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Airports Begin Loosening Restrictions on Non-Passengers

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The attacks of September 11, 2001 changed everything we knew about flying, including security. No longer could passengers without a ticket go to the gate.

No more escorting friends or family to the gate unless it was a special circumstance, no more grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant on the other side of security checkpoints, no more taking the kids to a great vantage point to watch takeoffs and landings.

It’s been the norm for almost 18 years now.

But the new normal is starting to change a bit.

More U.S. airports are starting to relax their rules on non-passengers, but not necessarily back to an open forum such as non-ticketed passengers only needing to go through security to roam the airport. There are restrictions, of course, but the airlines-airports/airports-allowing-non-ticketed-visitors-through-security” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>decision made by Tampa International Airport, Pittsburgh International and Seattle-Tacoma to loosen the rules is apparently setting a new standard.

However, much of this is still in beta testing. Tampa, for instance, announced its plans last week, but the airport will only be open to non-ticketed guests once a week on Saturdays, and only to 100 people.

And those people must first apply online.

The method behind the madness is revenue. The chance to eat and shop at the myriad restaurants and high-end stores on the airside of security is likely to attract more visitors if they know they can access that part of the airport.

“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,” Tampa International CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement.

In a more expanded interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Lopano said the sense of frustration held people back.

“The problem was, the people who were really excited about it said, ‘Hey, wait a minute: I can’t go out the airside to try out that restaurant. What’s up with that?’ ” he said. “To those feeling left out… we heard you.”

Pittsburgh ran a pilot program in 2017 and was successful enough to consider re-starting the program later this year.

Sea-Tac did its program in 2015 and is also considering bringing it back.

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Passengers Arrested After Violent Brawl on Plane

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Two easyJet passengers were arrested at Edinburgh Airport for a violently bloody fight on Thursday that left cabin crew and passengers distraught.

According to The Sun, the plane had been splattered with blood and some crew members were in tears.

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“It was very frightening for this to unfold in mid-air,” one witness said. “It was a violent confrontation and an area of the cabin was covered in blood. The cabin crew did a great job to try to contain it. But some were reduced to tears because of what unfolded.”

The flight landed in Edinburgh, Scotland from Copenhagen at around 1:30 in the afternoon, where the two men were quickly detained by police.

A spokesman for the airline said “We can confirm that flight EZY6980 from Copenhagen to Edinburgh was met by police on arrival as a result of two passengers on board behaving disruptively.

“EasyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.

The spokesman added, “The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is our highest priority.”

It is unclear at this time what had prompted the fight. According to a spokesman for the Scotland Police, the two men, aged 28 and 42, are charged for breach of the peace.

“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal,” the spokesman said.

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