Can a Check in Agent add SSSS to your PNR?

 
Old Feb 19, 07, 1:10 pm
  #1  
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Can a Check in Agent add SSSS to your PNR?

I recently booked a HNL-PDX rt and upgraded using a upgrade cert (both ways, thanks Manoa Chris). I can't do OLCI so go to the counter/kiosk to check in. After waiting several minutes for the agent to finally help me (not sure why HNL can be such a zoo sometimes), she checks me in. She doesn't use the terminal in front of me, but went down two more to print the boarding pass. All the while, she is wispering to a person beside her (a supervisor of some sort, I assume). She tags by bag and hands me my boarding pass. I didn't notice the SSSS until I got to the TSA screening. I have never been tagged SSSS in all the 100,000s of miles since they came up with this program. I was wondering if she had the ability to add it in there? Of course, when I went in to check in for my return flight, it had the SSSS on that BP as well. I asked the checkin agent in PDX if this was truly random and she said it is supposed to be. I asked her if she had the ability to take it out (figured since I was active duty in the military I might be exempt). She wasn't able to. The PDX WC didn't understand my question. I thought I would ask your opinions. Thanks. A side note, the TSA agents in PDX seem to be a bit more friendly. I asked them if I could be exempt from SSSS screening and he said only if I was traveling on official orders and in uniform.
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Old Feb 19, 07, 2:37 pm
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Not sure about their ability to add, but I've been flagged a few times when I got bumped.

One time was in CAE and the counter agent actually got me 'exempted' from the SSSS somehow (she knew it was a ticket re-issue and was able to exempt me from the additional screening).

Another time was just last week, bumped from CO to DL and the new DL BP came up SSSS. We had already been through security to the gates and the new BPs were issued by the CRC rep. What was interesting here was that the GA wouldn't let us board since we didn't have a TSA stamp on our BP. We had to go to the other GA and he asked us why we were bumped, why we were on DL, etc. A bunch of nonsense questions basically. I told him we were already through security when we got bumped and that the DL was nonstop to TPA vs. a CO flight that was oversold and wouldn't get us home for an extra 5 hours. He plugged something into his computer, tore our BPs and told us to board.

I've been bumped and re-issued a new BP past security before, but this is the only time that I've ever been held from boarding since my SSSS wasn't stamped/initialed by the TSA. These are very inconsisent policies in that regard.
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Old Feb 19, 07, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr View Post
I can't do OLCI so go to the counter/kiosk to check in.
I'm not sure how your UG cert may have affected this, but inability to check in via OLCI is a classic warning of SSSS status. If you can normally OLCI when using a UG cert, that would suggest the agent didn't tag you herself, but that you were already tagged for some reason.
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Old Feb 19, 07, 6:21 pm
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Supposed to be random

I'm pretty sure the check-in agents have no power over it.

And geez, I'm glad about that - I'm sure they'd flag me all the time!
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Old Feb 19, 07, 7:35 pm
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My understanding is the SSSS is both random and selected. If you meet certain criteria you will be selected. Also random % paxs will be selected for additional screening.
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Old Feb 19, 07, 8:34 pm
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The agent does have the ability to exempt or designate a selectee during the check-in process. There are a number of specific reasons for exemptions (FAA, airline employee, active-duty military, law-enforcement officers, etc) and each exemption is noted and copies are supposed to be made and kept on-file for a set time-period. An agent can also designate a selectee by stating that the customer does not have a valid gov't issued ID when the question is asked during the process. Overall, the system is based on a designated criteria set forth by the government that we are all aware of but as an agent cannot disclose to the customer.
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Old Feb 19, 07, 8:35 pm
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we most certainly CAN add "SSSS!"

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Old Feb 19, 07, 8:36 pm
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Old Feb 19, 07, 9:13 pm
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I'm no expert but because you couldn't do OLCI and you couldn't check-in via the kiosk by yourself, you were preselected for SSSS before you even got to the airport.
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Old Feb 19, 07, 10:23 pm
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Thanks for your opinions. I guess I can count myself lucky at only getting SSSS'd once since 9/11. I regularly can't use OLCI because of how those Hawaii Resident upgrade certs work (or did work). I always had to have an agent check me in. I did ask the WC in HNL on my return today and they said if I got SSSS'd on the outbound trip, I would have likely gotten SSSS'd on the return. I did ask the PDX check in agent for an exemption but she couldnt figure out how to do it. I am back home now and not worse for the wear.
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Old Feb 20, 07, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Vegas Agent View Post
The agent does have the ability to exempt or designate a selectee during the check-in process. There are a number of specific reasons for exemptions (FAA, airline employee, active-duty military, law-enforcement officers, etc) and each exemption is noted and copies are supposed to be made and kept on-file for a set time-period. An agent can also designate a selectee by stating that the customer does not have a valid gov't issued ID when the question is asked during the process. Overall, the system is based on a designated criteria set forth by the government that we are all aware of but as an agent cannot disclose to the customer.
Hmmmm so a forged airline employee ID is a way for people who--for whatever reason, legal or otherwise-- want to get around the special screening to do so?
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Old Feb 20, 07, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by railroadtycoon View Post
I'm no expert but because you couldn't do OLCI and you couldn't check-in via the kiosk by yourself, you were preselected for SSSS before you even got to the airport.
Actually that's not necessarily true with these upgrade certs. In this case, there is a check-in inhibitor that's placed on the PNR when one calls in for an upgrade. That's to make sure that the upgrade certificates are presented at check-in. Hence the reason why my Safari points were so low.

These certs are going electronic now, which will alleviate the hassle. Thankfully.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 2:14 am
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Originally Posted by chrisny2 View Post
Hmmmm so a forged airline employee ID is a way for people who--for whatever reason, legal or otherwise-- want to get around the special screening to do so?
That's too much work. There are sooo many ways to get around "security" these days. Just open your eyes and watch the "protocols" a bit and you'll come up with clever ways of your own to circumvent whatever it is you want to circumvent.

FWIW, airline employees sometimes get the SSSS treatment more than regular pax. I flew nearly 150k last year and not once got the SSSS. My brother, a pilot for a major carrier, has received the SSSS more times than he can count, and several times it cost him missing his flight either back to work, back home, or to a vacation.

TSA paints with their broad brush very liberally and does not seem to discriminate much between employee and layman.
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Old Jul 21, 07, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by PurdueFlyer View Post
...at the time of check-in. Done it many times. For example, you show up with an expired photo ID, or even with no ID, you get SSSS'd. The CAPPS system would have no way of knowing that you are standing in front of my counter with no ID. The agent has to TELL CAPPS that the pax needs extra screening and give a reason (there's a multiple choice screen in PARS where you can select the reason).

We can also pre-emptively de-select passengers, like other airline jumpseaters who walk up and book at the last minute. Certain others are exempt as well.
OK, I am sure that the GA tagged me with SSSS when I was a bit angry at the attitude I received when my flight was canceled in DTW and I was treated as just another person to process. I was rude but then apologized. And the next day I have to go through SSSS. Hmmmm. Has this happened to anyone else?
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Old Jul 21, 07, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by rlbmorton View Post
OK, I am sure that the GA tagged me with SSSS when I was a bit angry at the attitude I received when my flight was canceled in DTW and I was treated as just another person to process. I was rude but then apologized. And the next day I have to go through SSSS. Hmmmm. Has this happened to anyone else?
I've had the dreaded SSSS pop up during IRROPS when I've been FIMed. Is that part of the equation?
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