terminal with the prospect of more potential customers.

Featured image by George Rose / Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.