Are you someone who reaches the airport three hours early so that you can have ample time to scour through stacks of books at your favourite bookstore, or pick up the leather bag you have wanted to purchase for the longest time? There is some news for you.
An airport in the US has decided to accommodate flyers and non-flyers alike. Do note, this could make a lot of shopaholic Indians envious. The Pittsburgh airport now lets its visitors access all its facilities, dine and shop even if they are not flyers. This unorthodox method was devised to tackle their problem of decreasing footfall.
This move will allow non-flyers and people accompanying flyers to access the airport up till the boarding gates, where families would be able to wait with the passengers.
The visitors will have to furnish some form of identification and they will be able to access the facilities with something similar to a boarding pass, called the 'myPITTpass'. The visitors will also have to go through the same checks and screening that the flyers are subjected to. As of now, this pass is available only from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
Barring non-flyers from accessing airports was a step taken by the TSA after 9/11. Now Pittsburgh airport becomes the first major airport to relax its regulations.
So, naturally this move has not gone without receiving its fair share of criticism. Apart from safety concerns, there are concerns about the security check queues getting longer, which mean that passengers are more likely to miss their flights.
Bob Ross, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), put out a statement and said that letting their guard down for the benefit of retailers does not seem like the right approach for the airline safety and security, as reported by Forbes.