During our journey, we encountered a flight delay which caused some issues. (Possibly more on that another time…)
When looking over our boarding passes, four letters stood out for my flight from London (LHR) to New York (JFK), SSSS.
It’s been a few years since those dreaded letters showed up on my boarding pass.
For those of you unfamiliar with the SSSS on a boarding pass, it means that you’ll be subjected to a very thorough, annoying and uncomfortable security screening.
SSSS stands for Secondary Security Screening Selection, according to wikipedia.
In the past when I’ve had SSSS show up on my boarding pass, I was separated from my family. Every item in my bag was removed, (some things were swabbed) and I recall being patted down, which is definitely not fun. I think I was also asked various questions.
I was a bit annoyed when I saw the letters this time and expected a very annoying and irritating experience but surprisingly, it wasn’t bad!
Let me preface this by saying that my additional SSSS screening was done by the gate for our flight home to NYC.
I prepared for the screening by giving Kim my laptop to hold. I also had Kim and Lucas take our carry-on. The only thing that I had with me was my backpack which didn’t have many items inside.
When I was pulled to the side after my ticket was scanned, two friendly agents told me to take my shoes off. My sneakers were immediately swabbed and given back to me to put on in under a minute.
One agent emptied a couple of things from my bag and wiped the inside for testing while the other wiped my hands to test.
Within another minute or so, I was thanked and told everything was fine.
There was no uncomfortable pat-downs or questioning. I said to Kim that the additional screening wasn’t much more than I’d expect at security if something set off the scanner.
While I hope to never get those dreaded letters again, it was nice to see this additional screening get done quickly and with a smile.