You Can Now Meet Family And Friends At The Gate At This U.S. Airport — Here’s Where

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The new program allows guests to enter TSA checkpoints and into the airport’s terminals for the first time since before 9/11. Photo credit: Nawadoln / Shutterstock.com

Remember the days when you could meet your loved ones at the gate after their flight or grab a bite to eat before their departure? That special time is once again going to be possible in California. The Ontario International Airport (ONT) is introducing the ONT+ Visitor Pass Program. This will allow those who are not flying to visit the airport and enjoy the amenities on the post-security side of the passenger terminal.

“We all remember the excitement of being able to meet arriving family and friends as they get off the plane,” said Dean Brown, ONT public safety administrator. “ONT+ is a way to bring back some of that experience from decades ago, in a safe and secure manner.”

ONT+ Visitor Pass Program

The ONT+ Visitor Pass Program is free and among the first of its kind in the country. It allows guests to enter TSA checkpoints and get into the passenger terminal, something that has largely been unavailable to non-travelers since before 9/11.

The program also opens up dining and retail establishments in the terminal’s upper levels to guests. ONT has invested in enhanced amenities to improve passengers’ experiences whether they’re coming or going. This includes new restaurants, shops, and high-end lounges.

How ONT+ Works

To get an ONT+ visitor pass, non-travelers have to fill out an online application within 7 days of their visit to the airport. If approved, guests will be emailed an ONT+ Visitor Pass. This pass, along with a TSA-approved photo ID, will be used to enter the security checkpoint. Keep in mind, printed ONT+ visitor passes will not be accepted.

Those with ONT+ passes are subject to the same security regulations as those who are boarding a flight. This means they also cannot bring items that are prohibited by TSA.

Right now, expedited screening and trusted traveler programs like TSA PreCheck and CLEAR programs cannot be used with this visitor pass. Availability is limited, so it’s granted on a first come, first served basis. It’s recommended that guests leave the terminal by 10 p.m.

About Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport is located in the Inland Empire, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It’s a full-service airport that offers nonstop commercial jet service to more than two dozen major airports in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and Taiwan.

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