Air travel can be a pain in every sense of the word. Long delays, layovers, you name it. Nine times out of ten, someone has a negative experience flying. But some people have additional hoops to jump through if they have ‘SSSS’ printed on their ticket. So what is that?
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Well, in layman’s terms, it means you are subject to additional security screenings. There are some additional stipulations that apply to this code, which is only for those coming in to the United States.
The Transportation Security Administration claims that these are codes are assigned at random most of the time, but if you are buying a one-way ticket or paid strictly in cash, your odds of additional security screening increase substantially.
The additional screening consists of more in-depth bag searches, pat downs, and even further validation of the identity of the person flying. This system was implemented post 9/11 in the hopes of preventing a horrific event like that from ever happening again.
Lifehacker recently published an article that explained the ins and outs of these extra security checks.
In their article, multiple people have come forward claiming they are subject to such treatment every time they fly any airline. In the same article, Lifehacker indicated that if you meet the criteria to have additional screenings, you won’t be able to print your ticket at home and bring it in.
Instead, you must come to an airline kiosk or reception and have them print your ticket. If you refuse to additional searches, you will be refused entry onto the plane, according to the Daily Mail.
The attorney for the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, Seth Weinstein, says there is a database of suspected terrorists who automatically receive the SSSS code on their ticket.
There is some indication that people who are not connected to any terrorist organizations and have never been arrested have also been subjected to these searches, resulting in missing flights. The result has been angry people taking to social media to voice their frustration.
Tony, a man who travels regularly for work, said on Twitter: “TSA, why do you SSSS me every time I travel to the Mideast? Come on already, can’t Americans travel freely without harassment?”
For those who wish to be taken off of this list, additional documentation must be submitted to the Traveller Redress Inquiry Program.
While it may be frustrating to have these additional steps in place, we must never allow another 9/11 incident to occur.