You Shall Not Gate Pass

, , , , | Working | September 6, 2017

(My sister is a marine and has received orders to be stationed in Japan. I have looked up what benefits military members receive at an airport, and learned about gate passes, which are passes for military family to accompany the member to the departure gate. After my sister checks in her luggage, we ask the agent if we can receive a gate pass for our mother. We had thought only one family member was allowed to accompany my sister.)

Me: “Could we get a gate pass so that our mom can go see my sister off? She’s a member of the military and we have the deployment papers.”

Agent: “TSA is probably not going to let you in unless you have a boarding pass.”

Me: “We’re not asking for a boarding pass; we’re asking for a gate pass.”

Agent: “I can’t give you any because of the increased security. Even if I gave you one, TSA will not let you pass.”

(My sister told me to drop it and we headed back to our family. As she hugged us goodbye she started crying, frustrated about not being able to get a gate pass so that she can at least have more time to spend with our mom, so I went up to a TSA agent and asked if there was any way they would allow a gate pass. She told me that we should be able to get a gate pass from the airline agent, and that they were not responsible for giving those out. I went back to the airline check-in and found another agent that appeared to be friendlier. I asked her the same thing I asked the previous agent. She said a gate pass would be no trouble; we just needed to provide the deployment papers and an ID for whom the gate pass is being issued. I then asked my sister who she wanted to accompany her to the gate. The airline agent overheard, and told us that as long as we had proper ID, it wasn’t limited to one family member. I ran back to where our family was waiting so I could tell them the good news, and we ran back to the agent to show her all of our IDs. My mother, two brothers, my sister’s significant other, and I all ended up accompanying my sister to the gate to see her off as she boarded her plane. We had absolutely no issue going through security, and at the time we were there, the line was relatively short and quick. We managed to get through it in about 15 minutes.)

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