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The TSA is testing a program that lets you wander around the airport pre-9/11 style

The TSA is testing a program that lets you wander around the airport pre-9/11 style
[Photo: courtesy of Pittsburgh International Airport]

Soon you might be able to go to the airport just to hang out. The TSA is testing a program that lets people get past security at the Pittsburgh International Airport even if they don’t have a plane ticket, something unheard of post-9/11. According to Bloomberg, the Pittsburgh airport used to be a popular hangout thanks to its many restaurants, 100 mall-worthy stores, mini versions of popular museums like the Carnegie Science Center, and a kids’ play area, to keep the kids entertained while the parents eat. After 9/11, though, airport security rules banned anyone from the airport without a ticket, meaning no more date nights at PIT.

Now, that might be changing. The TSA’s test program lets passengers through security, even if they don’t have a ticket (if lines from ticketed passengers aren’t too long) with so-called myPITpasses. Potential browsers would still go through security, but after that they would be free to shop, eat, or stare longingly at the “departures” board. A TSA spokesman told Bloomberg that they currently don’t have any plans to expand the program nationwide, but it’s easy to imagine other airports wanting to get in on the action. Like Indianapolis’s airport, frequently ranked as America’s favorite, Chicago’s O’Hare, which boasts a Rick Bayless torta shop, and Portland, Oregon’s airport, which has brew pubs, fine dining restaurants, and even a newly opened movie theater.ML