Traveler says extra TSA checks aren’t random. Here’s how to see if you’ll get stopped, have your checked luggage checked

@megansbubble/TikTok Matthew Corley/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I used to get stopped every single time’: Traveler says extra TSA checks aren’t random. Here’s how to see if you’ll get stopped, have your checked luggage checked

‘Why are they repetitively checking the same people?!’


Tiffanie Drayton


One woman asserted that the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) secondary checks are not always random and took to TikTok to share tips on how to avoid getting stopped.

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In a viral video that has garnered over 364,100 views and more than 13,700 likes, TikToker Megan (@megansbubble) provided advice for individuals who frequently undergo searches by the TSA.

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Holding up a flight boarding pass, she pointed out the “SSSS” on it, which she says indicates she is likely to face additional screening. According to Travel + Leisure, the four capitalized letters on a boarding pass stand for Secondary Security Screening Selection. However, per the publication, there is no published information about who gets selected for the additional security check.

“They are not random because you will see this on your tickets if you are likely someone like me,” she said.

She added that despite her efforts to apply for global entry and TSA PreCheck, follow airport regulations regarding metals and liquids, and avoid wearing metal to airports, she continued to experience delays at security. She believes that passengers who often get stopped at airport security points have likely been “flagged.”

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“I finally got fed up with this because I was to the point where I had terrible anxiety going to airports,” she said. “Because I would have TSA people touching me in my hair, feeling up on my body.”

Eventually, she sought a solution.

“After being harassed for years, I decided that I needed to do something about this,” she explained.

@megansbubble What to do if you keep getting stopped in airports. ✈️🧳 #travel #pilot #flightattendant #flying #airport #travelfail #helpmeplease #helpme ♬ original sound – Megans Bubble | Lifestyle
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Frustrated by years of harassment and anxiety, she said she eventually turned to filing complaints on the TSA’s website. The Department of Homeland Security has a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program that can be helpful when travelers want their names removed from “watchlists” if they are not, in fact, a security threat.

“They will research it, and they will take a look and see if you have been being stopped where you shouldn’t be,” she said.

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For the agency to do so, the passenger may have to offer up flight information, she added.

“If they agree that you are being stopped wrongfully, you will get a nice letter from the government that gives you a redress number,” she continued.

Upon receiving a redress number, she said she used it when booking flights to signal her past wrongful stops.

Megan said the redress number worked for some time. However, she believes that after marrying her husband, he was also targeted for additional checks by the TSA. So, the couple was forced to file a complaint to also get him a redress number.

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“Within 48 hours, they said he was flagged too and gave him a redress number,” she said.

Viewers in the comments section shared similar experiences, claiming that the checks are not random.

“When TSA precheck used to be ‘random’ on your ticket, I got it every single time,” user Karen said. “Dad has security clearance… It’s not random.”

“Mom didn’t fly that often, but when she did she got pulled every time,” user Suz said. “Even her ashes where bomb checked. My dad, never and not even his ashes … TY.”

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“I used to get stopped every single time,” user Chuck Tangler wrote. “It flagged my pelvic region I’ll die on the hill it was my Nuva Ring birth control. TSA pre check saved me.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Megan and TSA via email for more information.

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