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AC messed up our flight due to SSSS mistake

AC messed up our flight due to SSSS mistake

Old Feb 21, 20, 8:37 am
  #1  
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AC messed up our flight due to SSSS mistake

My SO got SSSS'd, no big deal of course. After security, we went to the AC and asked for and received an SDC (no charge as an EXP). They took our BPs, tore them up and gave us the new ones.

At boarding, we could not board as they had to see the original SSSS'd BP. We did not know that you have to have original SSSS'd BP (that is signed and punched) as proof to GA that SSSS was OK. They tried to call security to get clearance. An AA supervisor was called, they tried to get TSA over, but had to close the flight and we missed it. SO went through security again chaperoned by apologetic AA supervisor

Went back to the AC they were actually unapologetic (four of them sitting in a very quiet time of day) and just said, we are not GAs how can we know that rule? (Some apologies and compassion would have been the more appropriate response...)

Is it common knowledge that you must hold on to an SSSS'd BP?

How can AC agents, that handle seat and flight changes all the time not know that rule?
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Old Feb 21, 20, 8:44 am
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I've never heard of that. How would this work for a mobile BP - if you make a change and refresh it, there is no way to get to the old one.

I'm surprised the gate even knows/cares about SSSS. I thought that was at the TSA security theater only.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 8:49 am
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Couldn't the GAs simply look in their trash (assuming it hadn't been taken away) for the torn up BPs to at least show the original SSSS?
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Old Feb 21, 20, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
I'm surprised the gate even knows/cares about SSSS. I thought that was at the TSA security theater only.
Not that it would necessarily apply here, but flying LHR-LAX last year I got SSSS on my bp and had to be checked at the departure gate in London.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
I've never heard of that. How would this work for a mobile BP - if you make a change and refresh it, there is no way to get to the old one.

I'm surprised the gate even knows/cares about SSSS. I thought that was at the TSA security theater only.
You can't get a mobile boarding pass if you have SSSS.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 8:57 am
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Just curious, at what airport did this happen?

I too have never heard of this.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 9:02 am
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I believe that if you get SSSS'd you can't get a mobile boarding pass. Though, in all of my flying, and taking pride in knowing the TSA rules so I can argue with them, I never would have thought that you needed to keep the original boarding pass.

Couldn't you have gone back to the Admirals club and get back the old torn up pass? I would assume that the trash wouldn't have been emptied by then (unless, perhaps, the flight was at night).
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Old Feb 21, 20, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by MiamiAirport Formerly NY George View Post
Couldn't the GAs simply look in their trash (assuming it hadn't been taken away) for the torn up BPs to at least show the original SSSS?
They indeed did but couldn't see the SSSS BP as it was under a heap of torn up barclay's credit card apps.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 9:26 am
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I’ve been checked at the gate after a SSSS in Zurich by AA in the past.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Not that it would necessarily apply here, but flying LHR-LAX last year I got SSSS on my bp and had to be checked at the departure gate in London.
When flying intl to USA a "small" fraction of pax get SSSS'd and must "endure" extra security at the gate. AA has a list of those pax and will check to see that they've been screened. I'm in TSA PC and my bps (if I'm not SSSS'd) show TSA PC, even though it has no significance outside of the USA.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 10:54 am
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I have the dubious honor of being SSSSíd on the majority of my return trips to the USA (currently awaiting redress inquiry). My experience at LAX recently is that if you try another BP, after being SSSSíd, the new BP WILL NOT scan and will return an error (I goofed and lost track of my connecting BP so had to reprint). But AA systems / kiosks / etc. will still print a new BP with no indication to the passenger that the BP is not valid. CLEAR reps and TSA were not sure why and had no idea it was due to SSSS. Thankfully I finally found my original BP crumpled up at the bottom of my carryon.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 10:54 am
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In my experience, TSA puts a sticker on the BP after going through the SSSS process. In my case, I had SSSS printed on an BGI-MIA flight, though it wasn't printed on the connection BP.

First time around, my connecting BP couldn't be scanned at TSA, so they just let me through. I had AA reprint the BP at the gate. When they scanned it while boarding, something to the effect of Verify SSSS did pop up on their display, though they simply scanned it again without looking and I boarded.

This process repeated itself a few hours later when we deplaned, and boarded again due to a mechanical issue. We ended up having to deplane again after 1am, and overnight in MIA due to another mechanical problem.

In the morning, TSA scanned the newly printed BP, and SSSS showed up, even though it wasn't printed on the BP. I went through the entire SSSS process at that time.

This is one of those things where the GA is supposed to check, but many never bother.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 11:24 am
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I was going BOG-MIA-EWR and received SSSS. I bought another mileage ticket for later that day, checked in, and got precheck to get through TSA (since the MIA regular line was long) and had no issues boarding with my SSSS MIA-EWR ticket. I never went through TSA with my MIA-EWR SSSS ticket..
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Old Feb 21, 20, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by AA100k View Post
Iíve been checked at the gate after a SSSS in Zurich by AA in the past.
Twice in the last 3 months were I was connecting in Zurich I got the SSSS, connecting thru LHR, no problem... so maybe Zurich has it in for me.
Both times, I had the original BP with some notes that I had been cleared... never thought about having my BP reprinted.. it made no sense to me
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Old Feb 21, 20, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by seaskybound View Post
My SO got SSSS'd, no big deal of course. After security, we went to the AC and asked for and received an SDC (no charge as an EXP). They took our BPs, tore them up and gave us the new ones.

At boarding, we could not board as they had to see the original SSSS'd BP. We did not know that you have to have original SSSS'd BP (that is signed and punched) as proof to GA that SSSS was OK. They tried to call security to get clearance. An AA supervisor was called, they tried to get TSA over, but had to close the flight and we missed it. SO went through security again chaperoned by apologetic AA supervisor

Went back to the AC they were actually unapologetic (four of them sitting in a very quiet time of day) and just said, we are not GAs how can we know that rule? (Some apologies and compassion would have been the more appropriate response...)

Is it common knowledge that you must hold on to an SSSS'd BP?

How can AC agents, that handle seat and flight changes all the time not know that rule?
Encountering SSSS boarding passes at ACs in the US isn’t all that common, although eventually they should see it. And those that they do encounter are mostly for passengers who are connecting and already originated the day’s travel at airports outside of the US on the same itinerary and had already been cleared to fly on the itinerary and flew earlier in the day.

Gate agents who encounter SSSS boarding passes in the US are supposed to make sure the presented boarding pass indicates that the passenger has been subjected to SSSS screening and cleared by TSA or, if the passenger has originated travel on the same itinerary that day from another airport, see the other boarding pass or ticket indicates having been cleared by the TSA and having flown already and just connecting. If they don’t see any such indication, such SSSS passengers are not to be allowed to board the flight until the TSA clears them as SSSS passengers.

As a sort of hoarder of paper, I would be unlikely to end up in a situation like the OP’s even as I used to get my share of SSSS boarding passes for flights on trips where I originated abroad.

Last edited by GUWonder; Feb 21, 20 at 11:52 am
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