Right now, if you don’t have a boarding pass for travel that day, the only way you’ll get past the TSA is if the airline gives you a pass to escort a child or person who needs assistance beyond security.
Now comes word that the TSA is going to have a limited test in Dallas/Ft Worth and Detroit airports where people can go past security without a boarding pass. For now, the test is limited to guests at on-airport hotels. I assume that includes the Westin in Detroit and both the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency at DFW. I don’t know details but I’m guessing that the hotels will give guests some sort of pass that will get them through security.
So what is the point of this? Well, the TSA has been getting pressure from the airports to allow people beyond security for a long time. See, many airports have significant shopping areas beyond security, and people meeting flights have time and money that could be spent in those shops. Pittsburgh has the largest mall beyond security, so naturally they’ve been trying to get this done for a long time.
The problem here, and the reason the rule was implemented in the first place, is that allowing non-travelers through security means more people in line and that means the lines will be longer. If the TSA thinks they have adequate staffing these days, then I am fully in support of this. There is nothing more fun than meeting your family and friends at the gate as they walk out of the jet bridge.