Survey of Travelers Gives Airport Security Poor Marks
But those enrolled in PreCheck have a different view
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Since shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, officers of a newly created security agency, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), have been conducting screenings at U.S. airports.
It has changed the nature of air travel, with passengers taking off their shoes and in some cases submitting to full body scans before boarding an airplane. Not surprisingly, travelers are not all that fond of the process. A new survey suggests they aren't all that fond of TSA either.
The survey of frequent flyers, conducted by Frequent Business Travelers magazine, found that 90 percent of frequent flyers think the TSA is doing either a poor or fair job in performing security screenings at the nation's airports.
The respondents weren't asked about the hassle, only what they perceived the overall effectiveness of the screening process to be. It found 76.1 percent said the TSA screening procedures are either not effective or not too effective at preventing acts of terrorism on an aircraft; 19.1 percent said they were somewhat effective; 4.1 said very effective; and 0.6 said extremely effective.
The survey included responses from 1,852 people from August 10 through August 31, 2012. It was conducted in partnership with FlyerTalk, an online travel community.
Room for improvement
"The survey clearly indicates that substantial improvements are needed at America's airport security checkpoints," said Jonathan Spira, editorial director, Frequent Business Traveler. "Frequent Flyers are under the impression that the current screening process is largely security theatre."
A majority of those questioned -- 56.9 percent -- said they were not satisfied with their last security experience. Only 18.5 percent said they were either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied.
But there is one segment of frequent flyers that appears to be more satisfied. Roughly a quarter of the respondents said they have used PreCheck, the TSA trusted traveler security lanes. Of those, 72.9 percent said they were either satisfied, very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the experience.
PreCheck is a program that allows frequent flyers to be pre-screened once. From then on, they go through an expedited boarding process.