Why the Code “SSSS” Is BAD NEWS on Your Airline Boarding Pass

Air travel can be stressful!

Flying on Frontier

Between packing, checking your bags, going through security, and boarding, you can be exhausted before your plane even takes off! Not to add to the stress of air travel, but we have bad news if your boarding pass has a code on it.

Your boarding pass includes a lot of important travel details, like your name, flight number, gate number, and seat number. It can also be marked if you have TSA PreCheck. The next time you travel, you are going to want to watch out to see if this code is printed on your boarding pass.

Orlando International Airport

So, what is this dreaded code? If you see “SSSS” printed on your boarding pass, we have some bad news. The four Ss stand for “Secondary Security Screening Selection.” 

©One Mile at a Time

So what exactly does this mean? Well, unfortunately it means your time going through another screening process before you board your flight.

Orlando Airport

This secondary search can involve going through the metal detector, receiving a pat-down, additional bag inspection, and testing for explosives.

Orlando International Airport Terminal C

So, how do you avoid getting this code on your boarding pass? There are no specific TSA guidelines published about this, but the “SSSS” could be put on your boarding pass if you have unusual traffic patterns. For example, if you do a lot of one-way international travel, that could be a red flag for the TSA. It could also be that the TSA assigns “SSSS” randomly.

Orlando Airport

You won’t always know that you have been selected until you arrive at the airport but there are three warning signs that you can look out for before you arrive. If you can’t check in on the mobile app, having trouble with the check-in kiosks, or have to be directed to speak with an agent, you may have been selected for the secondary search and that is why you are having problems checking in.

Orlando International Airport

We know traveling is stressful enough and you may just want to start your vacation, but being aware of this additional marking can help you prepare for the next time you travel by air.

Click Here To Read About Six Orlando Airport Tips!

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Have you ever gotten the dreaded “SSSS” on your boarding pass? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “Why the Code “SSSS” Is BAD NEWS on Your Airline Boarding Pass”

  1. I think I must’ve had this several years ago. Only my husband & son could do on line check in. It said I would have to sort it at the airport. When we got to Manchester airport they took me to the side for extra checks on my bag. I think it was random as I only fly once or twice a year & my family are there on the same flights.