TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - You no longer need to be waiting for a flight to check out the shops and restaurants in the airside terminals at Tampa International Airport.
Starting Saturday, May 4, people without a boarding pass can get an all-access pass to visit the four airside terminals at TPA to grab a bite, go shopping, plane-watch, or get some extra time with loved ones.
"Every Saturday we are gonna allow up to 100 people to apply for a pass to come over to our airsides," explained TPA Spokesperson, Emily Nipps.
That all-access pass allows 25 people to visit each terminal between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
You still go through security and follow the same rules as travelers.
"I think it's super cool, I’ve not heard of anything quite like that before," traveler Sarah Bigham said.
"I think that the airport has made tremendous improvements; it’s a beautiful airport, a great place to come to,” said George Follstead.
The website to register went live Tuesday, and spots are already filling up. TPA requires you to sign-up at least 24-hours prior to your visit.
Folks FOX 13 News spoke with are excited about the perks that come with getting a gate-pass
"I remember coming home from an internship and my entire family was waiting, signs, banners, everything, and you don't get that now, so that would be really cool,” Bigham said.
The airport boasts 70 shops, restaurants, and bars, but most of them are located beyond the TSA checkpoints.
TPA joins Pittsburgh International Airport as the second in the nation to offer a program like this. Officials tell us they'll expand the TPA All Access program if it's successful.
"We really expect this to be popular with people who live in the area who want to come over and maybe experience a different Ulele, or a different Columbia restaurant, or come to the only Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Florida,” said Nipps. “We're one of the only airports in the world that brews beer on-site at Airside-C at Cigar City Brewing. So we have some really unique offerings here at the airport, and this is just a way for people to come here and experience them."
Anyone visiting with an all-access pass on Saturdays still needs to pay for parking.
For more information about the TIA all-access pass, visit http://www.tampaairport.com/tpaallaccess.
To register, visit https://tpaallaccess.timetap.com/.
For a list of shops and restaurants at the airport, visit https://online.flippingbook.com/view/736137/.