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Getting to an airport gate area when you aren't a ticketed passenger

Dear Anita,

I have an elderly aunt flying in from Florida for a visit. She is quite frail and I would like to be able to help her when she arrives. Is there anyway I can meet her at the gate even though I am not a ticketed passenger?

Carolyn Connelly
Methuen, Massachusetts

Dear Carolyn,

Yes, there is a way for you to meet your aunt at the gate; it's called a 'gate pass.'

Arrive early at the airport and go to check-in counter of the airline your aunt is flying in on. You'll need to provide a government-issued identification card (license, passport, etc), name of your aunt and the flight number she is arriving on. The airline agent will issue you a gate pass that will allow you to go through TSA security screening to meet your aunt at the gate.

It's important to note, gate passes are only issued for valid reasons such as assisting the elderly, unaccompanied children, and those with special needs. Passes can also be issued for non-ticketed passengers who wish to utilize the airline's frequent flier clubs or lounges. Policies vary by carrier so it's important to check before heading off to the airport.

I hope I've been helpful.

Anita Dunham-Potter

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