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My girlfriend is leaving the UK from Heathrow tomorrow. Is it possible for me to go through security with her so that we can be together until she goes to her departure gate?

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I don't see how this would happen. The whole point of airport security is to only allow travellers air-side. AFAIK they don't even allow parents to accompany travelling minors. –  mindcorrosive Mar 5 '13 at 19:14
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@arexx Last I checked Heathrow is nowhere near America, so her mother was able to do this in America a few years ago, what airport and how few years ago was it? –  Karlson Mar 5 '13 at 19:34
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I think that the only way to do this is buying another ticket for you, but this would be too expensive –  Dirty-flow Mar 5 '13 at 19:40
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I don't get the close votes. It's a valid question that they want an answer to. Sure the answer might be no, with some documentation to prove it, but it's still a genuine question. –  Mark Mayo Mar 5 '13 at 19:43
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Could you buy a fully flexible + refundable ticket, for a flight later in the day from the same terminal, then cancel it once airside (probably paying a small late cancellation fee)? –  Gagravarr Mar 5 '13 at 21:08
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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Generally NO.

There are some legitimate exceptions and general sneakiness but normally no.

You see an answer on a different forum on the same question.

There are also Gate Passes that can be issued by the airlines in some cases.

More then likely you don't qualify for either.

More links specifically on Heathrow

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Thanks for the help, and the excellent links. When we went to the airport I asked at check-in whether it would be possible for me to go through to departures (having nothing to lose) and was given an emphatic no. –  arexx Mar 7 '13 at 11:35
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As far as I know, it is not possible in the United Kingdom. If anything, even if you could escort her through security screening, you would not be permitted beyond passport control without a boarding pass for a departing flight.

A potential workaround is to purchase a refundable ticket for a flight departing later from the same terminal. You would be sent through screening just as any other departing passenger, and then after seeing her off you could exit and get your ticket refunded (being mindful of the terms of the ticket). Personally, I think this is an ethical grey area, since you are tying up airport and airline resources without intending to fly, but it would be entirely legal.

Different countries have different policies. I believe Australia does not restrict airside access to ticketed passengers at all. In the U.S., one can obtain a "gate pass" for non-flyers from the airline, which is not unlike a "platform ticket" in British railway stations. Gate passes are usually restricted to people like parents/guardians of minors, interpreters, or companions offering assistance to people with disabilities or other special needs.

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No, unfortunately it is not possible. In the queue to the security boarding passes are being checked and only passengers with a valid boarding pass are allowed through.

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