Arnon Grunberg

The selectee

The situation

On a regular basis I fly from New York to Dublin. Usually I buy a one-way ticket with Aer Lingus – Aer Lingus offers reasonable fares for one-way tickets – but sometimes I choose Continental, because I like the late flight out of New York.
Whenever I buy a one-way ticket to Dublin with Continental I’m selected as a selectee, excuse me for the pleonasm.
You know that you are a selectee when you find the following text on your boarding card: “SSSS.” Every passenger with the intention to board a plane is a suspect but some passengers are more suspect than others. These passengers are called “selectees.” The only reason I can think of that I’m turned into a selectee whenever I try to board a plan with a one-way ticket Newark-Dublin on Continental is the one-way ticket.
When you are a selectee there is a solution: Wait and let the situation develop.
Sometimes the inspectors get physical, other times they just look in your boots.
And there is the comfort that people in the intelligence community have discovered that terrorists buy one-way tickets. And fly Continental instead of Aer Lingus, at least sometimes.