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Old May 2, 11, 8:52 am   #1
 
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can a person with no boarding pass get a "guest pass" to go thru security?

My family has a 6 hour layover at SEA. My sister works 2 miles from the airport and wants to see me and my baby during our layover. Its too much for me and my baby to leave the airport, go thru security, hook up the carseat and worry about getting back to the airport in time for our next flight. So, I'm wondering if its possibly for my sister to visit us at the airport? Could she go thru security without a boarding pass? I just heard of some sort of "guest pass" for this sort of situation but I cant find anything about it.
Thanks
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Old May 2, 11, 9:01 am   #2
 
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I've gotten them to accompany an elderly, infirm passenger from gate to parking garage, but not since last November.
You might consider going through to the main terminal to meet her. You will have to go back through security yourself, but that doesn't seem to be much of a problem, given that you have lots of time.
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Old May 2, 11, 9:03 am   #3
 
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Most methods of getting a "guest pass" are hit or miss.

The only foolproof method to go through security if you aren't intending to go anywhere is to buy a fully refundable ticket to anywhere and then cancel and refund once through the checkpoint.
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Old May 2, 11, 9:48 am   #4
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The ticket does not have to be fully refundable. Purchase it within 24 hours of meeting up, and then cancel when you walk out. Refund will post within a few days.. This method has never failed for me.
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Old May 2, 11, 9:51 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by FriendlySkies View Post
TThis method has never failed for me.
Hmmmm, I knew about 24-hour refundability, but that also works if you check in and print a boarding pass? I would have guessed that checking in would unset the "refundable" flag.
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Old May 2, 11, 9:53 am   #6
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Originally Posted by TheRoadie View Post
Hmmmm, I knew about 24-hour refundability, but that also works if you check in and print a boarding pass? I would have guessed that checking in would unset the "refundable" flag.
When ready to leave the airport, I tell an agent in the RCC or at the check-in desk that something came up, and I can't make my flight. I then ask them to off-load me, and refund the ticket. I've done this three or four times so people can meet me at the airport, without making me go out and back through the nonsense that is TSA.
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Old May 2, 11, 9:53 am   #7
 
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Welcome to FT! I second the refundable-ticket suggestion. It works.

And following it is not as hard as you might think. If your sister is less experienced than you at dealing with airlines, then you can buy the ticket in her name, she can check in at a kiosk, and you can do the refund process together either phone or online once she is with you. The hardest part depending on the airline may be that you have to "un check in" her prior to issuing the refund, and that's not very hard. (If all else fails, go to a gate agent.)

I have done this many times, both as the visitor and the traveler.
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Old May 2, 11, 9:57 am   #8
 
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I have an elderly and partially blind neighbor. I always check in with her at the counter to check her bag. I always request a "guest pass" to accompany her through security to the gate. I have never had a problem.
I made sure that her special needs are noted in her airline profile. They know to escourt her airside on her return where I take over again.
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Old May 2, 11, 10:21 am   #9
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The refundable ticket is probably the easiest method. Another option, if you are a member of an airline lounge, is to schedule a meeting in the lounge. They will arrange a pass for your guest(s) to clear security and meet you in the lounge.
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Old May 2, 11, 10:21 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoadie View Post
Hmmmm, I knew about 24-hour refundability, but that also works if you check in and print a boarding pass? I would have guessed that checking in would unset the "refundable" flag.
Depends on the airline. At 24 hours out, though, you're practically in refundable ticket pricing territory anyway.
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Old May 2, 11, 10:32 am   #11
 
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Thanks, I've never heard of the refundable ticket option before. I think for my sister, that would be too confusing and its all last minute (tomorrow) but good to know.

We might just go thru security and see her at the airport- not drive anywhere.

Security is such a pain thou. And things might be tight tomorrow due to all of this Bin Laden stuff.
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Old May 2, 11, 11:00 am   #12
 
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Your layover is 6 hours, but is your sister going to be there the entire 6 hours? Since it's the middle of the work week, she will probably not have more than 1-2 hours with you, so staying in the airport is a good option.

Going through that refundable ticket thing seems like a lot of hassle. I think your best bet is to exit the sterile area, spend some time with your sister in the non-sterile part of the terminal, and re-enter security yourself when she leaves. If you schedule it right, you'll have plenty of time to get back through to your concourse, even with increased security due to the Bin Laden affair.
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Old May 2, 11, 11:35 am   #13
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Originally Posted by TheRoadie View Post
Hmmmm, I knew about 24-hour refundability, but that also works if you check in and print a boarding pass? I would have guessed that checking in would unset the "refundable" flag.
Nope, you just need to tell the CSR that "your boss cancelled the meeting" or some such. Then they will need to off load you and bingo, you're done.

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Old May 2, 11, 11:41 am   #14
 
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Buying a ticket, and then cancelling after going through security with a boarding pass, seems ridiculous; SOMEONE is going to have to go through security regardless, might as well be the people with the baby (can avoid the cancer machine). Lots of places to meet up in the main terminal.
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Old May 2, 11, 11:57 am   #15
 
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I broke my leg last year and was on crutches. I still traveled quite a bit. My family member when arriving home would stop at the desk, ask for a gate pass to come to the concourse, go through security and meet me. The airline agent issuing the gate pass occasionally verified I was on a flight list for an incoming flight, but that was it. There was never any follow up to confirm the broken leg story was legit.
Worked like a charm in numerous airports. Just fyi...
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