More TSA SSSSilliness


By now everyone — including the bad guys — know that being designated as a “selectee” for further screening is almost always a totally random thing. The airline draws your name from the passenger list and generates a boarding pass with “SSSS” written across it. It’s your lucky day!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the TSA has done a fine job lately, considering that it has had to do more (like rid the world of dangerous liquids and gels) with less (a pared-down workforce). But the system that selects these passengers appears to have a loophole that one reader of this site, and yours truly, has used a time or two.

Here’s how it worked for my reader, to whom I offer anonymity lest he face what he calls “the double-anal probe” before his next flight.


“I had printed out my boarding passes yesterday morning, so of course, no gate was assigned,” he wrote. The boarding pass for the first leg had the dreaded “SSSS” on it. The other one didn’t.

“I simply switched the pieces of paper,” at the screening area, he says.

An agent smiled and waved him through the magnetometer.

This has happened to me as well. I had a boarding pass with an “SSSS” and another one that didn’t, and I chose not to show the incriminating sheet of paper to my agent. She didn’t know any better.

You would expect the folks designating selectees — my understanding is that it’s the airlines — to be consistent and that once you’re tagged, you’re tagged. But I guess that’s not the way it works.

Related story:   Is this the beginning of the end of airline fees?

So until they figure this one out, use the boarding pass without the “SSSS” on it and avoid the once-over from your friendly TSA agent.


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org.

  • ExposingMorons

    Hi Claude and Linda,
    I apologize that this is off topic, but I wanted to give you heads up about your communication with an Alma C. Ott aka “True” Ott. I noticed that you had posted something on his site. I was not able to tell you there, because he censors anything that will expose the truth about him. He is a fake doctor with fake credentials and a plagiarist that works for the NSA/FBI and CIA as COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO originally started under J. Edgar Hoover and it is alive and well. The same organization that were behind the demise of Lennon, MLK Jr, The Black Panthers, JFK and RFK are are still at it today. Ott has multiple personalities and is a white supremacist and a
    satanist, and I cannot say enough to tell you how purely evil this man
    is. He has targeted good journalists who are making a difference in the
    world, by infiltrating into the truth movement and alternative health communities posing as an activist and spreading downright evil lies to manipulate people into not taking these journalists serious (so people never get the truth) and mixing everything up to confuse everyone. This is called controlled opposition. Ott works with about 20 others and they engage in gang-stalking. Their job is to protect those that engage in child sex-trafficking and pedophiles on high levels of office. He and the others work under Michael Aquino who is a top Army specialist in the MKultra program and the head of The Temple of Set which is an offshoot of the Church of Satan. Aquino actually resembles one of the Munsters which is created so people do not take him very seriously. But he is serious. This is serious stuff I am telling you here.  You can investigate all that I am telling you now, and you will find out what I am saying is true.  Please help do research and get the truth out that will set humanity free.

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