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WritersBlock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 04:50 AM
Original message
SSSS on my boarding pass

I flew from London to Chicago on Friday, with an onward connection. The flight was late leaving London, so I missed my connection in Chicago. After I got through Immigration & Customs, I had to go to the ticket counter & get on the next flight & have my bag rechecked. I didn't notice until I was going back through security for my connecting flight that I had the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass.

I had to stand in the little cordoned-off area with two other women ("Don't touch each other!") and wait for a female screener to come pat us down. We were told to watch as our belongings were swabbed. I had a video camera and laptop in my bag (I'm going to one of those really subversive gatherings otherwise known as "family reunions"), and I had to stand by and watch as all of my stuff got mixed in with other peoples' bins. And while a screener stacked another grey bin on top of my flippin 800 video camera.

I was ready to spit nails by the time the female screener got there. As I was standing there with my arms out to my side, being patted down in front of hundreds of people, I asked her why I had been singled out like this. She said it was the airline's fault; that the agent at the ticket counter had put the SSSS on my boarding pass, and if I wanted to make a complaint, I should go to the airline. I knew that was a line of bullshit, but I really needed to make that flight, so I just shut up at that point.

When I got to the gate, I told the agent what the TSA screener had said. He said that TSA give the airlines a list of names, and that probably my name just matched that of someone else's on that list. He just shrugged when I asked if he was saying that the TSA screener had blatantly lied to me when she said the airlines made the decision.

What really annoys me is that I'd been through security in two UK airports earlier that day with no problem at all; just absolutely sailed through. So evidently, somewhere mid-Atlantic or so, I was transformed from being a pre-menopausal grey-haired genealogy nut with swollen ankles enroute to a family reunion, to someone requiring a pat-down and luggage swab? And now I'm wondering if it's gonna happen every time I fly.

I feel sorry for anyone who relies on the US tourism industry for a living; I sure felt welcome to the country, and I know the two women pulled aside with me did, too. Not.

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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 05:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. Been there..
and I was told the reason for mine was that it was a one way ticket and all one way tickets got the dreaded SSS's. It is a demeaning experience isn't it?
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WritersBlock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Demeaning - yeah. That's a good way to decribe it.

Demeaning, as well as humiliating and intimidating, too.

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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. My 15 year old son got the
Edited on Sun Aug-26-07 06:24 AM by JTFrog
same treatment for having a one way ticket. He didn't even have any carry on luggage. I didn't really freak out until they lead him away and I was told I couldn't follow because I wasn't ticketed. I went into hysterics. There is just no feeling like watching them take your child away and you having absolutely no control of the situation.

*edit - this was three years ago. this has been going on for far too long now. everything turned out ok. they just took him around a partition, shoes off, pat down, .etc and then they brought him back. But when those men took him out of my sight like that I almost lost it. I thought it was beyond ridiculous and extremely intimidating.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. that is Terrorism.... we are no longer able to move about freely
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 05:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. we got it last year
coming home after visiting friends in California

Our first flight in this little airport was canceled just before we were to board by the AIRLINE, and their next flight wasn't until the afternoon - and that meant missing all our connecting flights.

they managed to get us on another airline's flight, so it was last minute ticket changes so we could make all our connections.

Keep in mind, this was a very small airport. Ticket counter, security, and the waiting/boarding areas are all in the same space, the only thing separating each area are folding tables. McDonald's burger joints more space.

And we weren't the only ones rushing to get flights changed, but we were the only ones flagged for 'special' handling. Our luggage didn't get examined, but we were 'wanded' and carry-ons were throughly inspected.

Fortunately, this 'special handling' didn't follow us through the connecting flights
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WritersBlock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'm glad it didn't follow you through.

There were a lot of people trying to rebook after missed connections the other night, too. Weather was causing chaos. I don't know if I'd have had this trouble if I'd made my connection. But I am really glad to hear that yours sounds like it was a one-off. I'd hate to go through that every time I fly.

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Beausoleil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. Had it happen also
Last weekend I was flying from San Antonio to Columbus, Ohio connecting through Houston (the detestable George Bush International) and then Detroit. For some reason, my connecting flight was scheduled to depart 30 minutes after the flight to Houston arrived, not enough time really. Not only that but I had to go to one of those satellite terminals by bus. I hate that.

Needless to say, by the time I got to the gate I could see my plane had already left the gate.

The lady at the gate was very nice and got me scheduled on another flight that arrived in Columbus earlier than my original flight would have, since it was direct to Columbus. I was happy with that, but the catch was that I would have to go back to the terminal I'd just come from.

OK, well that gave me time to have a cigarette. When I went through security to get to my gate, the TSA guy showed me the SSSS on my new ticket.

Fortunately, I like to travel light and check as much as I can, even my laptop. So I usually just carry a book on the plane. I think they were kind of disappointed that that was all I had, since I was patted down by what was obviously a new trainee. And all they got to swab was my book, pocket change, cigarette pack and shoes.

It must be something about missing your connecting flight due to airline scheduling stupidity.

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. Me too, the dreaded Super Special Security. And get this...
I'm a 66 year old, grandfatherly type, retired airline pilot.
I was told that 'the computer' randomly picks some of us lucky folks for the 3rd degree.
Flying. Sux. Period.
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GTurck Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
8. I haven't flown since...
1999. My last flight was from O'Hare to Killeen, TX to look for a house near our youngest son and his family. OUr oldest son was a baggage handler for United and we only had to pay taxes. It was a good deal but that time is long gone and now I refuse to fly. Not out of fear but from knowing how aggravating flying has become on all levels. Even our oldest won't fly in country anymore but only to Europe where his wife's family lives. Oh and United caused him grave injury both physically and monetarily since 2001. He can no longer work and has lost his 401K and pension but the CEO is doing just fine. The whole industry is in its death throes. The TSA and airlines are just playing mind games with millions of people thinking we are too stupid to understand the game and will play no matter what.
Now I have to say that I have flown, once, since '99. Last year our youngest and his wife bought us a 3 day trip to Las Vegas for our 45th anniversary. We took it but my husband became very cold on the return and the airline would not give him a blanket; he would have to buy it from them. I hope no one flies on Sept. 11 in protest not of the attacks but of the ill treatment of travelers since that time.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. I am a retired flight attendant is on my boarding pass every time i fly!!
and when i fly with my husband it is never on his boarding pass!!

oh and i flew 33 years...

when i came back from France a couple months ago..i got stopped on the jet bridge..and they went through every single thing i had on me..and every time i go to France that happens to me..while my traveling companion sails right on board!

i asked a TSA employee ..why do i get stopped every time..and she said..she hears that from many retired airline people...

pilots and F/A's

gee and to think we used to have every kind of clearance...and yet they waste the time checking us...

mind boggling if you ask me...

i dress nice when i fly and yet i have seen some questionable (?) people wiz by me getting checked!!

I went on a crusie this past winter..36 of our friends went the airport going to the city of embarkation..i was the only one that got the S's on my boarding pass...

go figure..while they waste the time checking me..someone that should be checked is not.

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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. randy rhodes was put on the list... guess why... you have to go to your congressman to get you off
the list
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
10. What, don't you feel safer now?
Yeah, sorry.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. now 'that' is Terrorism....
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