The days are long over when you could walk to the departure gate with your loved one to wave goodbye as they boarded the plane. There are circumstances however when it is vital to accompany a family member to the gate and see them safely on board the aircraft. Here are the steps necessary to obtain a “gate pass”.
Who will be considered for a gate pass?
- A parent with a child flying alone – known as unaccompanied minor (under 18)
- A companion for a passenger that has a disability (perhaps to push a wheelchair, etc)
- A companion for a passenger with with special needs (can’t understand signs and/or instructions or perhaps needs a sign language interpreter)
- A companion for a passenger who is elderly and may become confused or disoriented
- Family members of Military service personnel who are reporting for duty or arriving home from active duty
How To Obtain a Gate Pass
- Since every airline and airport may have slightly different rules, it is always best to phone the airline first to obtain any special instructions.
- As a general rule, gate passes are issued at the airline ticket/check-in counter.
- You will need the passenger’s name and flight number, and a government issued photo ID (driver’s license).
- If you are escorting a departing Military service member, they should have their military orders available as well as government photo IDs for everyone over the age of 18.
- You may wish to enlist the assistance of one of the airline greeters (usually dressed in an airline blazer and standing near the entrance of the ticket counter lines). They are there to help direct folks to the proper counter and should be able to point you to the exact location to obtain the gate pass.
- When you reach the counter personnel, explain that you wish to obtain a Gate Pass and explain the circumstances.
And finally be sure to allow plenty of time before flight departure and/or arrival as check-in and security lines can sometimes be daunting.