What you need to know about that SSSS stamp on your boarding pass

SSSS! Behold the four letters that you don’t ever want to see on your boarding pass. If you find the Secondary Security Screening Selection — SSSS stamp on your ticket, you should know that the TSA agents will be treating you to an extra-special and in-depth security screening.

Lucky you!

But how, and by whom, are passengers selected for this additional form of screening? After Jo Freeman’s recent unpleasant close encounter of the TSA kind, she wants to know. Read more “What you need to know about that SSSS stamp on your boarding pass”

Here’s why you shouldn’t show up late to the gate

Stephen Oualline and his daughter showed up late to the gate in Kona, Hawaii, for their Alaska Airlines trip to San Diego. How late? The plane had already departed. Now he wants us to help him — but can we? Read more “Here’s why you shouldn’t show up late to the gate”

A survival guide to air travel in 2018

If you thought 2017 was a challenging year for airline passengers, just wait until you see what’s ahead. Read more “A survival guide to air travel in 2018”

I canceled my airline ticket within 24 hours. Where’s my refund?

When Ahmed Abdulrahim cancels a flight within 24 hours of booking it, he assumes he’ll have the money soon. Months later, he’s still waiting. Can his airline issue his refund? Read more “I canceled my airline ticket within 24 hours. Where’s my refund?”

The DOT has fined fewer airlines this year. Should you be worried?

If it seems as if airlines are getting away with more passenger-unfriendly behavior, maybe it’s because they are.

The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is responsible for enforcing federal consumer-protection regulations, is on track to punish significantly fewer airlines this year, issuing 18 consent orders for $3.1 million in civil penalties. By comparison, the DOT had 29 orders worth $6.4 million for 2016, which included a $1.6 million fine against American Airlines for violating its tarmac delay rules handed down in mid-December. Barring a last-minute flurry of penalties, 2017 will be a much quieter year for the department. Read more “The DOT has fined fewer airlines this year. Should you be worried?”