New Sea-Tac Airport program allows visitors to go beyond security, get to gate without a ticket

SEATAC, Wash. — You can now do something at Sea-Tac Airport that no one's been able to do for 17 years -- meet friends or loved ones at the gate as they walk off their flight or are about to board.

The airport is testing the program for a limited time.

You can apply for the SEA Visitor Pass pilot program, available now through mid- December, which allows people without a ticket to go beyond security checkpoints.  Applications must be approved by the TSA.

The program allows people to go in and spend time with friends and family before their flights or you can go to the gate and surprise travelers when they get into town.

You could also have a meal with a traveler on a layover, shop or watch the planes coming and going.

KIRO 7 talked to a woman leaving for a flight to Alaska this morning and she liked the idea.

" I miss the days when it was exciting getting off the plane and someone you knew and loved was waiting for you. That was fun,” said, traveler Terri Liberski.

Meeting travelers at their gate applies only to domestic arrivals.

Here's how it works:

  • You must apply online before 1:30 p.m. the day before you want to visit the airport.
  • Visitors must be approved by TSA and will be notified of their approval status by midnight the day before their arrival.
  • Enrollment is available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Entrance to the post-security side of the terminal is allowed from Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The program is limited to 50 visitors per day.
  • Approved visitors will go through the standard security checkpoints, so all security requirements for any traveler will be in place for visitors as well.
  • For more information, visit the SEA Visitor Pass Program page online or check out the Frequently Asked Questions.