Why This Code on Your Boarding Pass To The U.S. Is A Problem
Here’s what it means...
You probably don’t look very closely at your boarding pass when you travel, do you?
A quick glance at what gate you’re going to be running to later, and a double-check that you did indeed get the window seat (phew), and that’s it.
But there’s actually more information on that little flimsy bit of paper (remember when they were made out of cardboard) than you think - and one code in particular could cause problems if you’re off to the United States.
Anyone who has visited the U.S will know the reality that is endless queues to get through passport control, and the always-slightly-nerve-wracking experience of being quizzed by a stern-faced official.
But if your boarding pass has the four letters ‘SSSS’ on it, you could be in for an even longer wait time, because it’s not just the sound a snake makes - it also stands for ‘Secondary Security Screening Selection’.
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Whoever came up with that has a real love of alliteration.
What does this mean? Well, apparently it means that not only will you be searched by TSA peeps, but so will your bags.
You’ll also have to provide details of your travel plans, why you’re visiting America, and what you do back home. For a job. Not just like ‘how do you spend your weekends’. Nobody wants to hear about your 13-hour Netflix binges, not even TSA.
It’s not known if the ‘SSSS’ list is a random selection, or based on information like where you’ve visited previously etc. etc., but it could also cause problems with printing a boarding pass off at home, requiring you to visit a check-in desk.
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By Lizzie Cox