I’m at the Saint Louis International airport (STL), waiting to board on my flight back to Dallas. I have just experienced another stupidity of the airport (in)security procedures. This post is not about software, but software security and “physical” security depend on each other.
It’s an American Airlines flight. You can usually do the check-in procedure online, and print the boarding-pass yourself before heading to airport. This is a welcomed service, but this time it gave me an error, something like: “Sorry, you cannot check-in online, please see an agent at the airport”.
No big deal. At the airport I used one of the automated kiosks to print my boarding pass. And it worked, without the need of an agent.
I proceeded to security screening. The TSA officer highlighted a “SSSS” imprint on the lower-right corner of my boarding-pass and said: “you’ve been randomly selected for additional screening, please come this way…”.
I couldn’t believe it!. They randomly selected me for screening, but they warned me about it in advance!… I mean, now I (and you) know that if a passenger gets a quadruple-“S” code it means he/she will get additional screening!
I asked the TSA guy how could the process be so flawed. He replied that he understood my concern, but he was not responsible for defining the process and couldn’t give me his opinion. Later, I asked one of the American Airlines agents: