Those who miss the days of greeting -or saying goodbye- to loved ones at the airport gate can do so once again thanks to a new program at Ontario International Airport.
ONT+ allows non-ticketed travelers to fully enter the airport terminal, even through TSA checkpoints – just like they did decades ago.
Not only can visitors greet or send off loved ones when flying, but the free program allows visitors to shop, dine and spend leisure time at the airport if they choose.
Officials say ONT+ will allow “community access to the terminal and airport services that have largely been unavailable to non-travelers since before 9/11,” officials said in a press release.
“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, who worked closely with TSA in establishing the program. “ONT+ is a way to bring back some of that pre-9/11 experience, in a safe and secure manner.”
All approved visitors will be subject to the same security protocols as ticketed fliers, meaning no prohibited items or liquids can be brought inside during their visit.
To receive a visitor pass, an online application must be filled out within seven days of a planned visit. Same-day applications are available as well.
If approved, visitors will be emailed a pass which can be presented along with a government-issued photo ID to bypass the security checkpoint.
One adult with an approved visitor pass can bring up to five minors with them.
The number of available passes is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis and may have limited availability.
Back in 2021, the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana also debuted a similar program called OC AirPASS, allowing non-ticketed visitors to travel beyond security checkpoints.