Travel Leaders Study: Consumers OK with Airport Security

Travel Leaders revealed results of their first 2010 nationwide survey of travelers in which nearly three-quarters of those polled indicated they were either “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with today’s airport security measures.

Nearly 82 percent expressed no concern with the use of full-body scanners at airport security checkpoints. The online survey was conducted throughout the month of March and includes responses from 800 consumers throughout the United States.

“While there are more precautions and procedures in place at airport security check-points, the majority of travelers appear to take these in stride as the ‘new normal’ for maintaining safety and security for all,” stated Roger E. Block, President of Travel Leaders Franchise Group

“American travelers are nothing if not resilient and adaptable to screening procedures at airports.  In addition, our nationwide network of Travel Leaders experts take great care in making sure our clients understand airport security measures ranging from 3-1-1 to Secure Flight.  Preparing travelers and setting expectations can help alleviate confusion and frustration when traveling to or from a destination whether it’s for business or leisure travel,” Block said.

TSA’s 3-1-1 program applies to the liquids and gels passengers are allowed to carry-on. 3-1-1 equates to 3.4 ounce bottle or less (by volume), one quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag and one bag per passenger placed in the screening bins.

TSA’s Secure Flight is a behind-the-scenes program designed to enhance the security of domestic and international commercial air travel through the use of improved watch list matching. Airline passengers are required to provide certain information at the time they book their travel, including name as it appears on government-issued I.D., date of birth and gender, as well as a redress number when applicable.

Key findings:

    * When asked, “What is your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” 72.9 percent of those polled indicated they were satisfied to some degree with today’s airport security measures.  Only 13.5 percent indicated they were unsatisfied, while another 13.6 percent said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
    * When asked, “Do you have concerns about the use of full-body scanners at airport security check-points?” 81.7 percent responded, “No,” while just over 18.3 percent said, “Yes.”
    * When the 18.3 percent expressing concern about full-body scanners were asked what their top concerns are, “Privacy issues” ranked first at 47.6 percent, followed by “Potential known or unknown health risks” (27.2 percent), and “Delays getting through security” (19.7 percent)
    * When asked, “Based on the increased level and types of security measures currently in place at U.S. airports that are designed to enhance safety, are you more likely to fly more, the same or less,” 80.1 percent said they will fly the same or more this coming year. The remaining consumers indicated that they’d fly less, although most of them characterized it as “somewhat less.”

Travel Leaders notes that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) currently uses two types of full-body scanning technology: millimeter wave imaging technology (40 units are now in use at 19 airports) and backscatter imaging technology (in March, TSA began deploying 150 backscatter units). TSA has announced plans to deploy a total of approximately 450 full-body scanning units this year. 


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