More airports are allowing non-passengers to go beyond security - here's why

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(iStock)
(iStock)

A new concept is being embraced by some airports, allowing non-passengers past the security check at airports. 

That's right, you might soon be able to say goodbye to a loved one right at the boarding gate. Who thought post 9/11 something like this could be possible?

You can't take liquids, but you can take a friend!

US airports like Pittsburgh International Airport and Seattle Tacoma Airport already allow all-access programmes, whereas Tampa International Airport is the latest to employ a similar initiative.

And the greatest motivation for airports to do this? Shopping. 

READ: This is the world's busiest flight route - see where SA ranks

Allowing access for non-passengers to airport facilities like restaurants, duty free shops and other entertainment experiences ups airport visitor numbers significantly. Ultimately, bringing in more cash. 

But could it be a security risk? 

READ: There's a rooftop infinity pool at JFK airport where you can watch planes take off

Luckily, getting access is not as easy as just walking through security without a plane ticket. 

At Tampa, only 100 people are allowed to go beyond security without a ticket on Saturdays between 8am and 8pm. You also need to sign up online a day before in order to be considered. 

We are also sure these people are being watched like a hawk.

But not everyone is convinced this is a great thing: 

Granted, we completely get the 'say goodbye to your loved one at the gate' thing, but agree that an airport as a destination for shopping and dining alone, might not be for everyone.

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