Next time you find yourself in New Orleans, you will have a chance to experience it in a new way.

The newly opened $1 billion airport terminal at the Louis Armstrong International Airport will be open to the public in areas that usually require a boarding pass to enjoy. Starting Wednesday (Dec. 4) non-travelers will be able to access the MSY Guest Pass program. 

This will allow guests to access the brand new concourse, which is where nearly all of the new terminal's concessions are located.

New Orleans will join only a handful of airports that will allow guests to eat, drink, and shop a concourse area without a boarding pass.

Aviation Director Kevin Dolliole talked about allowing people a new way to access the much talked about terminal.

The terminal development is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the state’s history, and there’s an awful lot of interest in it from the community,” Dolliole said. “We have a strong desire to open it up to the community, to invite them in to see, feel, touch it.

If you're not quite familiar with what the new terminal has to offer, it has more than 40 concessions, including two dozen restaurants, bars, dessert parlors and coffee shops from a mix of well-known New Orleans names and neighborhood businesses.

The other idea, besides taking in the new terminal, is that people will be able to walk traveling loved ones all the way up to the gate, or greet them upon their return, without having a boarding pass of their own.

Here's the kicker. Access to guests without a boarding pass will be available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a limit of 50 visitors per day on weekdays and 100 visitors per day on weekends. Visitors are limited to using the program once per month.

To apply for the guest pass, you must register at least 24 hours in advance via the airports website. Upon arrival, you will then go to a customer service station, show ID, and will be issued a guest pass. Then, you will go to the TSA checkpoint, as the same screening procedures will be applied to guest passes as travelers go through.

Currently, airports in Seattle, Tampa, Pittsburgh and Detroit have similar programs, with Austin monitoring the idea. Now that the TSA has approved such programs, you can expect more airports to follow suit.

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