The letters you definitely don't want to see on your boarding pass

What do they mean?

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The one code you definitely don't want to see on your boarding pass

For such a flimsy piece of card (or print-out), boarding passes really wield a lot of power, and can give away a lot - if you know what to look out for.

At the very least, they identify the passenger, the flight number, date and scheduled time for departure.

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See also: Why you shouldn't post photos of your boarding pass online

Nestled among all that crucial information may be another code, reading SSSS, and if you're experiencing difficulty printing your pass off ahead of a trip, it may be that this code is about to appear on yours.

In this instance, you won't be able to print your boarding card off at one of the automated machines in an airport - you'll have to get it done at the check-in desk - and you could face a grilling.

'Secondary Security Screening Selectee'.

SSSS also may stand for 'Secondary Security Screening Selection' and is used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Credits: Getty

While there's no official explanation for why you're selected, according to Life Hacker , there are a few reasons which may have contributed.

Frustratingly, it's sometimes randomised. But last-minute flights could be one reason, as could taking an international one-way fare.

If you've paid for that flight in cash, that may also mean you now qualify, as can travelling from somewhere which is classified as a "high-risk country."

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Credits: Getty

Make sure you turn up nice and early if you can't print your boarding pass out

And if you're on a watch list, you can definitely expect this to appear on your pass.

What happens next.

One thing to bear in mind is, if you have not been able to print your pass off, you may want to arrive at the airport even earlier than planned.

This is because if this code appears, as long as up 30 minutes could be added to your getting through security.

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First you'll be taken to your own security line where you'll go through every security screening possible, including going through a metal detector and body scanner twice, and getting a full body pat-down.

Then security painstakingly go through your carry-on bags, with each item getting wiped down for explosive residue.

Eventually a form will be filled out and your boarding pass will be stamped and you'll finally be allowed on your flight.

Probably in need of a holiday more than ever.

Strange things you didn't know about your flight

Strange things you didn't know about your flight


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