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Boarding Pass Check - What Do They Look For?  
User currently offlineAviationwiz From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 962 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9807 times:

So when you're travelling in the United States, and at the beginning of getting into the line, you hand them your boarding pass, and they check it against your photo ID to make sure that you're the right person.

Then, usually, when going through the metal detector, you hand it to them and they look it over for a good 5 seconds without making any marks.

What do they actually do?

The reason I ask is because when flying out of MSP early Wednesday Morning, I accidentally gave them my boarding pass from MDW-MSP for later in the day, and they never noticed it.


Proudly from the Home of the Red Tail.
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1893 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9780 times:
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The TSA is checking to see if you are a selectee. THis means that you are supposed to go through extra screening. Usually you are sent to a different line anyway.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineEHHO From Bulgaria, joined Dec 2005, 815 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 9720 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 1):
to see if you are a selectee.

And who decides that? Is it the check-in agent who decides to put the SSSS on yourt pass? What are the guidelines for doing it? Name, behavior? Imagine a passenger is being pushy about getting upgrade he/she doesn't deserve, is that a reason to put SSSS on his/her pass?



"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 9681 times:

Quoting Aviationwiz (Thread starter):
I accidentally gave them my boarding pass from MDW-MSP for later in the day, and they never noticed it.

Just goes to show how good the security is at MSP. They actually let you on the incorrect flight. In UK the boarding pass is actually passed through a machine to read the details, and it soon beebs if something is not OK!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineAntonovman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 722 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 9661 times:

'"Just goes to show how good the security is at MSP. They actually let you on the incorrect flight. In UK the boarding pass is actually passed through a machine to read the details, and it soon beebs if something is not OK!"
I think they are talking about a differant thing, they mean at the line to go thru security to be checked, in the USA they put a sticker on at check in to show they think you need extra grilling. What you are talking about is the boarding card reader which is down at the gate prior to the actual boarding


User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 9632 times:

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 4):
What you are talking about is the boarding card reader which is down at the gate prior to the actual boarding

Thanks for your clarification of your posting.

From what you say you still used the wrong boarding card to actually get on the flight - OR - did you realise before you got tho the reader that you had used the wrong card? By your description of the event, it sounds like it still leaves a hole in the security system.



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineAviationwiz From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 962 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 14 hours ago) and read 9449 times:

I realized right after security that I had used the wrong boarding pass, so I used the correct one to actually board the flight. It just seems to me that when they look at it for a good 5 seconds, they would actually check that I'm at the right airport.


Proudly from the Home of the Red Tail.
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 14 hours ago) and read 9429 times:

Quoting Aviationwiz (Reply 6):
I realized right after security that I had used the wrong boarding pass, so I used the correct one to actually board the flight.

. . . so anything that 'they' would have noted from reading the first (incorrect) boarding card was totally irrelevant when you then changed your boading card to the correct one for the final boarding!

As I said, there is a big hole in the security, based on your story - not only 'them' missing the incorrect flight details, but also that you then used a different boarding card to access the aircraft!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineYYZYYT From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 971 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 14 hours ago) and read 9423 times:

I always assumed that you had to have your boarding pass checked at security so as to confirm that you were entitled to go through to the boarding gates... (as far back as I can remember, Canada has never allowed non-travellers through into the secured area)

User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3116 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 14 hours ago) and read 9388 times:

At most Indian airports, definitely at BOM, you are asked for your boarding pass atleast 5-6 times before you reach your seat on the plane!!!

User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 9354 times:

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 9):
At most Indian airports

Pakistan too - Last time I went through the madhouse of Islamabad airport, I remember exactly the same thing, and each of them had their own stamp and pad to make their mark on your card.

It helps to keep the chaps in some sort of job.



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineDL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 9348 times:

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 7):

Some wires are crossed here. I don't know how it is in the UK (haven't been since 9/11) but at U.S. airports, the screening process is as follows:

Once you check in at the counter/kiosk/online, you go to the security area. There's a security person at the start of the line who looks at your boarding pass and ID and marks the boarding pass with either a sticker or a marker to confirm it's been checked. Then you go to the metal detector/Xray lines. Bags on the belt, and when you walk through the belt you're required to hold up your boarding pass (but not ID) to show the TSA agent watching the metal detector. Now you're in the secure area. Finally, you go to the gate and when your seat is called your boarding pass gets scanned by a gate agent at the jetway door. That part is computerized and would certainly alert to a boarding pass for a different flight.

It sounds like the OP showed the wrong pass to both TSA agents (before/after the metal detector) but used the right one to board. I've also wondered why they need to look at it again, but since that's where all the TSA people are it makes sense for that to be the point they divert you if you get chosen for the full anal probe.



F L Y D E L T A J E T S
User currently offlinePHLJJS From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 9322 times:

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 11):
It sounds like the OP showed the wrong pass to both TSA agents (before/after the metal detector) but used the right one to board. I've also wondered why they need to look at it again, but since that's where all the TSA people are it makes sense for that to be the point they divert you if you get chosen for the full anal probe.

Actually, the person at the front of the checkpoint/before the metal detector works for either the airline or a sub-contractor of the airline and it is they're job to check and make sure you BP and ID match and the right person is being let into the sterile area. When you show your BP to the TSA Officer at the metal detector, all he/she is looking for is a marking that indicates if you are a Selectee and need to undergo additional screening. They do not check ID or look for anything on the BP other than the Selectee markings because it is assumed that the person checking your ID did they're job right and you are the right person being allowed into the terminal. Unfortunatly that didn't happen. If you were a Selectee and got through the checkpoint with out being checked, the gate agent would have seen that by the markings on your ticket and denied you boarding until you were re-screened.


User currently offlineSJCRRPAX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 9314 times:

I have found they often check to see if it is a one-way ticket, and if it is than they give you the "treatment". At SJC they put my personal stuff in Red colored bins, which I had never seen before.

User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1581 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 9290 times:

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 11):
Once you check in at the counter/kiosk/online, you go to the security area. There's a security person at the start of the line who looks at your boarding pass and ID and marks the boarding pass with either a sticker or a marker to confirm it's been checked.

To me this seems like a waste of money to pay this person to do this job. You have to show your boarding pass to the TSA anyway; are they not qualified to check your boarding pass as well as match it to a photo id? Seems to me for a way to save untold thousands of dollars in the check in process right there.



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 12 hours ago) and read 9254 times:

In Riga (RIX) we have the following procedure:

1) Check-in. Passport plus ticket.
2) Border control (Yes we have them in and out). Passport and boarding pass. They stamp the boarding pass.
3) Security. Boarding pass.
4) Security with X-rays and beepers and all that friendly stuff.
5) Boarding. Show of passport and boarding pass. On wrong destinations, the machine will reject the pass and won't perforate the stub.


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1893 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 10 hours ago) and read 9173 times:
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Quoting PHLJJS (Reply 12):



Quoting EHHO (Reply 2):
And who decides that? Is it the check-in agent who decides to put the SSSS on yourt pass? What are the guidelines for doing it? Name, behavior? Imagine a passenger is being pushy about getting upgrade he/she doesn't deserve, is that a reason to put SSSS on his/her pass?

Actually it is a computer system called CAPPS that "randomly" selects people for extra screening. The agent can also override this and select you manually. At least that is the case at United (from what I was told).



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlinePhljjs From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 9 hours ago) and read 9122 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 16):
Actually it is a computer system called CAPPS that "randomly" selects people for extra screening. The agent can also override this and select you manually. At least that is the case at United (from what I was told).

I know all about CAPPS, I work for TSA. I wasn't talking about who or how you get selected. My reply had to do with why the BP is checked. And yes, you are correct. The ticket agent at the counter can select anyone they want or de-select individuals in certain situations.


User currently offlineDL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 9095 times:

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 14):
To me this seems like a waste of money to pay this person to do this job. You have to show your boarding pass to the TSA anyway; are they not qualified to check your boarding pass as well as match it to a photo id? Seems to me for a way to save untold thousands of dollars in the check in process right there.

I think it's a well-needed time saver. If it takes even five seconds to verify the ID at the metal detector, multiply that by thousands of pax during busy times at large airports and you could end up with significant delays. Not to mention the fact that when you have things like families with parents holding their young children's boarding passes and IDs, foreign ID and passports where it can take a moment for the agent to locate the needed info, etc. you could really create a backlog at the metal detector. I have my complaints about the current security process, but cutting delays by splitting up the screening and the ID checking isn't one of them.



F L Y D E L T A J E T S
User currently offlinePHLJJS From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 9048 times:

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 18):
I think it's a well-needed time saver. If it takes even five seconds to verify the ID at the metal detector, multiply that by thousands of pax during busy times at large airports and you could end up with significant delays. Not to mention the fact that when you have things like families with parents holding their young children's boarding passes and IDs, foreign ID and passports where it can take a moment for the agent to locate the needed info, etc. you could really create a backlog at the metal detector. I have my complaints about the current security process, but cutting delays by splitting up the screening and the ID checking isn't one of them.

How about people who aren't flying? With the current system, they are sent away before they enter the line. If you eliminate the ID checkers, these people would get all the way through the line and start putting thier belongings in the xray machine and then get stopped when they try to walk through the metal detector. That would be a mess.


User currently offlineGilligan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 8998 times:

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 7):
As I said, there is a big hole in the security, based on your story -

A technical one is all. He still had to go through the metal detector and his belongings were still x-rayed so by the time he came out the other side theoretically he should have been a sterilized as everyone else.

There is no real reason for non flying persons not to be allowed down into the concourses other than it slows down already slow lines.


User currently offlineLredlefsen From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8799 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 1):
The TSA is checking to see if you are a selectee. THis means that you are supposed to go through extra screening. Usually you are sent to a different line anyway.

You're kidding, right?

What stops me from printing my own boarding pass, sans the Scarlet Letter? More and more airlines allow their pax to check in online, printing their own boarding passes...

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 3):
Just goes to show how good the security is at MSP.

Actually, if what FlyDeltaJets says is true, it goes to show how broken TSA's security system is.

There are a lot of other loopholes:

http://www.slate.com/id/2113157/fr/rss/

Who designed this nutty system, anyway?


User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3195 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8712 times:

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 20):
There is no real reason for non flying persons not to be allowed down into the concourses other than it slows down already slow lines.

It also makes the terminal areas a lot less crowded. I recall noticing the difference, how less crowded and more pleasant the terminals were after this rule was put in place.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8699 times:

I am not positive, but I believe the policy for the TSA to take your boarding pass is for this reason: should they decide to screen you or should you run through or something, they have your boarding pass in their hands which helps prevent you from getting on board and helps them identify your name later.

That's the only reason i can think of off hand.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8485 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8686 times:

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 20):
There is no real reason for non flying persons not to be allowed down into the concourses other than it slows down already slow lines.

Uh? Better security is likely the main reason. No airport I know allows non-flying public beyond the security checkpoints and into the concourse, and it's not a coincidence. That applies to airports in the US, Europe, and Asia that I have traveled through. The main reason is that in theory, with a boarding pass you've been pre-screened in some way. If you're a bad guy, and want to get into a concourse, you must buy a ticket which significantly reduces your chance of success. It also reduces the volume of work on the security personel which in theory should allow them to perform their job better and more efficiently.

One of the most basic rules of security is, allow only access to those who need it. That applies to everything, whether it be airport security, computer networks, or some music concert.


25 TransWorldSTL : In my exeriences, when you get the SSSS, by the time you're done with your additional screening, your boarding pass looks like a gay pride ticket... E
26 Hamad : i flew to SAN through SFO from PHX, on a one way ticket twice, i have never had to be an SSSSS selectee. i actually asked a friend who works for Unite
27 Lredlefsen : They don't hold on to your boarding pass -- they just look at it and then give it back to you. Maybe they scribble some stuff on it with a highlighte
28 Ikramerica : They give it back to YOU because you are free to move on. If you are pulled aside, they don't give it back to you until they are through with you, wh
29 LHR777 : They're just seeing if you have a comedy name, so they can get the boarding pass re-printed later and stick it on the noticeboard in their restroom..
30 MD11Engineer : First, no person, who is not travelling on any of the departing flights within the next hours is supposed to enter the sterile area. The security guar
31 Post contains images M180up : If you are a selectee you won't be able to print your boarding pass online, you will receive a message to see a costumer service agent at the airport
32 Post contains links Lredlefsen : I guess I wasn't being entirely clear: what stops a bad guy from printing a (*gasp*!) fake boarding pass sans the Scarlet Letter at home? Put the fak
33 M180up : But when he gets to the last point the fake boarding pass won't read on the machine. But I'm getting your point, you mean getting the fake boarding p
34 Lredlefsen : Exaxctly. Let me try to reword what I wrote: 1. Print fake boarding pass without "SSS" at home. 2. Check in at the airport as normal. Collect your re
35 Post contains images Lredlefsen : Ah -- you're right, I've never been "selected". I'm guessing that might change, given my recent posts in this thread...
36 Lfutia : mmmhmmm. cant get into the airport without a ticket. and Indian security checks over your ticket for a good 5-10 seconds before you actually do enter
37 JBo : Except that at many airports, the SSSS boarding pass will be hole-punched or marked in some other fashion by TSA after the additional screening has t
38 Post contains links Lredlefsen : OK, so in addition to my kid's highlighter set, I've got to bring along a hole punch, and maybe a couple of strawberry scratch-and-sniff stickers, to
39 DeltaGator : At least in ATL they check your ID against your ticket which always causes issues with me since Delta puts my middle initial onto my first name. I've
40 Phoenixflyer : I remember seeing people waiting by the gate when I was in Australia over the summer. If I remember correctly I also dont think I had to show anyone
41 Hawaiian717 : I can see how at a hub airport like ATL with a large amount of connecting traffic, it wouldn't seem to be as big of a difference. The difference is m
42 DeltaGator : For a while after 9/11 the crowds in ATL did go down but now that DL is pushing more flights through there the crowds are back to bad and worse. I can
43 Gilligan : How is it better? Flying or not if you go onto the concourse you have to be screened. Even the employees that aren't going anywhere but to work get s
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