A nostalgic, passenger experience enhancing initiative – Ontario International Airport
Ontario International Airport has announced it will be allowing non-flyers to access the post-security side of the passenger terminal. This programme is called ONT+ and all it requires is an online pass.
The ONT+ Visitor Pass will allow the general public to spend time with friends and family at the gate or shop and dine at the airport.
The process is simple. It is possible to apply for a visitor pass the day of the visit or up to seven days in advance.
- Provide date of birth, gender, and full legal name.
- Wait for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approval. For same day entrance this will be within fifteen minutes. For an advanced application this will be after midnight on the day of your visit.
- The ONT+ Visitor Pass will be sent via e-mail.
- Show your online pass at the TSA Checkpoint.
Visitors will be subject to the same security regulations as passengers to ensure safety is not compromised with the new initiative.
The benefits to the airport
The ONT+ Visitor Pass has the potential to significantly enhance passenger experience at the airport. In response to 9/11, airport security was dramatically increased and the entire airport experience shifted to ensure maximum safety as the priority. Speaking about the ONT+ Visitor Pass, Dean Brown ONT Public Safety Administrator said:
“We all remember the excitement of being able to meet arriving family and friends as they get off the plane. ONT+ is a way to bring back some of that pre-9/11 experience, in a safe and secure manner.”
In addition to greeting a loved one at the gate, the pass will enable friends and family to stay with a passenger all the way to their departure gate. The difference this could make to passenger experience at the airport cannot be understated. Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority Board of Commissioners advertised this:
“ONT+ is another example of how Ontario International is always at the forefront of amenities and services that can enhance the customer experience.”
Where airports work hard to ensure passenger comfort and enjoyment throughout the airport experience, giving passengers the opportunity have to a loved one by their side could improve the experience no-end.
In addition to the emotional benefits this can offer passengers, the pass could translate into a direct increase in retail sales at the airport. Airport retail has suffered significantly from the pandemic. One research report predicted that even by 2025, passenger spending in airports will be at less than 80 per-cent of 2019 levels.
Although the increase in footfall may not necessarily translate into more spending on retail inside the airport, it has the potential to inject more money into shopping and dining. The pass is deliberately available to members of the public regardless of whether they are meeting a passenger. This gives the public the opportunity to enjoy the shopping and dining options which the airport has heavily invested in. For a different look at airport retail read here.
The pass is both novel and nostalgic and has the potential to significantly enhance passenger experience as well as rejuvenate airport retail.
Article by Jess Brownlow