Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Guess what, peoples . . . I went to Japan and am back already.  

It had occurred to me that it wouldn't be wise to announce to potential burglars when exactly we'd be gone so I had a few blogs scheduled to post while we were away.

We just got back yesterday, and I wanted to share what happened to me at the airport in Japan.  

In the photo below you can see that the boarding pass that was given to me after we checked in our baggage showed SSSS on the bottom, highlighted in pink for extra measure.  I looked at Wendell's pass and his didn't have it.  I suspected that something wasn't quite right so I took the photo.

It turns out that SSSS means Secondary Security Screening Selection.  

When it came time to board the plane I handed my pass to the gal at the gate, she took one look at it and announced "QUAD S!" Right away another gal appeared from behind a curtained area and said to me, "random screening; follow me."

I sat on a chair behind the curtain.  She asked me to take off my shoes.  She quickly swabbed both of my palms, the area around my pockets, under my socks, and around the zipper and handle of my carry on. She then stuffed the swab into an opening in some kind of machine.

She asked if she could check the contents of my carry on.  I said, "sure". 

The whole process took just 2 or 3 minutes max . . . really fast.  Not an inconvenience at all. 

But I still felt a bit annoyed.  Did the check-in gal flag me because I looked suspicious?  Did I look like I might be carrying drugs?   Did she mistake my sleep-deprived glassy eyes for my being stoned?  Or was she just mad at me because I couldn't understand a word she was saying and she kept having to repeat herself.  

I did notice that she was striking her keyboard pretty hard as she typed what I assume was "S!" "S!" "S!" "S!".



Anonymous said...

Omigosh! What a way to start to your trip! Hope the rest of the trip was enjoyable.


Anonymous said...

Before Covid on a trip home from Japan, I was also pulled aside for screening from that airlines agent. But now I'm wondering if my boarding pass had the S's on it. Did not really notice. I was patted down,no swabbing. Wondering what alerted them about me?
Since then I applied for global entry and no problem, go figure!
Bonny Ogg

Honolulu Aunty said...

Ha! That's kind of funny. Frustrating, but funny.

Anonymous said...

Ahahaha. I don't recall the ssss on my ticket but I was picked on each of last 2 trips...I think pitfalls of having RBF.
They ACT so apologetic saying it is random screening and thank you for cooperating (but are really laughing inside.)

Annie said...


K and S said...

wow! never heard of this, hope you had fun in Japan

Anonymous said...

J, I am ticked off by your treatment!! I wanna know when the last time a senior was a terrorist or drug dealer!! Yeah, she was being super petty. You are guilty of being a fabulous person though. :D. -N

Anonymous said...

P.S. what did Wendall think of Japan. -N

Anonymous said...

Haha! Somebody in our group must’ve tipped off the airlines that you were trying to bring back illegal stuff! (Wasn’t me). PK

DNakamaru said...

Welcome home!
Seems annoying but better to be safe, at least it was fast.
I better check my boarding pass for that.
Thanks for sharing.

Dd said...

Glenn gets extra "screening" almost 100% of the time......he has a titanium hip ;-{

jalna said...

Izsmom, it was very enjoyable!

Bonny, hmmmm.

Aunty, in retrospect, it was kinda entertaining. LOL.

V, my inspector lady wasn't apologetic, but she was real swift.

Annie, 😁

Kat, super fun.

N, no be ticked. LOL. Wendell said it was perfect.

PK, too funny. Am so grateful that I got to spend some time with you. Thanks for all the stuff you gave me!

Dean, it was really fast, and I'm not so annoyed anymore after finding out that it's happened to other people too.

Dd, aaaahhhhh.

Susan said...

Wow, I will see if that happens to anyone in my group 😱

Kay said...

Welcome back, Jalna! I do the same thing when I go away on a trip. You can't take chances these days. I hope you had a fabulous time. I have a friend who was wearing an incontinence pad and got flagged because they thought something was hidden in it. Wow!

Dd said...

BTW-that kine search....they looking for explosives .....

jalna said...

Susan, I'm learning that it's not that rare.

Kay, sheesh!

Dd, ho!

Leslie's pics said...

Arghghghgh….i’m still blaming you for jinxing me! Hahaha

jalna said...

Les, 🤣