Ontario International Airport (ONT) in California has launched a free service to enable non-traveling guests to enter TSA checkpoints and access the post-security side of the passenger terminal.
To enter the post-security area, non-travelers must secure an online visitor pass, which they can use much like an airline ticket. ONT+ visitors are subject to the same security regulations as passengers boarding an aircraft and are not allowed to bring items prohibited by TSA. To receive an ONT+ visitor pass, non-travelers must visit the airport’s website and fill out an online application within seven days of their visit. If approved, visitors will receive an ONT+ Visitor Pass via email, which they can use – along with a TSA-approved photo ID – to enter the security checkpoint. Printed ONT+ visitor passes are not accepted.
According to the airport, the program is among the first of its kind in the US since 9/11. It is intended to open restaurants and shops to non-travelers and allow the non-traveling public to greet families and friends at the gate or spend more time with them before they depart.
The launch of ONT+ comes as Ontario International prepares to celebrate six years of local ownership with its State of the Airport event at the Ontario Convention Center on November 1. Since the airport’s return to local control in 2016, it has invested heavily in amenities to improve the experience for outgoing and incoming passengers, including restaurants, shops and high-end lounges.
Dean Brown, public safety administrator at ONT, said, “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.”
Alan D Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority Board of Commissioners and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Ontario, added, “ONT+ is another example of how Ontario International is always at the forefront of amenities and services that can enhance the customer experience.”