SSSS Boarding pass
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

My First SSSS in Years — in Amsterdam. What Does That Mean?

I guess I have been very fortunate to not have had the dreaded SSSS printed on my boarding pass in years of traveling — but it is on my boarding pass for travel back to the United States; and yet I am already in the secure area of Schiphol Airport, as I transferred from another flight.

My First SSSS in Years — in Amsterdam. What Does That Mean?

Does this mean that I should expect to enjoy an enhanced secure experience of being inappropriately groped rather intimately during a strip search while having to disassemble my electronics to ensure that a bomb was not built into them? If so, will this happen before or after I board the airplane for my flight to the United States?

In case you did not know, SSSS are the initials for Secondary Security Screening Selection, which will appear on your boarding pass when you have been selected by the Secure Flight system of the Transportation Security Administration for “enhanced security screening” at the security checkpoint of an airport…

…but I have already checked in for my flight; and other than possibly upon arrival in Atlanta, I have no security checkpoints to pass through. Other than visiting Morocco, I have done nothing unusual than when I have traveled at other times.


I am not sure why I was selected for SSSS; but those are four letters you never want to see on your boarding pass…

…and why must passengers who purchased bottles of liquids in the secure area of the airport from which they departed relinquish said bottles just to transfer from one flight to another at Schiphol Airport — let alone get screened?

Anyway, whatever is the current answer to what SSSS provides for me, I am not looking forward to it…

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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