Which US Airports Allow Nonticketed Passengers Past Security?

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport has become the fourth airport in the US to allow nonticketed visitors through TSA security checkpoints. As of 3rd January, loved ones will be able to see off their relatives and friends at the departure gate, instead of having to say goodbye before airport security checkpoints.

Airport non ticketed passenger
The new visitor pass scheme should help make goodbyes a little less difficult. Photo: Pixabay

It’s been a week of new policies and new beginnings in the world of commercial aviation. On Friday, Detroit Metro Airport confirmed that it will be indefinitely extending its nonticketed terminal visitor program.

After a successful trial, Detroit Metro Airport has decided to indefinitely extend its ‘DTW Destination Pass’ program. The DTW Destination Pass program allows visitors saying goodbye to loved ones at Detroit Metro Airport to travel through security and on to the departure gate without a ticket.

The pilot project at Detroit Metro Airport was launched on 22 October and had an initial end date of 5 January. But it looks like the pilot project has gone so well that the decision-makers at Detroit Metro Airport have opted to extend it indefinitely.

Detroit Metro Airport
Detroit Metro Airport is the fourth US airport to launch a visitor pass scheme. Photo: Aaron Headly via Flickr

As reported by The Points Guy, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO, Chad Newton, revealed just how well the pilot project was received in the local community:

“We’ve received a tremendous response to the DTW Destination Pass program… We understand that our facility is more than just an airport…It is a pleasure to offer everyone a chance to experience DTW and create memories that will last a lifetime,” he said.

Airport number four

While the DTW Destination Pass project is certainly forward-thinking, Detroit Metro Airport isn’t the first airport in the US to introduce such a scheme.

The first US airport to grant visitors the privilege of gate access was Pittsburgh International Airport back in August 2017 with its ‘myPITpass’ program.

Since then it’s been joined by three other US airports – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Tampa International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

The DTW Destination Pass

The DTW Destination Pass has proven a hit with visitors during its trial run, which started back in October 2019. Going forward the DTW Destination Pass will grant visitors access to post-security areas of the airport between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

The passes will be capped at a maximum of 100 per day in order to ensure that the airport is not overstretched by additional visitors.

Detroit Metro Airport
Detroit Metro Airport will make 100 visitor passes available per day. Photo: 日本語 via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors will also have to apply for their DTW Destination Passes at least one day prior to their visit.

Detroit Metro Airport’s visitor pass system is similar to the system implemented at Tampa International Airport. However, visitors to Tampa have to select which concourse they want to access as part of the application process, and they can only visit on Saturdays.

If you want to get in on the action it’s best to apply early as these visitor pass schemes are proving very popular at each of the four participating airports.

Simple Flying has requested comment from Detroit Metro Airport on its visitor pass scheme and we’ll update the article once we receive more information.