Passing TSA just to get food / shopping

Old Apr 26, 21, 1:16 pm
  #1  
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Passing TSA just to get food / shopping

Just an interesting thought coming out of my mind when I was traveling yesterday.

The scenario is that, I happened to live right next to the terminal (yes the Westin at DEN). It was around 8pm and I would like to get some food. I've checked in to tomorrow's flight so I've got the boarding pass. The restaurants before TSA have closed but a couple of them after TSA are open.

So my question is, am I able to pass the TSA with tomorrow's boarding pass just to get some food and head out? I was tempting to do so but afraid of being scolded / blamed by TSA agents so I gave up. I did a search online and sounds like a few airports do sell tickets for people to get pass TSA and see their friends off, but not sure it works in general.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 1:26 pm
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A few places do this. I believe the DTW Westin will give a gate pass to guests staying overnight so they access the terminals airside in McNamara since there is very little pre-security at DTW (The Westin restaurant may be the only pre-security option there).

At San Antonio, the USO (military lounge) will give guests a gate pass to go air-side in either concourse to go to the restaurants since SAT also has nothing land-side.

The FT work-around even for places that won't give gate-passes is buy a fully refundable ticket, check-in, use the BP to clear security, then cancel the flight. Some airlines requiring calling them to cancel the flight if you're already checked in but I had flights on both UA and DL during IROPs (this was all during the TX winter storm) and once I was able to make an earlier DL flight, I was able to cancel the UA flight via the mobile app despite already being checked-in for the flight.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 1:30 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by COYG View Post
Just an interesting thought coming out of my mind when I was traveling yesterday.

The scenario is that, I happened to live right next to the terminal (yes the Westin at DEN). It was around 8pm and I would like to get some food. I've checked in to tomorrow's flight so I've got the boarding pass. The restaurants before TSA have closed but a couple of them after TSA are open.

So my question is, am I able to pass the TSA with tomorrow's boarding pass just to get some food and head out? I was tempting to do so but afraid of being scolded / blamed by TSA agents so I gave up. I did a search online and sounds like a few airports do sell tickets for people to get pass TSA and see their friends off, but not sure it works in general.
With COVID issues most airports want travelers only, even landside.
In LAS VEGAS pre-check they now only scan your ID (not bp), I don't know what info the agent sees in his terminal.
In any event if it isn't a long walk see what happens; if they let you through they will scribble on your bp, so print a new one for tomorrow.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 1:40 pm
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I recently completed such an endeavor. I was staying at the hotel next to the terminal at CVG and their cafe was serving next to nothing. So I wandered over to the airport for dinner and nothing is open before TSA. I approached the TSA Pre-Check agent with my boarding pass for the following morning and inquired whether the pass would allow me to go through so I could eat dinner in a restaurant in one of the concourses. She was skeptical and called over someone else who said I could definitely do so, as long as the actual flight was within 12 hours. As it was around 7pm and my flight was the next morning at 6:30am, I was within the 12 hours. I was assured that using my boarding pass then would not negate it being used a second time the time the following morning. So I went in, found someone still open (not a lot open at CVG) and then passed through without incident the following morning. So yes you can, but it would be wise to ask someone at TSA to make sure there are no local rules to prevent it.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 5:14 pm
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Or, you could just order delivery!
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Old Apr 26, 21, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
Or, you could just order delivery!
Or just buy a refundable ticket on any airline/flight in that particular terminal and cancel it after clearing security using the 24- hour rule.
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Last edited by sydneyracquelle; Apr 26, 21 at 7:48 pm
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Old Apr 26, 21, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
With COVID issues most airports want travelers only, even landside.
In LAS VEGAS pre-check they now only scan your ID (not bp), I don't know what info the agent sees in his terminal.
In any event if it isn't a long walk see what happens; if they let you through they will scribble on your bp, so print a new one for tomorrow.
I got to watch the TSA screen as my wife passed through... it displays the flight number and destination. I would guess that if you cancel beforehand, the flight wouldn't display.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Or just buy a ticket on any airline/flight in that particular terminal and cancel it after clearing security using the 24- hour rule.
Be careful, airlines are only required to give refunds within 24 hours of booking if it's more than 7 days to departure.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Or just buy a ticket on any airline/flight in that particular terminal and cancel it after clearing security using the 24- hour rule.
Be careful with that -- the DOT only requires the 24-hour refund for tickets purchased more than 7 days in advance; carriers vary in whether their policy includes closer-in tickets.

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/28d02b3...d-42ad573456a0
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Old Apr 26, 21, 8:02 pm
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Years ago, PIT used to allow people to go through screening to access the “skymall”, even if not flying. Not sure if they still do.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 8:39 pm
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Originally Posted by VFR View Post
Be careful, airlines are only required to give refunds within 24 hours of booking if it's more than 7 days to departure.
Fully refundable fares are typically refundable at any time, sometimes even after departure (depending on the fare). This is different than booking a non-refundable fare and cancelling within 24 hours.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
Be careful with that -- the DOT only requires the 24-hour refund for tickets purchased more than 7 days in advance; carriers vary in whether their policy includes closer-in tickets.

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/28d02b3...d-42ad573456a0
But if you buy a totally refundable astronomically priced ticket (really only a "paper" debit) and cancel after your food purchases should work. This probably violates CoC, but a one time faux pas is OK.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
In LAS VEGAS pre-check they now only scan your ID (not bp), I don't know what info the agent sees in his terminal.
This is a TSA experiment at certain airports at certain times. Just like the face scanners at ATL international.

You are not required to participate in either and can decline and still show BP and flash the ID.

OP, the 12 hour rule is correct with regards to accessing the night before.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
This is a TSA experiment at certain airports at certain times. Just like the face scanners at ATL international.

You are not required to participate in either and can decline and still show BP and flash the ID.

OP, the 12 hour rule is correct with regards to accessing the night before.
RDU is doing this (at least in the Pre-Check lane). Two of the three “stalls” are ID only (to the confusion of many) while the third stall only has the regular scanner.

I too am curious what info they see but don’t mind not having to touch my phone to the scanner (and go through the rigamarole if the BP disappears from my wallet or the app). They already have all of our information anyway so at least it’s being used to make things slightly more efficient.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by HDQDD View Post
Years ago, PIT used to allow people to go through screening to access the “skymall”, even if not flying. Not sure if they still do.
there are a few airports that are doing this again. making the mall a destination again. I think PIT is on that list. can't remember.
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