Security SSSS

Sep 11th, 2019, 02:55 PM
  #1  
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Security SSSS

I have a question. I am wondering if being picked for SSSS when flying into the US is truly random? In the last 9 months, I have been picked 3 times out of 4 flights. My sister always seems to get it and was with me the last time. I had not gotten picked for some time prior to these last 9 months. I googled to see if there was a criteria to being picked but I don't match any of what I found.

So is it normal to be picked often?
sassy27 is online now  
Sep 11th, 2019, 06:11 PM
  #2  
 
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Is it stamped on your ticket? SSSS? I thought that was stopped. I would ask for a supervisor and see why. That is strange. Do they go through all your belongings still?
Macross is online now  
Sep 12th, 2019, 02:40 AM
  #3  
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Yes. I cannot get my boarding pass when checking in on line. So I know before going to the airport. Then I get my boarding pass with the SSSS. Then this time, I got bodily searched, they went through all of my carryon belongings, they even checked under my feet and in my hair. The other times not so invasive.
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Sep 12th, 2019, 03:24 AM
  #4  
 
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You need to go get tsa precheck or Global entry and talk to them as to why this is happening. You must be on some sort of list and need to find out why. That happens. I would hate that. Your hair? Geez Louise.
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Sep 12th, 2019, 05:24 AM
  #5  
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I do have Global entry and have it for at least 4 yrs now. TSA get annoyed when I've questioned it and said I can raise an inquiry but that makes me nervous. I'm afraid I'd get flagged more. My name is very unusual so don't think it's that and I have never traveled to questionable areas. It just seemed odd but I wasn't sure and thought I would ask others.
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Sep 12th, 2019, 07:00 AM
  #6  
 
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Upon googling, here's a link that includes how you can apply for redress:

https://onemileatatime.com/what-does...ing-pass-mean/

According to the article, there are several things that could flag a person; your surname, the places you travel, the frequency, etc. But it isn't random.
TDudette is offline  
Sep 12th, 2019, 07:48 AM
  #7  
 
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That is unusual, but I've been searched more than once and some of the things you name are not that unusual to me. Being "bodily searched" I presume means the body patdown. They have done that to me numerous times, I don't really care. They also have checked my shoes numerous times. I don't think of that as invasive myself, nor the body patdown. I think it's always when I'm wearing something that sets something off, who knows (I have learned I have one pair of shoes that apparently has some metal shank in it which I never knew). And they've gone through my carryon, also, but not often, I think that was random. Don't remember the hair, but I presume you mean some scanner thing that can pick up some residue? I always seem to get picked when I go to Mexico and they go through my luggage.

Sounds like you fly a lot, are they last minute trips or something? Maybe that's why, but obviously business people fly a lot and that alone shouldn't be a reason. YOu don't say where you are flying from, so hard to tell. I didn't know foreigners could get Global Entry. Seems odd that if you have that, you would be considered high risk. I'd want to know why, also, actually.
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Sep 12th, 2019, 08:03 AM
  #8  
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My trips are planned 6 months or more in advance so not short notice. I always book round trip tickets or open jaw (fly into one destination and leave from another).

I was not selected at the gate. I was selected I guess when checking in 24 hrs prior to my flight. I get text messages from the airline reminding me. My shoes were removed and I basically got a foot rub as the bottom of my feet were touched and between my toes but with my socks on.

I must go through airport security but this is one I think is USA required. I was traveling back from Germany, Scotland, Austria and Ireland. I did not get selected in Austria. I have only traveled to Europe in the last 20 yrs. My surname is unique as only my family small has it. Googling my name it's just me in the whole world.

Has anyone filed a redress investigation? I would like to know more about that. I am a US citizen.
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Sep 12th, 2019, 01:45 PM
  #9  
P_M
 
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Although your name is unusual there could still be someone out there with your same name who is on the no fly list. My story is a little different. For quite a few years I was always flagged in US customs. I was afraid to ask why so I never did but one day a customs agent told me there's an international drug smuggler with my same name and she's exactly one day older than me. There was no global entry or redress back then so I had to just deal with it.

I think the redress idea is a good one because I don't believe for a minute this is random. Good luck.
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Sep 12th, 2019, 03:35 PM
  #10  
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Thanks P_M. I often visit US embassies abroad and have to surrender my passport and I'm thoroughly checked or I'm not allowed in. I would be very surprised if my name is the problem. It just seems odd but maybe now the norm with people.
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Sep 14th, 2019, 08:10 AM
  #11  
 
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In February I was flying from Buenos Aires to LAX with a connecting flight to SMF on American Airlines . Checking in for my flight at EZE I got the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass. I have had Global Entry for 3 years. Because we were in Argentina, security spoke to me in halted English. Stressful, as I did not want to irritate them and make the search worse. The worst part of the experience was that they would not issue me a boarding pass for TSA precheck at LAX. I had to go to the AA check in counter in LAX to have the boarding pass reissued. The regular line at LAX to go thru security was very long. The other 3 people in our traveling (including my husband) have Global Entry and did not get selected for additional screening. The flights were part of a vacation booked 9 months prior. I have no clue why I was chosen.

If this happened often, I would contact TSA or Department of Homeland Security. My husband had this happen several years ago (prior to us getting Global Entry). Turned out that another person with almost the same name was on a watch list. He received a redress number and has not had a problem since.

Good luck. It is not easy dealing with TSA.
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Sep 14th, 2019, 09:48 AM
  #12  
 
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I just flew to the US from Dubai on Sept 11 - hadn't even thought about the significance of the date when I booked - and I got the SSSS - it was on my boarding pass. My sister was with me, and she did too. We were both searched at the boarding gate (flying business on Emirates) - bags opened and inspected, body pat-downs, wanded and tested for explosives. It only took a few minutes, and to be honest, I was not at all upset. Whatever they need to do to ensure safety - that's my mantra when I encounter such security measures.
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Sep 18th, 2019, 10:15 AM
  #13  
 
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I have Global Entry and I still routinely get this now. I usually find out when I try to check in online and can't. This is more invasive than just being pulled out of security line at random for additional screening. Each time I've had it done, my carry-on and purse are completely emptied, searched (and unwrapped in the case of souvenirs in bubble wrap) and repacked by the officer, and I get a very thorough feel up pat down. The woman doing my search leaving Ireland said that it's likely the combination of where I'd been lately that throws the flags (Russia, Kenya multiple times, Rwanda, Peru, Turkey, France, England) but that was just her opinion. The officers have always been considerate and careful with me and my belongings, it's just a nuisance. She said Global Entry doesn't talk to the system that generates the SSSS at all, so the screening done on us as part of applying for that doesn't matter. When I've been with my sister on these trips, she does not get it but she's only been to Western Europe and doesn't travel outside the country as often as I have.
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Sep 18th, 2019, 10:34 AM
  #14  
 
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If I get checked at all, it has included my hair a few times (so I didn't find that part all that unusual). Mine is curly and often up in a top knot or ponytail and they poked around in there.
suze is online now  
Sep 18th, 2019, 10:54 AM
  #15  
 
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This is fascinating - I'd not heard of SSSS until I read this thread. Sure, we've been singled out a few times for random screenings and explosive checks, but nothing as thorough as going through our hair or looking between our toes!

When we lived in the Middle East and traveled to/from the US, we were pulled aside every time, questioned, carry-ons and purse rummaged through, etc, but not so much anymore.
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Sep 18th, 2019, 01:11 PM
  #16  
 
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Two years ago, trip US-Paris, outbound both of us got gratis precheck. Return wife got SSSS. One year ago, trip to London, same pattern, but in addition got all my carry on baggage completely checked while wife got SSSS. This year, Paris trip, outbound nothing special, return I got extensively patted down (my fault, too many metal containing items on me), then, after that security check, I got a second security check of my baggage at the gate, explained as random . I also have an uncommon name. One wonders about how random the selection really is. One further wonders if any terrorist has ever been caught by these activities. On the other hand, on all these return flights, it appears that about 10% of the flyers got selected for further screening, so, with the large numbers screened it is not impossible for someone to be selected multiple times.
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Sep 18th, 2019, 01:42 PM
  #17  
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I really wonder if it is all truly random. The agent did said I can do a redress but I wasn't sure if it would cause more attention. More is not what I want but I am not planning any international travel for the next 8 months. I've decided to do some domestic traveling. Maybe this would help my case.

I wasn't saying it shouldn't be done. Not my point at all but could the randomness have changed? I do randomization for a living so of course I noticed. I didn't know if it was just me or just more common and to expect it more often.
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Sep 18th, 2019, 01:53 PM
  #18  
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Is the 10% per passengers flying into the US or is that per plane? I just know prior to Nov 2018 I did not get picked often.
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Sep 18th, 2019, 02:29 PM
  #19  
 
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<<I really wonder if it is all truly random.>> Some are random, some are not. You won't know.
Odin is offline  
Sep 18th, 2019, 04:38 PM
  #20  
 
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The SSSS always happens when you are on a flight returning to the US, it’s not outbound

Interestingly, one guy I was sitting and waiting with for the next person to search us in Mexico CIty last year laughed when I said “I’ve got Global Entry and still get this every time.” He said “I’m a Pentagon employee and I do too.” So I guess no one is immune.
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