New Orleans Is the Latest Airport to Allow Unticketed Visitors Through Security

Following similar moves at Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Detroit, the nonflying public can now experience airside shopping and dining at the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport terminal.

New Orleans Is the Latest Airport to Allow Unticketed Visitors Through Security

With a MSY Guest Pass, those without a plane ticket can now go through security at the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport terminal.

Photo by Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has become the latest U.S. airport to allow unticketed visitors to go through security. The move comes just one month after the opening of the new terminal at the New Orleans airport, which has provided the city with a much-needed new transportation hub, plus an impressive showcase of some of the foodie town’s most celebrated chefs.

As of December 4, the MSY Guest Pass allows the nonflying public to indulge in the new dining venues alongside their flying counterparts.

The $1 billion terminal features 40 retail stores throughout the terminal, including some standout dining venues such as Leah’s Kitchen, an homage to the late, self-taught Creole chef Leah Chase, and MoPho from chef Michael Gulotta, which marries southern favorites with Vietnamese standards.

The MSY Guest Pass allows access to the postsecurity area in the new terminal seven days a week between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. There will be a limit of 50 visitors per day, Monday through Friday, and 100 visitors per day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Interested visitors must sign up online up to 24 hours before their visit. On the day of their visit, they must then go to the customer service desk on the first level of the main terminal between doors two and three to pick up their pass.

Approved visitors will go through standard security screening, so any security requirements for regular passengers will also be applied to visitors (minus the need for a boarding pass), including presenting a valid government-issued photo identification. MSY Guest Pass holders will also be prohibited from bringing through any items that have been barred by the Transportation Security Administration.

Visitors 13 years or older will need a guest pass, and those 12 years and under will not if accompanied by an adult with a pass.

The MSY Guest Pass is the latest in a series of such passes being made available at airports throughout the country. In 2017, Pittsburgh International Airport became the first in the country post-9/11 to allow the public to access shops and restaurants beyond security without possessing an airline ticket. In fall 2018, Sea-Tac followed suit with a SEA Visitor Pass pilot program, which ended that December.

In May 2019, Tampa International Airport introduced the TPA All Access pass, which allows those who are not flying to experience postsecurity (also known as airside) shopping and dining and to meet up there with friends and family arriving at the airport.

And this past October, Detroit Metropolitan Airport rolled out its version: the DTW Destination Pass.

This article originally appeared online in November 2018; it was updated on December 13, 2019, to include current information.

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Michelle Baran is the senior travel news editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, pandemic coverage, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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