UTA_flyinghigh
Topic Author
Posts: 6304
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:46 pm

Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:34 pm

Hey all,

On Friday evening CO22 was overbooked (as always would I be tempted to say) so they asked for volunteers to get bumped (500$ voucher, hotel, yadda, yadda).

My wife and myself took it along with 4 other people and guess what ? we all got "SSSS" on the new BP's (even though I'm PE and wife is SE).

Upon questioning it, CO told us we had been "randomly selected by the TSA" whereas the TSA claimed it was the airline's doing.

Thanks to this preferential treatment my wife is now refusing to set foot in the US again.

Has anyone else taken the bump and got the dreaded letters ?

UTA
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:53 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
Upon questioning it, CO told us we had been "randomly selected by the TSA" whereas the TSA claimed it was the airline's doing.

If you can actually prove it was the airline's doing, I would not only fly them again but I would file a discrimination claim against them.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13808
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:02 pm

Why would the airline do that to someone who just helped them out?

And how sensitive is your wife that she won't come back to the US because she was subjected to extra random screening?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:06 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
And how sensitive is your wife that she won't come back to the US because she was subjected to extra random screening?

Given that both of them were "randomly" selected when they were already approved "randomly" to board without extra screening, and you add the uncertainty of just why they were chosen, she has plenty to complain about.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
UTA_flyinghigh
Topic Author
Posts: 6304
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:46 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:22 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
Why would the airline do that to someone who just helped them out?

You have to ask that to CO as we all had the "SSSS", I saw it with my own eyes. None of us had them on the original BP's.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
And how sensitive is your wife that she won't come back to the US because she was subjected to extra random screening?

How would you like to have the contents of your handbag and hand luggage emptied in trays with a really insensitive TSA agent asking stupid questions ?
Furthermore when you don't travel that much and are used to being relatively well treated by European security screening it does make a difference.

BTW even with SSSS razors get through  Yeah sure

UTA  checkeredflag 
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:33 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 4):
BTW even with SSSS razors get through

If you are talking about shaving razors, they have always gotten through. They are not dangerous and are not banned.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:34 pm

Very interesting. I always understood it was the TSA that set the standard for the SSSS bullshit. Now they tell you it was the carrier???

Hmmmm, I'd get to the bottom of this if you really want to know - and then post it here for everyone. Perhaps you can get a CO rep and a TSA idiot on the same square of carpet and ask them.

What seems fishy to me:

None of you had it on your original flight and all of you had it on the rebooked flight.

If you weren't a threat on day X before you voluntarily bumped, then why were you a threat on day Y? Silly assed rule anyway . . . as aer most of things coming out of the TSA (lighters in-fricckin-deed).
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Nimish
Posts: 2911
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:54 pm

My experience is that a last minute change to the booking means you're a good target for that 4 letter word.

I changed my flight to an earlier flight once (on UA for LAX-SFO), and the new boarding pass had SSSS on it.
Incredible India!
 
Doona
Posts: 3382
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:43 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:08 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
Has anyone else taken the bump and got the dreaded letters ?

Been a SSSS a few times, not when bumped though. But yeah, it's all bullshit. The carrier told me that it was the TSA, while TSA said that I had been selected by the airline for a special screening.

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
CPH757
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:40 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:17 pm

Well, I would hardly call it discrimination. You have been caught up by some "random" selection, probably based on a lot of factors, like last minute rebooking. If your bump has been read as this in some system, you are tagged.

Although annoying, that's the way air traffic works in the US. I don't defend it in anyway, but don't take it personal. It could happen to anyone, right?
Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
 
industrybuff
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 9:36 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:06 pm

Hi All

I had my first experience with SSSS in LAX in September flying HP LAX to LAS. Im airline staff and was on a standby fare - out comes the boarding pass and also the SSSS code, it was totally scary and made me ask why I got selected. When I arrived in LAS (still shaking might I add), I sought out a HP rep and they advised that you will be selected 100% of the time if you
1) book on the same day of travel, 2) pay with cash at the airport or 3) Buy a one way fare on the day of travel ......

I will make sure I list for all my flights before the day of travel in future !!

horrible experience....

Cheers
 
MEA-707
Posts: 3672
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:12 pm

I think you all overdramatize this SSSS thing. I get SSSS-ed on many of my flights in the USA and was usually dealt with pretty friendly and quick.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4955
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:24 pm

Would you like some cheese with your whine?
 Smile
It IS the TSA that sets the standards.
I believe that anyone who has already obtained a boarding pass, and then changes their flight plan, is a potential suspect. I can see their reasoning, can't you? It's also part of the reason why baggage can no longer fly on an airplane if the person to whom it belongs isn't seated on that airplane.

How would I like to have the contents of your handbag and hand luggage emptied in trays with a really insensitive TSA agent asking stupid questions?
I'd love to- it was a part of airline travel for three years after September eleventh. Surely you haven't forgotten what happened on that date, have you?

Furthermore when you don't travel that much and are used to being relatively well treated by European security screening it does make a difference.
Well then maybe we'd both be happier if you limited your travel to the European continent.
But avoid Israel- I hear their security (and El Al's- the airline that DOES discriminate, and DOES violate your personal space with NO APOLOGY- and more power to them) makes ours look like a joke.

 Yeah sure
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16026
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:34 pm

What code are you talking in? SSSS, PE, SE, BP... 123, ABC... what? I've got a headache.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:37 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 5):
If you are talking about shaving razors, they have always gotten through. They are not dangerous and are not banned.

Depends on the type of razor. I stopped shaving with a straight razor in September 2001.
 
atmx2000
Posts: 4301
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:24 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:45 pm

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 13):
SSSS

SSSS is the code on a boarding pass that indicates you will be subjected to more extensive screening.

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 13):
BP

Boarding pass

I have no idea what SE and PE are.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
User avatar
yowza
Posts: 4282
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:45 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
And how sensitive is your wife that she won't come back to the US because she was subjected to extra random screening?

I don't consider myself sensitive yet I avoid the flying through the US like the plague (even though it is significantly cheaper on many journeys)

I'm 6' tall with tan skin and dark hair. I have a non-Christian name (and non-Muslim for that matter not that the tool at the TSA would be able to tell). To the TSA's "random" selection process the chances of me getting some extra attention is close to 100%.

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 4):
How would you like to have the contents of your handbag and hand luggage emptied in trays with a really insensitive TSA agent asking stupid questions ?

I don't like being treated like Osama's right hand man by US customs but I realize there is no way around it given my appearance. At least your search was based on you being re-issued tickets on the date of travel my numerous searches was based on my skin colour and name.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 12):
Surely you haven't forgotten what happened on that date, have you?

Wow, facetious and patronizing and yet meaningless at the same time.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 12):
Well then maybe we'd both be happier if you limited your travel to the European continent.

As I mentioned above I avoid flying in the US like the plague, don't get me wrong I love parts of the US and have many, many great friends and family (both naturalized and born) there but until the TSA adopts a more scientific approach to its screening selections, US air travel will be as a last resort for me.

Stories like this one being a good indicator of the state of things.

YOWza
 
atmx2000
Posts: 4301
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:24 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:51 pm

Quoting YOWza (Reply 16):
I don't like being treated like Osama's right hand man by US customs but I realize there is no way around it given my appearance. At least your search was based on you being re-issued tickets on the date of travel my numerous searches was based on my skin colour and name.

How would you know that?
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
n844aa
Posts: 1266
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:38 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:52 pm

Quoting Industrybuff (Reply 10):
I had my first experience with SSSS in LAX in September flying HP LAX to LAS. Im airline staff and was on a standby fare - out comes the boarding pass and also the SSSS code, it was totally scary and made me ask why I got selected. When I arrived in LAS (still shaking might I add), I sought out a HP rep and they advised that you will be selected 100% of the time if you

What exactly did they do to you to distress you so much? I've been SSSS'd ... oh, three or four times (once when I lost my driver's license on the way to the airport -- d'oh!) and it's irritating, but a.) sometimes quicker going through the special SSSS line and b.) certainly not on the level of a body cavity search. Or maybe it was for you. Anyway, I'm curious as to why exactly your experience was so bad.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 12):
I'd love to- it was a part of airline travel for three years after September eleventh. Surely you haven't forgotten what happened on that date, have you?

No one's forgotten that. But there's plenty of reason to wonder if the current approach to aviation security is sane/effective/efficient/metric of your choosing. Certainly if it was an upsetting experience for UTA_flyinghigh, it could have been handled better. My interactions with the TSA have been overwhelmingly positive, but I know considerable potential exists for an unnecessarily unpleasant screening experience.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
UTA_flyinghigh
Topic Author
Posts: 6304
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:46 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:57 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 15):
I have no idea what SE and PE are.

Ooops I forget that A.net is not FT.  Wink

PE = Platinum Elite, GE = Gold Elite, SE = Silver Elite; in short tier levels in FF programs.

UTA  checkeredflag 
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
Jumpseat70
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:52 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:04 pm

Beginning 2006, the criteria for Secondary Search will change. There will be "more random searches" according to the Director of Homeland Security.
It seems too many people are understanding the criteria, including the bad boys. (you have all discussed it here)

By the way Homeland sets the rules, TSA implements then, but the computer assigns the dreaded SSS.
"Up, Up and away with TWA"
 
User avatar
yowza
Posts: 4282
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:13 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 17):
How would you know that?

After finishing university I spent 6months travelling in the US and South America as a group of 5 friends. We always booked our tickets at the same time and always flew together. Our group could be profiled as follows:

Name Etymology | Passport | Age | Gender | Skin Colour
1 Christian/Enlgish Canadian 22 M White
2 Christian/Nordic Canadian 22 M White
3 Christian/Spanish Canadian 22 M Tan
4 Russian/Russian Canadian 22 M White
5 Hindu/Hindu Canadian 22 M Tan

In this 6 months period we flew through ROC, DFW, MCO, JFK, LAS, LAX, MKE, LGB, PHL, ORD, PHX. Not only was I the only one of us 5 ever given special "love" by security I was given this special treatment no less than 9 times.

By process of elimination if you're non-white and have a non-christian name, pencil in some extra time for security.

I realize keeping the skies safe is imperative but there is a real imbalance in how people are treated. We drove down to Rochester from Canada and the border guards were thorough but still respectful and fair in their duties, something I can't say for airport security in the US.

YOWza
 
atmx2000
Posts: 4301
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:24 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:31 pm

Quoting YOWza (Reply 21):
By process of elimination if you're non-white and have a non-christian name, pencil in some extra time for security.

Well I am non-white and have what most would not recognize as a Christian name, and have only been SSSSed once when I flew on a one-way ticket. Special screening didn't mount to much more than going through a separate line and getting wanded. And the rest of the people in the special screening line were mostly white. I would suggest that something more than your name and skin color triggered the special screening, even if they did contribute to it.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:16 pm

I don't know what exactly goes on, but my understanding is that the "SSSS" determination is made in the reservation system of the airline but using a set of [confidential] criteria supplied by the TSA... It's not like there's a button the agent hits that says "Screen 'em extra hard". (Perhaps there is, in addition to the automated criteria)

For what its worth, though, it appears from my limited eavesdropping that the airlines do mantain some level of control... While I was at LAS waiting at the podium to ask a question and two agents were talking...

"You know those 6 people that Northwest is sending us off their Detroit flight?"
"Yeah"
"Every single one of them got hit with 'SSSS'"
"Really, all of them?"
"Yes"
"Just tell them not to worry about it, I'll go to the checkpoint and waive them through" (or something to that effect)
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12500
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:23 pm

Part of reasonining for the 'random' SSSS (Special Stupid Security Stuff) is to keep a wide range of people guessing and concerned of possible additional screening rather than on certain narrow criteria (middle eastern appearance, name, nationality). If you are too narrow and don't look at others, then you get people like Richard Reid of shoe bomb fame. If you have a broad program, then you catch the pregant Irish national wife of an Islamic terrorist who had a bomb on her and to board an ELAL flight at LHR a number of years ago ElAl's security caught her with their everyone is a suspect security. If you make it too predictable as to security, that is know what the security is looking for or who they look at, then you get 9/11 attacks.
 
jonathan-l
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 4:20 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:29 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 19):

PE = Platinum Elite, GE = Gold Elite, SE = Silver Elite; in short tier levels in FF programs.

I'm glad random screening has nothing to do with frequent flyer status.
 
User avatar
malaysia
Posts: 2616
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:26 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:40 pm

Airline Employees who fly non-rev often end up as SSSS passengers anyway.
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
User avatar
KaiGywer
Crew
Posts: 11182
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:59 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:50 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
Thanks to this preferential treatment my wife is now refusing to set foot in the US again.

Boohoo, cry me a river. If this is her biggest concern in the world, I'd say she must live a pretty easy life.

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 4):
How would you like to have the contents of your handbag and hand luggage emptied in trays with a really insensitive TSA agent asking stupid questions ?

Been there done that several times. So what, you step aside, they look thru your bag and wand you quick. Then off you go.. hell, flying MSP-AMS I got on the plane faster, as they had a special SSSS line while boarding. Everyone with SSSS was told to go see the TSA, and when they were done with you, you were sent down to the plane, regardless of where they were in the boarding process.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:53 am

The last two times I stood-by for an earlier flight, my new boarding pass/security document had SSSS on it.
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13808
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:16 am

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 4):
Furthermore when you don't travel that much and are used to being relatively well treated by European security screening it does make a difference.

Funny, I saw you post, then double checked when it said PE and SE, because to me, if she's SE, she travels "that much" which is why I felt and feel she is overreacting. Now, if she isn't really silver elite and doesn't really have much experience, I get it, but if she is silver, then I say she is overreacting.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 16):
I don't consider myself sensitive yet I avoid the flying through the US like the plague (even though it is significantly cheaper on many journeys)

Flying THROUGH the US? We don't tend to market ourselves as a transit point. In fact, recent laws discourage this. Thus anyone using the USA as a transit point after our government (for better or worse) has made it pretty clear we don't want you to transit, well, you are likely going to get some extra scrutiny, no matter what your skin color.

Quoting Ejmmsu (Reply 28):
The last two times I stood-by for an earlier flight, my new boarding pass/security document had SSSS on it.

Part of this comes from how you answer the questions as to WHY you want to stand by or missed your flight or what have you.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:20 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 29):
Part of this comes from how you answer the questions as to WHY you want to stand by or missed your flight or what have you.

I don't belive there were any questions asked. I went to the NW counter, said "I'm on the 12:36 to DTW, I was wondering if you had any space available on the 9:10 flight." "I sure do, here is a new boarding pass" "You do... Great... Thanks for you help"

There were no questions asked.
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
xjramper
Posts: 2318
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:10 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:27 am

I cannot tell all the info about it, but if your flight was changed inside of a 24 hour window prior to the flight, you will get selected.

If it is that big of a deal, take a boat or a train to get here. It was one flight, one time, and one flight.

CO btw, had absolutely nothing to do with that, nor does any airline.

And your wife seems to be too much of a little diva if she cannot handle 5 extra minutes once through the detectors. Sorry if that offends you, but i have very little patience for those who complain, especially something this stupid.



XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
georgiaame
Posts: 955
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:00 am

Please, spare me the sob story. You don't want to come to the States? Fine. Stay home. I'm sure you don't like jet lag anyway.

I have had elite status for ages. It means you may go through a shorter line only. And the only time I've gotten ticked with security was returning to the States in Amsterdam with Delta. I was screen at check in, screened entering the secure area, rescreened with bags opened prior to boarding the aircraft. (And important me, with all those neat little yellow security stickers plastered all over the outside of my passport, and several "x-ray" on my luggage. Big time terror suspect here. The stamps, do seem to impress my fellow travelers and small children much more than the visa stamps inside the passport) And guess what? They found nothing on me! Wasn't that a big surprise? And I love telling the bozoes who are rifling my shaving kit, after they close it, that they missed one of the not so hidden compartments, that bad things could be in there. I make them take it out again, and open it again. I have nothing to hide, but maybe they will learn to do a better job when they chose a less politically expedient passenger than I am, next time around. I am a lot more comfortable with the no fly lists or the heavy search list the Feds are compiling than with the unionized ground security people. So cooperate, and board the dammed aircraft so all of us get take off on time.

So Mrs UTA, enjoy the high Irish prices, enjoy the warm Irish winter. It's really nice in Florida and southern California these days. And damn, hotels here in the States are so cheap these days! Crime is down, gas, while high, doesn't compare to European prices. Car rentals are dirt cheap. Restaurant dining is a song compared to Europe these days. Wish you were here, but I am sure you will be much happier by never setting foot into our horrible country again. All the best!
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
User avatar
yowza
Posts: 4282
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:32 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 29):
Flying THROUGH the US? We don't tend to market ourselves as a transit point. In fact, recent laws discourage this. Thus anyone using the USA as a transit point after our government (for better or worse) has made it pretty clear we don't want you to transit, well, you are likely going to get some extra scrutiny, no matter what your skin color.

Well when flying from Canada to South Africa ATL is quite attractive especially as I have friends and family there so if it were not such a pain I would visit Atlanta at one end or another of my journey.

Because I live in Ottawa and YOW enjoys very little international service I used to fly into Philly a fair bit to get places, nowadays I either fly into YYZ or suck up the drive to YUL.

What law is this you are talking about? I've never heard anything about the US discouraging transit. I would like to read up on it so info would be appreciated.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 32):
So Mrs UTA

That last paragraph you shared with us is perhpas the most infantile thing I have ever read on this site. Considering how chippy A vs B threads get that's really saying something. Your profile says you're a physician. Either that's a lie or you're a pediatrician and have been influenced by your patients. As for restaurant being a "song" I don't think too many people go to the US to explore its culinary delights. :|
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:32 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 6):
I always understood it was the TSA that set the standard for the SSSS bullshit.

During my last visits in the U.S., I got SSSS on my bp only on one instance:
Flying AA (actually American Eagle) SNA - SJC the auto-checkin didn´t work for me. The counter agent I had to see was making comments about me using a german drivers license as form of ID, which does not have an expiry date. I ended up with the dreadded SSSS on my bp.
Related facts:
I´ve had made flights on WN, UAX, B6 and HPEx the very days before as well as UAX and AS in the days after - on every single one I had no problems with my german drivers license as ID (I use it as photo-ID as it´s smaller and therefore easier to handle than a passport, which was in my shoulder bag).
So, to my conclusion it WAS the airline´s staff who was responsible to put that SSSS on my bp !

The positive thing about this very SSSS was, that once I had shown it to the first TSA agent, I skipped a line of about 5 other pax.
The next TSA agent was very friendly, actually apologized to me that he had to perform the usual searches and I was off the search amlost faster than those 5 other pax using the normal path ...
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
HT
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:41 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 33):
What law is this you are talking about? I've never heard anything about the US discouraging transit. I would like to read up on it so info would be appreciated.

I assume the following:
Any pax transiting in the U.S. much comply with the immigration requirements setup for his nationality.
In case a foreign national cannot make use of the Visa Waiver Program, one has to apply for a visa to the U.S., even if the aircraft makes a tech´stop only (most "international" U.S. airports are not equipped with areas to keep transiting pax in sterile areas, as there is no real control upon departure)
Example: RG flies GIG - LAX - NRT, which used to be a very popular route for Brazilians. However, nowadays they have to apply for a visa to the U.S. even if they continue to NRT.
Therefore, most Brazilians now travel via Europe to Japan, as it is much easier to stay in transit in european airports which does not require to get a visa.
And RG is shelving its GIG-LAX-NRT flight ...
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
UN_B732
Posts: 3529
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:41 am

I believe airlines can influence it, as I was once on a round-trip ticket with jetBlue, the agent was rude and treated us inferiorly as we were speaking in a foreign language (I saw her attitude with other passengers) (I did wind up complaining, B6 was great.. really OT)
But she gave us all SSSS (a family traveling together round-trip to NYC with tickets purchased well in advance) and put orange stickers on our BPs. I think it was her influence, as I have flown that trip many times without SSSS.
-Mr. X
What now?
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:45 am

Quoting HT (Reply 34):
During my last visits in the U.S., I got SSSS on my bp only on one instance:
Flying AA (actually American Eagle) SNA - SJC the auto-checkin didn´t work for me. The counter agent I had to see was making comments about me using a german drivers license as form of ID, which does not have an expiry date. I ended up with the dreadded SSSS on my bp.

If I am not mistaken, the reason the auto-checkin didn't work for you was BECAUSE you had the "dreaded SSSS" on your boarding pass...that said, somebody else here will likely be more than happy to correct me.  Smile
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
petazulu
Posts: 683
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:32 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:04 am

UTA,
If your wife will no longer fly to the US over a SSSS screening, she is perhaps a bit too sensitive? All the extra screening involves is a little extra love and and a wanding. It usually takes 2 minutes or less. I don't get how this is a big deal. In my experience, whebever I fly last minute or make last minute changes to my flight- I get SSSS. I am used to it. Get off the high horse- you made $500 for geting bumped!- or take a boat next time.
 
phljjs
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:26 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa

Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:07 am

The reason for the SSSS is because of the change to the reservation. You took the later flight, accepted compensation and because of you took a later flight, the computer automatically printed out a BP with SSSS. Changing your reservation gets you SSSS, however, the CO agent should have noticed this and reprinted the BP without SSSS as they are allowed to do. Instead, she took the lazy route and fed you a line that it's TSA's fault and sent you on your way.
Now, years ago the FAA came up with SSSS and the TSA inherited it and decided to keep it. TSA sets up the parameters for how to get on the list and distributes a no-fly list and a selectee list to each airline monthly. Each airline then checks passengers against each list and enforces the findings of the check. Each airline must also randomly select a percentage of passengers for SSSS. Also, each airline keeps their own selectee list for their passengers whose travel patterns consistently mirror any of the TSA parameters. That's why you could be SSSS everytime you fly CO, but never SSSS on B6. I don't agree with SSSS, but it's a way of life and won't be going away anytime soon.

[Edited 2006-01-09 20:09:20]
 
A319XFW
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:41 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:32 am

I've only flown out of the US twice, but once I got the 'SSSS' treatment.

HOWEVER, this was probably because I was 3 hours early for my flight (I thought I had 2 hours, but the clocks had gone back that night!) and therefore had plenty of time for the extra security checks.
Perhaps because you were bumped (to a later flight?) you had more time than the others on your original flight and therefore got the 'special' treatment.
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:53 am

I've gotten SSSS everytime I fly Standby... I don't have a problem with it, as I have nothing to hide. In fact, I find that I usually get to the front of the line at major airports and get through security faster than I would have if I would have gone through Standard Security... SuperSpecialSecurityScreening. I'm game... Shouldn't whine unless you have something to hide.
Puhdiddle
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:19 am

I was never picked out for this special SSSS screening, even not when I flew FRA-JFK and return on the same day and also not when I flew HAM-CDG-DTW-LAX on a Saturday and return on the day later. I always thought that such unusual routings and short stays make you suspicious but apparently is it not the case.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:43 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 14):
Depends on the type of razor. I stopped shaving with a straight razor in September 2001.

I was talking about a typical safety razor.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
MDorBust
Posts: 4914
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:10 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:33 pm

Seriously is it that much of a pain to you?

You got your stuff tossed and were on your way right?

They didn't take any special pictures of the wife or confiscate any belongings right?

You still made the flight and got to the same place as all the other passengers?

Was it really that bad to miss an extra five minutes sitting in the gate area?
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:44 pm

Quoting Nimish (Reply 7):
My experience is that a last minute change to the booking means you're a good target for that 4 letter word.

I've had the same experience.

I was "randomly" selected for additional screening in OAK last week, and it was both a joke and incredibly inefficient. TSA was so short handed that the employee running the Xray would look at a few bags, then go over and help the employee swabbing the bags for ionscan. It was a good thing I arrived early......

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 12):
I believe that anyone who has already obtained a boarding pass, and then changes their flight plan, is a potential suspect. I can see their reasoning, can't you?

Not in the case described above. If I voluntarily change my flight at the last minute on my own accord, sure. But if I do it at the airline's request, it makes NO sense whatsoever. Which of course is why TSA does it....

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 23):
I don't know what exactly goes on, but my understanding is that the "SSSS" determination is made in the reservation system of the airline but using a set of [confidential] criteria supplied by the TSA... It's not like there's a button the agent hits that says "Screen 'em extra hard". (Perhaps there is, in addition to the automated criteria)

One of the predesignated criteria is frequent travel to certain countries of interest. Because I travel frequently to many of those countries in my work as a USG employee, I get ssss'ed frequently. Which illustrates the absurdity of the current system. I am a credentialed prosecutor, and TSA wastes their time searching me instead of a far more likely target.

Yes, I feel SO much safer..

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 27):
So what, you step aside, they look thru your bag and wand you quick

LOL, if that were indeed the case I'd volunteer for SSSS status every time. In the vast majority of US airports, it guarantees a longer processing time because of TSA's exemplary inefficiency.

And for all you cheese and whine aficionados, let me be clear - I'm not against real security. If TSA was serious about it, they'd employ rigorous pat downs like they use in FRA and other European airports for the SSSS candidates. Not the cursory wand and ionscan process currently employed. I AM against the travesty of TSA screening, which costs the taxpayer and the flying public a hell of a lot more then it should, thanks to your good friends the federal government being in charge of it. What I object to is the added hassle of going through time consuming extra screening that affords next to NO additional security. What I object to is the increased hassle inflicted upon passengers while TSA virtually ignores under the wing security. Mark my words, if a weapon of any kind is smuggled aboard an aircraft, it is MUCH more likely to be placed there by a caterer, cleaner, or other ramp employee. How many times have we read about random law enforcement sweeps of airport personnel discovering employees improperly granted credentials?
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
hz747300
Posts: 1927
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:50 pm

Quoting YOWza (Reply 16):
As I mentioned above I avoid flying in the US like the plague, don't get me wrong I love parts of the US and have many, many great friends and family (both naturalized and born) there but until the TSA adopts a more scientific approach to its screening selections, US air travel will be as a last resort for me.

And it does not have to be this way--it is very clear to everyone, but the US Government and TSA that there are definite enemies of the US and then there are people who are a lot less threatening. It wastes everyone's time by being racially sensitive and not profiling:

People who should be investigated further:
1. Tickets bought with stolen credit cards
2. Tickets bought with cash
3. One-way tickets from any of the above methods
4. One-way tickets in general
5. Citizens of the Middle-Eastern countries with any of the above
6. Citizens of the Middle-Eastern countries in general
7. People behaving suspiciously or oddly at any point at the airport
8. People travelling with little or no luggage

If at least three of the criteria are met, those people should be screened thoroughly, otherwise anyone of the criteria should garner closer inspection, especially on flights to/from either coast, or international. This is not meant to be all inclusive--just what I thought of now.

If Al-Quaeda can convince an 80-year old Danish grandmother visiting her grandchildren in the States to blow herself up inflight, I am willing to concede those, becausing I am guessing that it is going to rare.
Keep on truckin'...
 
aussieindc
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:16 am

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:35 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
On Friday evening CO22 was overbooked (as always would I be tempted to say) so they asked for volunteers to get bumped (500$ voucher, hotel, yadda, yadda).

Um, a little bit of extra TLC by the TSA for a $500 voucher, hotel, yadda, yadda..... Heck, you could give me the probe for that if it didn't inconvenience me by getting me to my destination the following day/later that day.

Honestly, there are certain criteria that makes the whole thing a little suspect. Sadly, there are a lot of examples as listed above.

Basically, if you voluntarily offload or change your flight plans to a later time, you'll get the lovely SSSS code on your BP. If it's invol, you will invariably not get it as it wasn't your doing!

BTW, if your wife is refusing to travel to the US again, is the voucher transferable? I could do with a $500 voucher for travel. Thanks very much!

Cheers,
Aussieindc
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:42 pm

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 46):
2. Tickets bought with cash

Since when is it a crime to pay with cash?

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 46):
5. Citizens of the Middle-Eastern countries with any of the above
6. Citizens of the Middle-Eastern countries in general

That is racism and illegal in the US

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 46):
8. People travelling with little or no luggage

Well, there go the business travellers.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
hz747300
Posts: 1927
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Volunteer For The Bump And Get Ssss Free! Rhaa!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:55 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 48):
Since when is it a crime to pay with cash?

It's not - but it would raise a flag.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 48):
That is racism and illegal in the US

As long as people feel that way, the problem will never be addressed--and no one will talk about the big elephant in the room, just pretending its not there. And this by itself does not open oneself to screening.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 48):
Well, there go the business travellers.

Again, anyone of these by themself means nothing, three or more conditions present then screen them. It's not impossible if you are determined to kill people, and/or bring down an airliner. In fact it is pretty easy--it should not be so easy and by targeting more likely candidates over others you have a better shot at preventing it. Screening someone going home to Europe after a holiday wastes everyone time.

If you are a Middle Eastern businessman travelling one way with only a carryon and paid for your ticket with cash or stolen credit card, you probably should be looked at a little more closely.
Keep on truckin'...

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos