jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:06 pm

OK, I know this issue is getting old for many people. I know it's controversial and may people don't agree with my viewpoint and I respect that. But I thought I would share a letter with you that I wrote to the TSA on this issue and would appreciate your feedback, good and bad.



==================================================


I am writing to request that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to consider a plan to allow visitors back into the concourses at U.S. airports.

Before September 11, 2001, we were allowed to pass security without an airline ticket to visit the airline lounges, watch airplanes, shop in the airport establishments, dine in the airport restaurants, meet visitors at the gate, and spend those last few minutes with our families at the gate before they had to board their flights. These are among the many benefits of allowing visitors back on the concourses. At many airports, all the worthwhile shops and restaurants are beyond security--and these establishments have suffered great economic loss due to this post-9/11 policy. A society as free as America shouldn't have to keep a permanent European-style policy of restricting the airside to ticket holders. The airports are financed by the taxpayers; therefore, it is fair that the taxpayers should be able to visit the airports whenever they want (not just when they need to travel).

Obviously the primary concern of the TSA is aviation security, which is completely understandable. I believe we can reopen the concourses to visitors given the established security objectives of the agency. Under the plan that I propose, each person who wants to pass security and go to the gates will be required to purchase a "gate pass" for a nominal fee of, say, $5.00. These gate passes could be sold via the TSA website or through an airline kiosk, and they would be required to collect the same information from the customer that is collected in a Passenger Name Record (PNR) for travelers. Essentially, they're purchasing a boarding pass without a destination. This accomplishes a few things:

First, security is maintained because the visitor will still be positively identified and the same CAPPS background checks will be done on him as is done for regular ticket holders. In addition, this positive identification process will prevent a ticket holder from using the visitor pass to bypass the "selectee" process currently in use at TSA checkpoints, because it will compare the name to the CAPPS-generated list of selectees to ensure the "visitor" doesn't also possess a current-day ticket with the intention of avoiding the secondary screening. Also, the visitor would not be allowed to carry any luggage through security (except maybe a purse for women); therefore, the screening process would be expedited.

Second, the gate pass fee would be collected to finance any costs associated with the additional screening that would be necessary, and may even generate enough revenue to reduce or eliminate the "AY" security fee charged to ticket-holders, or to finance other security initiatives.

I realize that one concern of implementing this plan is that an increased influx of people through the checkpoints will cause more delays for travelers. However, with few exceptions, in my recent travel experiences, I have found that the wait in lines at TSA checkpoints are seldom more than five minutes. At peak times at certain airports, it may be appropriate to suspend allowing visitors into the lines until the "rush" is over.

I don't believe that this plan would substantially increase the time needed for a traveler to get through security since they aren't allowed bring luggage, etc., through security, most will simply walk through the metal detector and be on their way. Also, the gate pass fee would discourage people from clogging up the lines unless they feel like they really "need" to go to the airside (to shop, eat, etc.)

I encourage TSA to adopt a plan such as this to allow visitors back into the concourses, through a 60-day trial period to ensure that this is a workable solution.

I thank you for considering my ideas.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
Matt D
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:11 pm

This proposal 1) makes sense, 2) would work, 3) would receive positive reception from the majority of the public.

Therefore it'll never happen.
 
COTXDFW777AA
Posts: 314
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:12 pm

When it was first heard the new policy that said no one would be allowed past security, I was angry and did not support. But now seeing it in action, I am for it. It keeps the terminal less crowded and makes catching connections easier. Also, if the current security procedures are kept in place, so will the policy. Could you imagine missing a flight because a family of fourteen had to go watch there 5th child leave for camp and backed up the security line? I do believe airports need to add airplane viewing areas so people can still spot.

-COTXDFW777AA
Texas- it's like a whole different country!
 
scottysair
Posts: 6442
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:17 pm

Hey Jermey,

Did you wrote with the letter to TSA? How? Do you even think will another chance to bring visitors back into the concourses again soon. I already requested with permission from my friends at BCAD and will they let me go through into the concourses for me again. It would be very good to see watch with their airplanes again for me. Thanks!  Smile

Regards!
 
Matt D
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:17 pm

Could you imagine missing a flight because a family of fourteen had to go watch there 5th child leave for camp and backed up the security line?

This is the same tired old argument used by people who, for whatever reason refuse to allow just that five minutes of extra time for such contingencies. Most people who miss their flights do so as a result of their own stupidity, carelessness and tardiness.

What is so freaking hard about skipping that one extra hitting of the snooze bar on your alarm clock or dilly-dallying in front of the mirror and getting your damn ass to the airport on time?
 
JUANR
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:19 pm

In BOG, even before 9/11 non-passengers were not allowed in the concourses so for me nothing has changed.

Juan
SKBO
Bogotá: 2600 Metros Más Cerca De Las Estrellas; Vamos por los XVII Juegos Nacionales!!!!!!!!!
 
FLAIRPORT
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:22 pm

did you send it out yet? If not, I'd get a petition going and send that with the letter. Also, I'd send a copy o your congressmen.

Funny, I was thinking about this today as well!

the only addendum i can think of is that it should be the airports decision as to letting passengers behind security...

some airports (LGA for example) have always been ticketed pax only.....

also, some airports can handle the demand becasue:
1) they have smaller concourses and multiple checkpoints (FLL)
2) they have few flights

[Edited 2004-02-23 04:33:59]
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
goboeing
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:23 pm

People, re-read this if you didn't see it in Matt D's post:

This is the same tired old argument used by people who, for whatever reason refuse to allow just that five minutes of extra time for such contingencies. Most people who miss their flights do so as a result of their own stupidity, carelessness and tardiness.

What is so freaking hard about skipping that one extra hitting of the snooze bar on your alarm clock or dilly-dallying in front of the mirror and getting your damn ass to the airport on time?


I couldn't say it better myself.

Nick
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:25 pm

Absolutely not. Not until TSA increases the efficiency of the screening process and/or staffs more screening lanes.

"Could you imagine missing a flight because a family of fourteen had to go watch there 5th child leave for camp and backed up the security line?

This is the same tired old argument used by people who, for whatever reason refuse to allow just that five minutes of extra time for such contingencies. Most people who miss their flights do so as a result of their own stupidity, carelessness and tardiness.

What is so freaking hard about skipping that one extra hitting of the snooze bar on your alarm clock or dilly-dallying in front of the mirror and getting your damn ass to the airport on time? "

Nonsense! In places like DEN, LAX, and LAS where security lines can approach upwards of 2 hours, a visitor:passenger ratio of 1:3 would increase wait times by 40 minutes. Simple math; until TSA can make the screening process efficient for passengers, absolutely no visitors in the concourses!

But on another note OPEN UP THE BLOODY VIEWING DECKS AGAIN!!!!
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
ssides
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:25 pm

I'm sorry, but I disagree wholeheartedly. As a frequent traveler, I disliked the policy allowing non-passengers past security pre-9/11, and I like the new policy in place today.

Before 9/11, security was a nightmare at many major O&D airports because large families -- many of whom did not fly often -- would clog up clearance lines because their pockets were full of change, keys, and other metal items. All this because they had to see their overprotected 14-year-old to the gate. Today, security is still hairy, but this is due to the extensive procedures -- procedures which I cannot imagine if the policy were reversed.

Along these same lines, having non-pax in the security queues is a security issue itself. Rightly or wrongly, longer lines will make screeners more harried, and more likely to "speed up" the clearance process, usually due t the grumblings of passengers. Regardless of whether a "fee" is paid, screening non-passengers should not be a TSA responsibility. In this era of security, TSA screeners should focus solely on passengers, not those who will just be seeing off relatives or roaming the concourse.

As far as the concession issue is concerned, business behind the checkpoint hasn't slowed down as much as you would think. Revenues for most vendors are down, but they are only down in proportion to the decrease in air traffic. Hence, the elimination of non-travelers has not hurt business, but the overall decline in air travel has. However, studies have showed that as airlines de-peak their hub schedule (like AA at ORD and DFW), people have more time to patronize the shops, and things are getting better without the non-pax. From a personal standpoint, I've flown several times since 9/11 and I can definitely tell that the concourses are getting more crowded.

In short, the concourses should not be re-opened to non-passengers. The desires of families to see relatives for an additional 15 minutes, and the desires of avaition enthusiasts to see planes, should not play any role whatsoever in the TSA's decision on this issue. Security is infinitely more important than these. If you are a family, spend more time together when you can -- it won't kill you if you can't see Johnny walk onto the plane. If you're a spotter, go outside and watch planes take off and land, or get to the airport 4 hours early when you do have an actual flight. These privileges are not a matter of entitlement. I for one think the TSA will stand firm on the issue, and I hope that they do.

"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
COTXDFW777AA
Posts: 314
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:29 pm

"getting your damn ass to the airport on time?"
Yup, it is our fault, we should have to report 2 hours before a 50 minute express flight.

-COTXDFW777AA
Texas- it's like a whole different country!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:30 pm

FWIW - Security is already hassled checking the travelling public, now add others to the mix is only going to strain a system already working at maximum out put.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
cytz_pilot
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:31 pm

What is so freaking hard about skipping that one extra hitting of the snooze bar on your alarm clock or dilly-dallying in front of the mirror and getting your damn ass to the airport on time?

Yes yes yes I say for all of us who are punctual. I arrive 3+ hours early for every flight, and it's not so hard if you PLAN for being there 3 hours early, then a 15 minute delay is meaningless. People who arrive late generally plan for the minimum arrival time, and then after being delayed by things like traffic and queues have only complaints about flying. That's why I loved the european LCC's...you're late, you're walking.  Big grin
 
captaingomes
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:31 pm

Usually people who are delayed are not late because of their own laziness as was mentioned above, but rather circumstances out of their control. Late connections, traffic accident, car troubles, etc etc.

I have never travelled from an American airport, so I am very used to the system employed in Canada and Europe, where you have to go through security before going to the gate area. How will the same security measures be implemented? Will there be security at every single gate? Or will all visitors have to go through security just like the passengers? It really doesn't make any sense to me. Adding that line of defence between the general public and the aircraft is a good thing, in my opinion.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
usairways85
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:34 pm

Very nice letter. One thing that i still can't stand is the "no taking pictures" unwritten law. I mean one of the reasons why i would go into the airport w/o flying is to just sit and relax while watchin the planes and maybe snap a picture here and there. But at some airports when you take a camera out it's like you have a weapon.

I also hate when some people get attacked by police just for simply spotting at the end of a runway. I wish this day pass could be implemented for spotting as well. So if the police try to make you leave you can simply show them the pass and know you are just simply spotting.
 
captaingomes
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:36 pm

After reading a few other posts, I see that there was security still, and those not traveling would still go through security. Sorry, but like others have suggested, it is a terrible idea to further slow down the security process.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
AirDude66
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:39 pm

Personally, I think there aare far too many people in airline terminals now. In fact, I would be all for taking this one step further...Only those with airline/airport business in the terminal period. Say your goodbye's and hello's at the curb or the parking deck.
 
ORD2PHL
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:51 pm

Unnecessary.

Despite our love for the aviation world, etc., there is no reason to open the airside concourses up to the non-traveling public. Why open ourselves up to letting any unnecessary people at all airside given the state of the world post-9/11. As many have said before, there are already too many people crowding concourse as it is, not too mention the infrequent travelers family jamming and further clogging security lines. I think that we as enthusiasts should consider the safety/security of the industry rather than our own interests, the thought alone is pretty selfish.

Airports around the world (i.e. Europe) and certain International terminals in the states have had similar policies for years.

Do your spotting from another place other than airside....it's an airport...do they allow people at a sporting event access inside the stadium without a ticket.

I'm just about off the soap-box now, but let's be serious here.

ORD2PHL
 
usairways85
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:10 pm

I do aggree that security proceedures have to continue to be upgraded, and then after that non-paxs may be allowed in. I think the problem is not enough airports are adjusting to the fact that more ppl are flying and the security guidlines have become much more strict.

Here in PHL most terminals only have 2-4 security lines per terminal, even one of the international terminals. That is insane. The airports need to add more lines and find better ways to create a better flow of ppl. I don't think the TSA has even taken this into consideration. All they are concerned about is tightening security, which is understandable, but they are not noticing the impact that it is having.

As for being crowded in the terminals, i really don't see that as a major problem like clogging up security is. Even when i am flying and walk through the airport when it's busy i just learn to walk quick and weave in and out of ppl if i need to. I don't think non-paxs are going to make the problem of over-crowded terminals much worse. The fact is that air travel has increased since many of these terminals were built and they are just becoming overcrowded with more ppl flying. I mean how many non-paxs do you think will go through some terminals a day, maybe 300-500, then how about how many ticketed paxs do you think will go through that same terminal, maybe 25,000-30,000. I dont think an extra 400 ppl will cause a terminal to be that much more overcrowded.

that's just my 2 cents
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:55 pm

It's great to see such a lively discussion develop within mere minutes of posting this thread. I'm glad to see different points of view, and I respect them all.

Flairport ,

Yes, I did send the letter with a copy to my senator and congressman. If somebody would like to start a petition, then that would be great (but it's not going to be me  Big grin ) I agree with you that it should be left up to individual airports to decide whether or not to let visitors back in. Some airports have adaquate facilities outside security and lines that are way too long, and may choose to keep visitors out. On the other hand, other airports aren't quite as congested and may choose to allow visitors to take advantage of the airside shops and facilities.

Like I said, I am not for becoming lax on security. I firmly believe that security can still be held to the highest standards if certain precautions are taken. And more eyes and ears in the terminal can actually provide a benefit by reporting suspicious activity.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
rampboy77
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:02 pm

Kicking the meeters and greeters out of the concourse was one of the good changes from 9/11. This change makes boarding a flight much easier. No more deciding at the last minute to say goodbye. You have to do this at home or prior to entering security. What a godsend. The last minute kissers and huggers really took alot of time to get onboard. Thank goodness for a good decision from the TSA.
 
NWAFA
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:27 pm

I think we need to still keep NON FLYING people behind security.
THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
 
trnswrld
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:03 pm

Well you people must be travelling from some very in-efficient airports because I fly out of the worlds busiest airport Chicago O'Hare (and yes it is still rated at busiest for aircraft movements, ATL holds passenger movements) sometimes atleast once a week it seems and security is never a problem. I think the most I have waited to get into the AA concourses was maybe 6 minutes and this was during week days, weekends, and all times during the day and night
I must say that was a very well written letter and I agree with everything you have said. I must also say that besides security congestion at some airports gate areas do get full sometimes so some extra non-travelling passengers might make some travellers have to stand. I dunno its an excellent idea and overall I am 100% for it.
 
andz
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:14 pm

Having never lived in the USA I find it outrageous that non-flying people were ever allowed airside in the first place! In all the airports I've been to in Europe and here in South Africa you don't get much further than check-in without a boarding pass, and I believe it's the way it should be.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:23 pm

This is ONLY my opinion, but I know Im gonna get bashed for it so here goes.....

1) Pre 9/11, SJC had their concourses closed off for ticketed pax only for YEARS. I also know that DLH had the same pre 9/11 policy as well.

2) Security Checkpoints are always, always clogged regardless if you are flying or not. There are ALWAYS people clogging up the waiting area for arriving pax and hardly any room to move around. This is the #1 thing that annoys me. I have always advised people picking up arriving pax to wait for their party in the baggage claim. They never listen. The thing is you never know what Security Checkpoint your arriving pax will come out of so thats why Ive always advised to meet your party at the baggage claim. IE: SEA & PHX. This clogging up of Security checkpoints are always going to be that way as long anyway.

3) Allowing non-pax purchase a checkpoint pass for $5 isnt going to solve anything. It will just make the security situation worse. (Security breaches come to mind....) What if bin-Laden was allowed into the sterile area for example?? Uh oh!! Not good!! And also hiring new extra port police officers isnt an option, thats a very expensive thing because of the additional babysitting they have to do with this, they have more important things to do. TSA doesnt have the manpower to do the extra screening with what they have now. They probably will never get any better.

4) What is so freaking hard about skipping that one extra hitting of the snooze bar on your alarm clock or dilly-dallying in front of the mirror and getting your damn ass to the airport on time?

I totally agree with this statement. Again, people just dont LISTEN!!!! Are they DEAF?!?! This is another thing that annoys me. EVERYTIME I travel, I always see at least 4-7 people behind me who ask the TSA for cuts in the line because their flight leaves in 10 minutes while my flight leave in an hour. Ive always wanted to tell paxs that he/she should have thought about getting here earlier when instructed at time of making their reservation to get their butt to the back of the line, put up and shut up but, its not my business so I just let the TSA deal with it. Majority of the time the TSA tells them 'Too bad! You snooze, you lose!' Honestly, I dont give a cockroach's butt if they are full coach fare or first class paying pax or MVP Gold members (AS for example), they need to get their butt to the airport if they want to make it to their desination on time or they can pay a change fee for all I care. Think about the OTHER pax on your flight...put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel if that person held your plane for 30 extra minutes and made a late departure?? Well, DUH!!

4) Even if a petition made to the TSA for allowing non-pax on concourses, I wouldnt sign it. Its too much of a risk and we dont want to take any chances at all. Im actually glad that the security procedures were improved with this one rule. Dont get me wrong, its a good idea to implement tax on the non-flying folks to save the flying folks some cash, but its just not going to work, too much hassle.

5) Finally but not least, I have to make a correction from the first post on this thread:
The airports are financed by the taxpayers; therefore, it is fair that the taxpayers should be able to visit the airports whenever they want (not just when they need to travel).

This is not true, the airports in the United States are NOT taxpayer ran. This is inaccurate info. In my ICSA 19/20 class with AS, we were told that the segment fees and Airport user fees pay to operate AND upgrade the airports involved in your PNR so thats not taxpayer monies BUT..it is taxable money to the IRS which is a totally different topic to go into. Remember, just like an airline....the airport itself is running a business by itself but follows F.A.R set forth by the F.A.A.

Disclaimer: I am not trying disrespect to anyone on this thread nor was I bashing anyone, this was only my opinion.

Ok go ahead and bash me all you want....Im ready for it!!!  Big thumbs up


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
cainanuk
Posts: 455
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:06 pm

I am writing to request that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to consider a plan to allow visitors back into the concourses at U.S. airports.

Unfortunately, that is as much of your letter as they owuld have actually read. As soon as they saw your opening sentence, they chucked it in the bin.
Cainan Cornelius
 
artsyman
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:10 pm

I do not think the people without tickets should be allowed through either. It is hard enough with the lines at security, and trying to keep things safe, without adding mopre and more people through the system. If you want to go through, buy a ticket.

J
 
Mir
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:40 pm

If you want to go through, buy a ticket.

Actually, you could do that too. Buy a fully-refundable ticket.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
FoxBravo
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:29 pm

As much as I support aviation enthusiasts and their rights (being one myself), as a frequent traveler I cannot support a plan that will make the security lines any longer than they already are. It's a nice idea in theory, and the admission fee definitely helps make it more palatable, but the reality is that many airports' security checkpoints are really operating at or beyond their maximum capacity right now.

Also, after the stress of getting to the airport and getting through security, I think it's nice to pass from the melee of the ticketing area into the relative calm of the boarding area, which would become much more crowded if non-passengers were allowed through security. Why should I, as a paying passenger, be denied a seat in the departure lounge, or have to wait in a longer line at the concessions, because someone's whole family decided to turn out to say goodbye? All of these elements would combine to make the whole experience more stressful than it needs to be, and ultimately the biggest harm would be to the airlines, which would continue to lose business as a result.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
Guest

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:18 pm

Just my opinion, sorry it may be against your own.
I am supporting all aviation enthusiasts, but let us be practical.
xxx
I travel often as a passenger, not only as a crewmember. Access to gate and boarding areas never was common in countries outside of USA/Canada.
xxx
What does happen in, say South America, when Mama y Papa arrive or depart for a flight, you get 15 if not 20 children and distant relatives create quite a crowd. Multiply that by the aircraft's number of passengers. In China or Korea, maybe it could be 40 or 50 relatives to welcome a family member...
xxx
If airport XYZ has 1,000,000 passengers per year, shall we then account the amount of some 5,000,000 mere visitors to the scrutiny of security... It looks like security finally works better in USA, so keep it that way. Do not burden the TSA which tries to prevent the potential for other tragedies.
xxx
My solution and recommendation, would be to continue to, or foster proper observation decks and public areas where families can see the arrivals or departures. I remember, such areas existed at many European airports and those of you with the urge of taking aircraft pictures or smell the fumes of kerosene, could be well catered to, with ample space for restaurants, and bars if weather permits.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper

 
AirframeAS
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RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:23 pm

If you want to go through, buy a ticket.

Actually, you could do that too. Buy a fully-refundable ticket.


I forgot to add that in my last post.


All of these elements would combine to make the whole experience more stressful than it needs to be, and ultimately the biggest harm would be to the airlines, which would continue to lose business as a result.

If non-paying pax were allowed back on concourses then the airlines would be hurt financially and the full fare paying folks would cry 'foul!' and would take their travel needs elsewhere. Like I said, its too much of a risk and too much of a hassle. Not worth it. Its a good idea but its....ahhh.....too much and too dangerous.

And I also forgot to add, if the airports were financed via taxpayer monies, then there wouldnt be a segment fee and airport user fee applied onto pax tickets.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
nonrevman
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:47 pm

I am not against having visitors in the concourse if it was feasible, however the current situation is better than pre 9-11 in terms of congestion.


What is so freaking hard about skipping that one extra hitting of the snooze bar on your alarm clock or dilly-dallying in front of the mirror and getting your damn ass to the airport on time?

For catching a flight, I will agree 100% with this. If you do not plan for any type of delays and hope that every traffic light is green, there is no line at the counter/kiosks, and hope that security has no line, then you have no one to blame for missing the flight.

However, some of us have to work at the airport and go through security every day. At DFW, we get priority in the security line. Some airports have separate lines for employees, and I wish we did. However this is not the case at DFW. A train typically delivers a large group of employees into the concourse every few minutes during shift change. Naturally, every one of us will go to the front of the line if we deem it to be too long. Throw in a party of 15 ahead of you gradually emptying their pockets so that they can say bye to Nana and Nampa, and you are going to have some upset passengers wondering why the line has not moved for 15 minutes.

Therefore, I would have to agree that non-passengers should not be allowed into the concourse as long as there is a chance of delaying a paying passenger from entering the area.

 
caetravlr
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 8:19 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:51 pm

AirframeAS,

And how would allowing non-paying pax back into the terminal affect the airlines? If you have to fly out of the same airport, it doesn't matter which airline you are flying? What are you going to do, switch carriers because the secuirty line is too long? At my airport, and many others I know of, you go through the same line regardless of carrier. I don't think the full fare paying pax are going to switch carriers because of added security hassles? I mean, who would they switch to?


As for the rest of the arguments, I see both sides. I personally wish I could get back into the terminal at my home airport from time to time. The place where I like to sit and watch aircraft when I do get to fly is never crowded, and is out of the way of all boarding and deplaning. However, at other airports that may not be the case. The main thing I think would be increasing the efficiency of security itself, and opening up more lines. Until the TSA can do this, non pax should not be allowed back in. If they can accomplish this, which would surprise me, then non pax should be allowed back in.

Just my thoughts,
CAETravlr
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
contrails
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:53 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:11 am

I would love to go back to the days when visitors were allowed on the concourse, but a lot of things changed forever on September 11 and this is one of them.

TSA has enough problems checking passengers, they shouldn't be burdened with visitors also. Going back to the way it was would create a nightmarish situation at many airports.

I appreciate your efforts, but I don't think you have a chance of getting this policy changed.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
Guest

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:34 am

I won't get involved with the argument for/against visitors in the concourse, but I do offer a solution for many of you....

Become an airport ambassador at your local airport. You will get an airport ID and be able to pass through security at will to any concourse, plus you'll get to use your aviation knowledge and enthusiasm to help others. You'll get a lot out of it, and it's a way to show your airport that spotters and enthusiasts aren't just loiterers but are a valuable asset. What's a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon or one evening a week (most airports want you to sign up for a 4-hour shift every week... or they may allow you to be a "floater" who comes in whenever they want) helping travelers, sharing your enthusiasm, and wandering around the airport terminal?
 
rb211
Posts: 413
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:09 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:38 am

I think it would be better if they had an observation room or platform with the binoculars you have to put a quarter in like at the Empire State Building without all of the iron bars.
Airline photography. Whether they're fully clothed, butt naked, having issues or confused I'm taking pictures!!
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:43 am

Oh hell no....it was a nightmare with all those people standing around asking questions. And when a flight was delayed, you not only had the passengers to worry about, but their companions yelling at you as well. I LOVE it just the way it is. We can go from a crowded, loud boarding area...to a peaceful bliss in a matter of 1/2 hour. At least we know we'll get a break.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12361
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:01 am

I think some kind of visitor access to outbound concoures should be allowed, with the fee/clearance requirements as JOOPER suggested, but only for limited reasons and not for non-passanger tourists. I would limit it to 1 person per ticketed passanger, with a maximum of 2 per family or group, to assist ticketed passangers with special needs. This would include those whom are:
Handicapped (mobility, sight, hearing)
Older persons (over 65),
Minors under 18.
This would reduce some of the staffing of the airlines/airports to serve other needs and reduce the liability of the airlines/airports. This would assure that such passengers doesn't miss their flight, that minors are protected from improper beheavor of the far too many nutcases out there, if a child is part of where there is a current custody battle the child is better protected or if there is a delay or problem with the flight, that the person is properly transferred. All airports shoud allow such access.
 
David T
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 5:07 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:41 am

This is truly a TOUGH debate. The Commander in Chief, President Bush tells Americans to go on about your lives, live a normal life but be guarded.... P.s.: That doesn't include airports! The American airport design was based on free flow access beyond security, therefore passenger and other people services were beyond security. (restaurants, etc.) In Canada, Europe, etc. Our position was for a secured environment with large scale services before security to look after meeters, greets, family, etc. This has largely worked and never been a matter of discussion in Canada. You can have a great burger with your beer before security, but not see any planes, that's all. Your letter will not work nor will a petition because they are not interested in opening things up to merely satisfy the interest and habits of airline spotters and aviation aficionados.

I do however believe airport perimeter police need to relax a little if one has a camera and is seen as "lingering" and a "vagrant" and with a show of strength, tell that person to get outta dodge. I do have a problem with that however.

I also am still confused with the closing of the T2 viewing deck at LHR. I truly fail to understand the logic with that! Convenience for BAA to rid a certain group perhaps... I am very much against BAA's position on that. I have travelled to LHR intentionally to spend spotting weekends and I see no reason currently to return. So I will save all my "pint" and bangers and mash money and spend it in this country instead.

By the way, if anyone wanted to cause harm to an aircraft with a projectile, they sure as heck won't be up on the viewing deck.... Rather in the terminal and in front of the appropriate counter for political statement. One last thing, there are enough fields around LHR to use that projectile, jump in a car and speed away.

Sorry I segwayed, but come on BAA... Do the right thing and open up the viewing deck on top of T2.

Say, does anyone know if the MachIII store closed as a result???
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:46 am

AAJAXFlyer

I suggested this very solution before! And I agree with you 110%
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
cmckeithen
Posts: 594
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2003 9:31 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:48 am

Will NEVER happen in our lifetime. I don't see why they were allowed to before 9/11.
 
ckfred
Posts: 4694
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:22 am

I don't think that TSA is going to let non-passengers beyond the checkpoints for the forseeable futures. European security has been a lot tighter than American security for some time, and I don't think TSA is going to try any measure that reverses the trend of being like Europe.

That said, I would like to see some improvements for people waiting for arriving passengers.

First, there needs to be a place to wait. At ORD, Terminal 3, the choices are the baggage claim, which is downright dreay, or ticketing, which means trying to stay out of the way of hordes of travelers with suitcases of every size. There needs to be a place where one could sit, maybe even watch activity on the tarmac, without being run over my business people sprinting or tour groups gawking at the size of the terminal.

Second, there is a need for some concessions outside of the secure zone. At ORD, the only concession outside of security in the domestic terminals is the Ty Beanie Baby store. Other than a few Starbucks carts, there are no places to get pop, ice cream, or a burger. I've left for ORD to pick up a friend or family member, only to get to the terminal and find the flight has been delayed due to bad weather than blew in (fog, thunderstorms, etc.). It's either stand and wait or walk to the Hilton.
 
Dtw757
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:28 am

At ORD, the only concession outside of security in the domestic terminals is the Ty Beanie Baby store. Other than a few Starbucks carts,

You're doing better than the new terminal at DTW. Everthing is on the other side of security. Restrooms are even scarce in the unsecure areas.
721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
 
Greg
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:05 am

Unless you have purchased a ticket to travel that day..or have some extraordinary reason for being on the concourse (unaccompanied child, etc..), There is absolutely NO reason for spotters and enthusiasts to be allowed airside.

They simple take up already limited space and seating at the concourse and restaurants. And since most, if not all, are basically squatters, they do not purchase goods or services.

It's far better without them.
 
huskey8
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:30 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:56 am

Dear TSA :

I write this letter to implore you to increase security at all airports across the country. Implementation of this policy should start immediately. I think this should begin with the redeployment of Army National Guard troops in full battle gear at all entrances and roving patrols around the facilities. Any vehicle on airport property should be stopped and the reason that they are there ascertained. Any person who does not have a ticket for a flight should be turned away at the perimeter of the airport. Any person that has business on the airport other then a flight should be escorted by a member of the TSA or law enforcement official during the course of his business. No parking should be allowed on airport property. All parking should be at remote facilities and the passengers transported to the airport on secured buses. We as a nation can not afford another 9/11 the transportation facilities must be secured at all costs.
 
NIKV69
Posts: 10889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:17 am

I believe in letting non ticketed pax in the concourse, only problem is this would involve hiring more security to screen more people. The lines to enter the gate area with just ticketed pax is already insane at many airports and it seems that allowing non ticketed pax may never happen. It is unfortunate but post 9/11 has come to this.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
A3204eva
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:25 am

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:54 am

I visit MAN often and find plenty of places to spot, but I like your letter.
"They have lady pilots......... they're not that good, but they have 'em"
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:06 pm

Caetravlr:

And how would allowing non-paying pax back into the terminal affect the airlines? If you have to fly out of the same airport, it doesn't matter which airline you are flying? What are you going to do, switch carriers because the secuirty line is too long? At my airport, and many others I know of, you go through the same line regardless of carrier. I don't think the full fare paying pax are going to switch carriers because of added security hassles? I mean, who would they switch to?

Thats not what I ment and no where near that, your post was way off course. If non-paying pax was allowed to enter the sterile area for a $5 fee, anyone could try to do a 9/11 part 2 and if that ever happened again, the airlines will HURT big time. I never mentioned anything about a customer switching carriers, what I ment was that a customer can stop flying altogether IF a second 9/11 happened. They can rent a car or ride on a train or whatever. I think you totally misunderstood my post. And yes everyone goes through the same 'ol line at the security checkpoint, I think thats self explainatory. However, I dont think non-paying pax should EVER be allowed past the security checkpoint again. Please re-read my original post to be sure you understand what I mean. The TSA does not have the time or finances or manpower to babysit everybody, neither does the port authority of each airport.




A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:20 pm

I don't see how a non-travelling passenger would cause another 9/11. Without a boarding pass, how are they going to get on the plane? And with a boarding pass, they'll get on their plane anyway, so it's a mute point.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Let Visitors Back In The Concourses

Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:42 am

There are people who have snuck thru security and have also gotten on a plane WITHOUT a boarding pass. But....those people have gotten caught and arrested anyway and those flights luckly never left the ground. (IE: On Delta Airlines in DFW, I think...) This has happened a few times in the last few months so it still CAN happen anywhere. There are still flaws in the security system that is currently in place. The TSA still scares me.

[Edited 2004-02-25 01:44:07]

[Edited 2004-02-25 01:45:22]
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.

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