Since 9/11, the old movie cliche of running through the airport to meet someone at the gate and dramatically proclaiming your love for them, has been off the table. For the past 17 years, we have not been able to walk through security with our shoes on, stray mints in our pockets have triggered TSA alarms, and at-gate greetings have been banned. But if this new rule at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is any indication of things to come, we might be going back to the good old days. Sea-Tac’s new “Visitor Pass Program” — the first of its kind in the US — will allow people without tickets to access domestic travel gates following a TSA screening.
In a phone call, Lance Lyttle, managing director at Sea-Tac, told The Seattle Times, “For me it is nostalgic. 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 or surprise them is very exciting.”
The program’s trial, which will run from November 9 to December 14, will only accept 50 visitors per day, and they must sign up online before 1:30 PM the day prior to their visit. If they are approved, they can pick up their passes at the airport. Right now, the program is only available on from Tuesday to Sunday between 8 AM and 10 PM to limit congestion at security checkpoints.