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Getting randomly selected for secondary security screening

IntraTraveller
New Arrival

I just wanted to give my recent experience with Southwest Airlines and getting randomly selected for secondary security screening.

 

I was flying back from PV, Mexico last week and was doing the online checkin for my wife and myself.   We had a connecting flight once we were back in the states as well.  When checking us both in online at exactly 24 hours prior tonthe flight, i was able to check my wife in and not check myself in. My wife was able to get into “A” boarding group. I was told by the mobile app that i was unable to check in and needed to go to the ticket counter.  Googling this scenario, I foond others in this situation with Southwest before. They got the dreaded SSSS on their physically printed boarding pass.

 

I have no issues with getting the additional screening, but where i do have an issue is that since you cannot checkin online and have to go to the ticket counter to get a boarding pass, you basically fall into the “C” boarding group. This is not an issue on other airlines because they do assigned seating. On SWA, you get mid to high “C” boarding numbers.  To make matters worse, this carries through to connecting flights.

 

Luckily, my wife was able to save me a seat but had to fight off some other passengers who wanted the seat next to her. She had to do this on the connecting flight too. It was a pain in the you know what, because i didnt have to do additional screening again once i arrived in tge US, which required me to go through TSA again.

 

Just imagine if I was flying alone. Each time the flight was completely full and i had a carryon as did my wife.  I woukd have bern forced to either check my carryon or place it in an overhead bin far away from my seat since i was basically almost dead last on boarding.

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Getting randomly selected for secondary security screening

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@IntraTraveller wrote:

 

I have no issues with getting the additional screening, but where i do have an issue is that since you cannot checkin online and have to go to the ticket counter to get a boarding pass, you basically fall into the “C” boarding group. This is not an issue on other airlines because they do assigned seating. On SWA, you get mid to high “C” boarding numbers.  To make matters worse, this carries through to connecting flights.

 

 



That is a pain! For A-list members then you could board at "A61" but that wouldn't work for everyone.

 

Do they allow Early Bird for the international flights? I guess hopefully you'd be refunded the EBCI if you couldn't check in.

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Getting randomly selected for secondary security screening

Letsgo
New Arrival

This exact thing happened to us except that we were coming from Cancun, MX. I was able to check in but my husband wasn’t. We also had connecting flights in the US.  We did call Southwest but had difficulties because we were in a foreign country (ie Mexico) so we emailed them. They got back to us 2 days later.  

Had early bird checkin so I was able to get a A pass but, because of this issue, my husband was one of the last on the plane because he had to go through additional screening at the gate and by the time he was done, the A’s and B’s were gone. Great value, huh? To pay and then still be one of the last on.

I also had to fight people off the seat for three different flights since we had to deplane on our connecting flight because of mechanical issues and wait for another plane (making us 3 hours late) It’s was a frustrating day.

i have no problem with additional screenings but there needs to be a better way to do this.

Re: Getting randomly selected for secondary security screening

bec102896
Rising Star

Just curious did you try to call southwest reservations as maybe they have a way to check you in or at least get your boarding pass number even if you have to wait until you get to the airport to get your boarding pass? 

 

I would also recommend buying EB check in that way you can be checked in automatically so even if you get the SSSS you will still have a good boarding pass. You may also want to consider the upgraded boarding option if available at the gate to get you in the A1-15 group  

 

Blake 

Re: Getting randomly selected for secondary security screening

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@IntraTraveller wrote:

 

I was flying back from PV, Mexico last week and was doing the online checkin for my wife and myself.   We had a connecting flight once we were back in the states as well.  When checking us both in online at exactly 24 hours prior tonthe flight, i was able to check my wife in and not check myself in. My wife was able to get into “A” boarding group. I was told by the mobile app that i was unable to check in and needed to go to the ticket counter.  Googling this scenario, I foond others in this situation with Southwest before. They got the dreaded SSSS on their physically printed boarding pass.

 



Did you book one-way flights for the trip? I guess one clarification is that this isn't always a random event, although TSA advertises that there may be some random component.

 

Although I usually recommend one-way flights on Southwest for a variety of reasons, maybe a reason to book round trip for international is that you may be flagged for SSSS.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.