Airports around the country are experimenting with letting non-flyers go past security. Some may want to go to the airport to see their loved ones off, while others may want to check out a new restaurant or bar or even plane-spot. Currently, those in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Detroit can visit their local airport and get past security, even if they aren't traveling.
The program to let visitors past security without a boarding pass is so popular that Detroit Metropolitan Airport decided to make it permanent. It is known as the DTW Destination Pass program. To get past security without a boarding pass, you must apply one day in advance. You can apply between 8am and 8pm EST, and you are able to visit Tuesday-Sunday, between 8am and 8pm. There are only 75 available spots per day, but generally, 60 or so apply every day.
The program is free, and you can apply via the airport's website. All you have to do is provide a few basic details. If your application is approved, you will receive full instructions electronically. According to the airport, most people who are applying are doing so to meet family at the airport. Of course, some visit the airport to check out the dining options or watch planes.
Visitors who want to go past security without a boarding pass must follow the same strict regulations as those who are boarding a flight; they will have to go through the same security lines. To find out more about the program and all the rules, you can head to the airport's website. If you take advantage of this program, make sure to show up with a government ID!