Three US airports now letting passengers through security without a ticket

Spending more time at the airport has never been easier.

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Starting Tuesday, Detroit's Metropolitan Airport is allowing non-flying airport visitors through to the secure side of the airport.

Detroit joins the Pittsburgh and Tampa international airports as the third U.S. airport currently offering this program. Pittsburgh became the first airport in the post-9/11 era to offer such a program in 2017, and TSA regulation amendments have given airports more flexibility when allowing non-flyers into the gate area.

“The new regulations allow us to expand our gate pass program that already exists for our Westin hotel guests,” said DTW Airport CEO Chad Newton.

“Now we can welcome more community members into our home to create memorable moments—from watching planes to greeting family and friends.”

- DTW Airport CEO Chad Newton

All three programs have limits on the number of passes – Detroit will issue 75 per day. Customer access is also restricted by time of day and minors must be accompanied by a non-flying adult, among other limitations.

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Detroit hosts more than 35 million passengers in 2018, the busiest airport currently offering the service –Tampa saw 21 million travelers and Pittsburgh had just less than 10 million last year.

Like the existing programs, Detroit's Destination Pass requires an online application before your visit and “participants must submit to the same security regulations as passengers boarding an aircraft.” During peak hours, ticketed passengers will be given priority.

The Destination Pass’ pilot phase runs through the holiday season, tentatively ending Jan. 5.

DTW airport recently earned the highest customer satisfaction rating among "mega airports," according to JD Power.

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