At this California airport, you don’t need a ticket to hang out with loved ones at the gate

People walk through an airport
Travelers walk through Ontario International Airport in August 2019.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Travelers at Ontario International Airport will now be able to spend extra time with their loved ones right before boarding the plane.

The airport’s ONT+ Visitor Pass Program allows the public to visit the airport past the security gate by applying up to seven days in advance of the flight, according to the airport’s website. If a specific date or time isn’t available online, that means that visitor slots have reached capacity.

Applicants must provide their full name, gender and birth date, and submit a request to the Transportation Security Administration, which will either approve or reject the application. Every visitor must complete the online form and be approved, regardless of age. Minors without photo IDs must be accompanied by an adult who has already been approved for the program.


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Visitors will be subjected to the same security measures that passengers follow before boarding a plane, including adhering to the “3-1-1” liquids rule and not bringing items prohibited by TSA.

If approved, visitors will get an ONT+ Visitor Pass attached to an email and must show the pass to TSA. Participants must enter Terminal 2 or Terminal 4 using the TSA Checkpoint screening line.

Trusted traveler programs, including TSA PreCheck and CLEAR, can’t be used with the visitor pass. Availability is also limited and granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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The ONT+ Visitor Pass Program is permanent. Access is granted seven days a week.

Orange County’s John Wayne Airport implemented its own program last year, called OC AirPASS, which allows visitors to access services beyond the security gate.