May 7 2019  |  Airlines & Airports

No boarding pass, no problem at Tampa International Airport

By Ronnie Lovler

With just a little bit of planning, select guests can now enter the post-security areas at Tampa International Airport for their shopping and dining pleasure under a new TPA initiative.

TPA has just launched its new All Access program that will allow up to 100 people to visit an airside terminal every Saturday without a plane ticket. In other words at TPA, the motto is “no boarding pass, no problem!

The airport recently opened 70 new shops, restaurants, bars and spas that up until now could only be enjoyed by ticketed passengers who had cleared airport security. But with the new All-Access program, non-traveling guests can now experience the delights on the other side of the security area at the airport.

The new airside pass program will allow up to 100 people every Saturday to visit an airside terminal of their choice, without having to fly anywhere

“To those feeling left out because you can’t get to all these great restaurants and shops we’ve been touting: We heard you,” TPA CEO Joe Lopano said. “Now families, foodies or even couples looking for a unique date experience can come try our chargrilled oysters at Ulele, sample locally brewed beer at Cigar City and shop for unique gifts and items at our duty-free and fine retail stores without having to buy a ticket.”

Those interested can sign up for All Access online at They will be subject to the same security screening regulations as passengers boarding a plane.

Participants choose a date and an airside at least 24 hours prior to the Saturday they plan to visit, with a limit of 25 guests per airside, and then collect gate passes when they arrive at TPA any time between 8am and 8pm on the selected date.

They then board their airside shuttle go through TSA screening to have access to all of the shops, restaurants, spa services and plane- and people-watching at the airside terminal.

This can truly be a “staycation” for those who live in the Tampa Bay area, a stay-at-home vacation that even includes an airport visit.

The program kicked off May 4 to coincide with the May 12 Mother’s Day celebrations in the United States.

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