how strict to get gate pass?

Old Jul 13, 13, 8:14 pm
  #1  
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how strict to get gate pass?

According to united.com, gate passes are available for " to escort an unaccompanied minor, elderly passenger, or passenger with a disability through the security check-point. "

Are those the only reasons allowed? I have some family who haven't flown in over a decade and are pretty anxious (read: have script for medications to travel) and are heading out to celebrate a major (cough 60th cough) birthday. I wanted to accompany them to the gate to help them feel more comfortable with security and to see them off. I don't have status with United (idk if that sort of thing helps) but I was wondering what my chances to get a gate pass might be?

Is this something that has to be done at the ticketing desk, and does it have to be done day of travel?

Thanks in advance!

UPDATE: We ended up arriving at airport 20 minutes earlier than expected and there was ZERO travelers there yet (4:05 AM for a 6 AM departure) so we didn't bother with the gate pass request since there were no lines at TSA and much less anxiety to hurry up than anticipated. Even in the time they took to clear baggage drop off and TSA (~20 mins) and got to their gate the lines really started to form. Amazing what 15 mins does for lines at ROC airport in the AM.

Last edited by jb008; Jul 22, 13 at 8:16 am Reason: Updated with final outcome
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Old Jul 13, 13, 8:16 pm
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Buy a fully refundable ticket for a flight a couple hours after theirs, go with them to the gate, then cancel the ticket.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by jb008 View Post
Is this something that has to be done at the ticketing desk, and does it have to be done day of travel?
Yes. And it is essentially at the agent's discretion. I wouldn't bet on it given the circumstances you've described.
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Buy a fully refundable ticket for a flight a couple hours after theirs, go with them to the gate, then cancel the ticket.
:-: @:-) :-:
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Old Jul 13, 13, 8:39 pm
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Gate pass

I have never failed to get a gate pass, whether to meet my mother or take her to an out bound flight. Just ask nicely, no need to provide details. No need to purchase a ticket you will not use.
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Old Jul 13, 13, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Buy a fully refundable ticket for a flight a couple hours after theirs, go with them to the gate, then cancel the ticket.
Keep in mind that every UA ticket is fully refundable within 24 hours. So you don't need to search for the right fare.
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Old Jul 14, 13, 9:55 am
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Did this last year at IAD and had no problem. Actually was able to go into GF lounge as a guest.
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Old Jul 14, 13, 10:14 am
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I helped my 86 year old mother get to the gate for her Airtran flight last year. Not an issue. SHE told Airtran she wanted me to help her...Airtran gave me a gate pass on the spot.
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Old Jul 14, 13, 4:59 pm
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how strict to get gate pass?

So just ask the ticketing agent? My son is 17 and traveling solo
Thanks
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Old Jul 14, 13, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by dahaberm View Post
So just ask the ticketing agent? My son is 17 and traveling solo
Thanks
Yes but would not be surprised you might not be successful with a 17 yr old,
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Old Jul 14, 13, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Yes but would not be surprised you might not be successful with a 17 yr old,
You are right

No normal 16 year old, let alone 17 year old would want to be accompanied to the gate by a parent.
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Old Jul 14, 13, 5:59 pm
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I have never ever been turned down. I bet between kids, relatives, employees... I've done it 25 times. Never a question, never a problem.
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Old Jul 14, 13, 8:04 pm
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If you're flying out of Buf or Roc (since your profile says WNY) I'd imagine little problem. If you want to be certain buy a ticket within 24 hours of the flight, print a boarding pass and cancel for no fee.

Originally Posted by jb008 View Post
According to united.com, gate passes are available for " to escort an unaccompanied minor, elderly passenger, or passenger with a disability through the security check-point. "

Are those the only reasons allowed? I have some family who haven't flown in over a decade and are pretty anxious (read: have script for medications to travel) and are heading out to celebrate a major (cough 60th cough) birthday. I wanted to accompany them to the gate to help them feel more comfortable with security and to see them off. I don't have status with United (idk if that sort of thing helps) but I was wondering what my chances to get a gate pass might be?

Is this something that has to be done at the ticketing desk, and does it have to be done day of travel?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 14, 13, 8:42 pm
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Look at the arrival board, and go to a ticketing agent in an arriving flight in the next 30 minutes and ask for a gate pass to meet an incoming passenger.

I've done this at more major airports than I can imagine and have never been turned down.

Leave the bathing suits and flip flops at home and wear business clothes at a major hub like ORD

To the OP..I've done this at both BUF and ROC

Last edited by LaserSailor; Jul 16, 13 at 5:11 am
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Old Jul 14, 13, 9:22 pm
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I have yet to be rebuffed by a UNITED agent when asking for a gate pass. I've done it a few times a year for the past 5 years.

I've all also purchased a refundable ticket (really any ticket with 24 hour cancellation) to get through security.
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Old Jul 15, 13, 12:49 am
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You can also tell an agent that you have a meeting at the United Club and 9/10 times they will give you a pass. If you have a membership to the UC then simply present your card and reming them of the GG code (forgetting it right now) that allows non ticketed UC members access through security
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