THERE are many things a traveller doesn’t want to see at the airport — long security queues, a ‘delayed’ sign on the departures board or a flight attendant checking bags into the hold at the boarding gate.
But one of the biggest signs that you are about to have a nightmare journey is the letters ‘SSSS’ on your boarding pass.
The code, which only applies if you are travelling to the US, means “Secondary Security Screening Selection.” It means that, like comedian Nazeem Hessain recently experienced, the passenger has been selected for additional screening by security.
Officials will take a particular interest in you and your luggage; giving you a pat down, swabbing for explosive residue and opening up all of your bags.
They may also require extra information to prove identity and a detailed run-down of all travel plans.
The scheme was introduced by the Transport Security Administration after the 9/11 terror attacks, to help prevent dodgy characters from getting on planes heading into or out of the US.
It is unknown how many people are on the SSSS list as it is kept secret, but if you can’t check in online then it could be a sign you are on it.
In the past, the TSA has said that people are added to the list after being randomly selected by a computer.
But a TSA source has since claimed that there are other ways to get SSSS branded, including paying for a plane ticket by cash or regularly buying one — way tickets.
There are other reports of SSSS appearing on a boarding pass after they visited certain countries in the world, like Turkey.
It’s not easy to get off the SSSS list, but anyone who wants to can appeal to the Department Of Security’s Traveller Redress Inquiry Program.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.