Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

PHL Airport will soon offer a gate pass program

In November, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) will join the list of airports that offer post-security access to non-ticketed airport visitors.

With the Wingmate Pass, anyone will be able to accompany a friend or family member to their gate, welcome an arriving passenger as they leave the plane, or visit the airport’s restaurants, bars, shops, art exhibits, pop-up installations, and activities.

The airport also plans to offer dining and shopping deals just for Wingmate guests.  

Wingmate Pass wanna-bees will need to apply for a pass online, at the PHL.org website. Requests can be entered on the day of your planned visit or up to 7 days in advance. And, if the Transportation Security Administration approves your application, you’ll get a digital Wingmate Pass via email to show at the D/E or A-East security checkpoint, along with your government ID.

What other airports offer day passes?

We’re happy to report that PHL’s Wingmate Pass program joins a growing list of other airport gate pass programs.

That list includes:

Visitor Pass program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA),

Experience MCO Visitor Pass program for the new Terminal C at Orlando International Airport (MCO),

The MSY Guest Pass Program at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY),

The DTW Destination Pass at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW),

Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, MI: the LAN Visitor Pass,

the OC Air Pass at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, CA,

the ONT+ Visitor Pass Program at California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT),

and the PSC Pass at Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) in Pasco, WA.

Are we missing any? Let us know.

Another airport adds a gate pass program

A growing number of airports make it easy for the non-traveling public to get visitor passes to the secure side of the passenger terminal.

That makes it possible to meet arriving friends and family at the gate or to spend more time with someone before they board a flight.

It also means that you don’t need to be flying somewhere to check out a new terminal, tap your toes to the live music at the airport, see some great art, do a little shopping, or spend time watching planes take off and land.

Each airport has its own name for the service and its own rules regarding how many non-ticketed visitors are allowed to be issued a pass each day they are offered. And at each airport that offers the service, passengers must still go through the security checkpoint.

The list of airports offering this great airport amenity includes:

Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA): SEA Visitor Pass Program

The MSY Guest Pass Program at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY),

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW),

Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, MI: the LAN Visitor Pass,

the OC Air Pass at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, CA,

and the ONT+ Visitor Pass Program at California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT).

New to the list: Washington’s Tri-Cities Airport

Now more – and smaller – airports are joining the list.

The latest is the Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) in Pasco, WA.

For now, only 10 visitors are able to get a PSC Pass each day. And each visitor may request just one visit per month. But, as with the other airport gate pass programs, it allows non-travelers to surprise an arriving passenger at the gate or send someone off at the gate with a last-minute hug.

Did we miss an airport with a gate pass program? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Skateboarders Invade Old New Orleans Airport

(Tate Malpass at Red Bull Terminal Takeover. Jonathan Mehring / Red Bull)

What Can You Do With An Empty Airport Terminal?

Stuck at the Airport is a big fan of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

It’s partly because the airport is the gateway to a city full of great music, art, history, and food. And it is partly because the ‘new’ terminal that opened in 2019 is also full of great food, art, music, and other amenities.

We also like the fact that the airport authority is making creative use of the “old” MSY terminal.

Some movies have been filmed in the old terminal building. And for the third year in a row, the empty terminal building has served as a skatepark for the Red Bull Terminal Takeover skateboarding competition.

Over the course of two days, April 14 – 15, ten teams of top-notch skaters from around the country took turns filming some outrageous skating sessions in the terminal.

Edited two-minute clips from each team will be posted on RedBull.com in mid-May for two weeks of public voting. The winning team will get a cash prize that they will be able to donate to an organization of their choice.

We’ll share the videos once they are available. But in the meantime, here are some of great pics of the Terminal Takeover, courtesy of Red Bull.

Imagine being able to do this next time you are Stuck at the Airport!

(Greyson Beal at Red Bull Terminal Takeover. Jonathan Mehring)

(Brandon Valjalo performs a 360 flip. Jonathan Mehring)

(Old) Airport Terminal or Skateboard Video Game?

We were delighted when celebrity skateboarders and skateboard crews from across the country rolled into the old terminal facilities – and even onto the tarmac – at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) for Red Bull’s second Terminal Takeover.

It’s a creative use of the empty space. And, along with film shoots, a good way for the airport to earn income from the space while plans formalize for full-time, long-term use of the building.

Jake Wooten performs a backside 360 at Red Bull Terminal Takeover

Now, some of the videos from the skateboard take-over are being shared.

And it turns out that in addition to the crew competitions, the old airport terminal was also the backdrop for a real-life video game.

Travel Tidbits from Airports Near You

Jonathan Mehring / Red Bull Content Pool

Earlier this month, celebrity skateboarders and skateboard crews from across the country rolled into the old terminal facilities – and even onto the tarmac – at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. They were there for Red Bull’s second Terminal Takeover.

Here is a short video of pro skateboarder Jake Wooten showing off his skills – and the airport terminal transformation – from last year’s event. And below, a link to a story we prepared for The Points Guy site.

Celebrate Museum Month – at the airport

Many airports around the country have official museums and museum programs. Stuck at the Airport will highlight as many as we can. But Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport gave us a head start.

Recognize any of these stuffed animals?