A California airport is taking tourists back in time to a time when relatives could meet them at the gate.
According to the airport, the Ontario International Airport, which is located approximately 40 miles east of Los Angeles, will launch a new initiative that will enable non-travelers to obtain an online visitor card and access the terminal’s post-security area. Then, these non-travelers can either wait for loved ones at the gate or visit with them before they leave.
The ONT+ program will be free and will function similarly to a ticket in order to pass through TSA security checkpoints.
“We all remember the excitement of being able to meet arriving family and friends as they get off the plane,” ONT Public Safety Administrator Dean Brown said in a statement. “ONT+ is a safe and secure way to relive some of that experience from decades ago.”
Non-travelers must fill out an online application within seven days of their intended visit to receive a pass. The pass will be emailed to them once it has been approved. ONT+ visitor passes that have been printed will not be accepted.
Non-travelers will be subject to the same TSA security rules as travelers, including the prohibition on bringing large liquids. The ONT+ pass cannot currently be used with TSA PreCheck or Clear.
This trip back in time transports visitors to a time before 9/11, when loved ones could be escorted to and from the airport.
Ontario International Airport is the most recent airport to provide this service. Seattle Tacoma Airport currently offers a SEA Visitor Pass, which allows non-ticketed passengers to sign up for access to the airport’s secure area. Similar programs have previously been tested at Pittsburgh International Airport and Tampa International Airport, but they have since been discontinued.