While the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be much maligned, it appears as if American travelers are growing accustomed to the variety of security measures they are likely to encounter at airports, according to a survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group.
Two-thirds (66.2 percent) of U.S. travelers indicate they are “satisfied” with the level of security at airports – that’s up 6 percent from last year – and only 17 percent indicate they are “unsatisfied.” In addition, nearly three-quarters (74.4 percent) of those surveyed say they do not have concerns about full-body airport scanners. This survey was conducted April 4 to May 16, 2012 and includes responses from 855 consumers throughout the U.S.
“The vast majority of American air traveler have adapted to today’s airport security measures and, despite any perceived inconveniences, understand that the safety and well-being of all airline passengers is paramount,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.
“We work hard to counsel our clients, so they understand what to expect and offer tips on making their airport experience as stress-free as possible. For those who travel frequently, there is an option for an expedited screening process. While only half the consumers in our survey say they would be ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to take part in the program, we discuss this option with our frequent travelers – knowing what a benefit it may be to them,” Liben said.
Airport Security: Consumers were asked “What’s your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” In 2012 66.2 percent were satisfied while 60.2 percent were satisfied in 2011 and 72.9 percent in 2010.
Full-body Scanners: When asked, “Do you have concerns about the use of full-body scanners at airport security check-points?” the percentages compared to the last two years are: 74.4 percent in 2012, 72.2 percent in 2011 and 72.2 percent in 2010.
For the 25.6 percent of those who indicated they do have concerns, their top reasons are: “Potential known or unknown health risks” 44.0 percent, “Privacy issues” 27.9 percent and “Question effectiveness of scanners” 9.1 percent.
In 2011, the top three reasons were: “Health risk – radiation” 40.4 percent, “Privacy issues” 40.0 percent and “Security delays” 10.4 percent.
In 2010 the top three reasons cited were: “Privacy issues” 47.6 percent, followed by “Potential known or unknown health risks” 27.2 percent and “Delays getting through security” 19.7 percent.
The TSA launched TSA PreCheck – an expedited screening initiative which requires some travelers to pay $100 and provide personal information (including submitting to a live interview and being fingerprinted) to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Travel Leaders asked consumers how likely they would be to participate in this program? Very likely, anything to speed up the process, 21.2 percent; somewhat likely 28.0 percent; and 39.6 percent not very likely.
This is the fourth consecutive year the consumer travel survey has been conducted. Consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com.