This US Airport Will Now Allow You to See Your Loved Ones Off at the Gate

The ONT+ pass is taking travelers back in time

People walking past a store in Ontario International Airport

Courtesy of Ontario International Airport

The days of kissing your family and friends goodbye at their gate (or chasing after your scorned lover through the airport) are returning—at least in one California airport. 

The Ontario International Airport is launching a visitor pass program that will give non-travelers access to the post-security side of the airport once again. The pass, named ONT+, will be free and work similarly to a plane ticket—non-travelers will present their passes and photo ID at security and must abide by TSA regulations to get through. Once through, non-travelers will not only have access to the gates but can also enjoy the many restaurants, retailers, and high-end lounges, which the airport has heavily invested in since 2016.

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

To get an ONT+ pass, non-travelers must go online and fill out an application within seven days of their visit. The application will ask for basic information, including a specific terminal and the time of the visit, as availability is limited. Once approved, the pass will be sent via email.

Because of limited availability, passes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Printed ONT+ passes will not be accepted, and the airport recommends that all pass-holders leave the terminal by 10 p.m. Currently, these passes cannot be used with TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR.

This program is one of the first of its kind in the nation and is a refreshing reminder of pre-9/11 travel. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport offers a SEA Visitor Pass, which is similar in that it requires non-travelers to apply online and be screened through airport security.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. PR Newswire. "Ontario International Airport Launches ONT+ To Open Terminals, Restaurants and Shops To Non-travelers." Oct. 17, 2022

  2. Travel + Leisure. "This California Airport Will Allow Non-travelers to Meet Loved Ones at the Gate." Oct. 24, 2022.