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The Mysterious ‘SSSS’ Code You DON’T Want To See On Your Boarding Pass


Traveling used to be a fun experience in earlier years, but now days getting through airport security can be a pain. Now, it’ll be harder for travelers who find ‘SSSS’ printed onto their boarding pass. In more simpler terms, airline passengers flying into the U.S. will face additional delays and security checking if “SSSS” is stamped on the lower part of their boarding pass.

Passengers whose boarding passes have “SSSS” are pre-selected to be subject to extra security screening checks – which may involve validating identity, pat downs, bag searches and take up to thirty minutes – before boarding onto their flight.

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A spokesman for the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) told Business Insider in a statement:

SSSS stands for Secondary Security Screening Selection and it appears on a passenger’s boarding pass when they’ve been selected by TSA’s Secure Flight system for enhanced security screening.

“Secure Flight is a risk-based passenger prescreening program that enhances security by identifying low and high-risk passengers before they arrive at the airport by matching their names against trusted traveler lists and watchlists. Secure Flight is also used to prevent those on the No Fly List and the Centers for Disease Control’s Do Not Board List from getting on planes.”

This system was introduced after the 9/11 terror attacks to help security officials monitor potentially dangerous individuals from entering or leaving the U.S. The TSA insists travelers who receive the ‘SSSS’ are selected at random, but some have claimed they are pulled aside most times they travel.


Passengers may be able to be aware if they’ll need to have additional checks if they’re not able to print their boarding pass at the airport’s self-check-in. Out of several factors that could get travelers the SSSS, a few notable ones are:-

  • If you book the ticket using cash.
  • If you buy a one-way only ticket.
  • If you’re returning from or flying to a high-risk country.
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Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I went to college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, eCommerce.
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