Got a trip to the United States planned any time soon? Well, now you might have another thing to worry about on top of all the concerns you might have had since Donald Trump’s election as president.
You might have been unfortunate enough to be held up upon arriving at an American airport in the past, but now you’ve got the added bonus of knowing in advance that you’re likely to face an extra wait.
On top of that, if you’ve got a connecting flight awaiting you once you reach US soil, your long haul flight will be spent stressing about the ordeal that awaits you on the other side, so you can’t even nap on the plane!
And just when you’d finally stopped panicking about the windows, too.
It’s all down to a four-letter code: SSSS. If you see that on your boarding pass then it’s time to mentally prepare yourself for what will likely happen.
SSSS stands for ‘Secondary Security Screening Selection’ – essentially that means you’ve been picked out for an additional security check, on top of all those regular ones you get whenever you fly anywhere.
That means you won’t want to faff about in duty free before your flight, as you’ll probably be spending a lot longer going through extra checks, from bag searches to extra scrutiny on ID checks.
In theory, those subject to SSSS are chosen randomly, though some people have complained on social media about repeatedly finding themselves ‘randomly selected’.
If you’re planning a longer stay in the States, things won’t get any easier.
The categorisation affects domestic flights as well as international ones, so no one is safe.
Well, apart from the people made safer by potentially dangerous people being scrutinised more than usual. They’re safe – or at least that’s how the US authorities will surely frame things.
(Images: iStock/Rex Features)