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Airport Security: Majority of Americans are “Satisfied,” But New Data Shows a Drop

May 16, 2016 Airport No Comments Email Email

Today, Travel Leaders Group released its latest survey findings on American travelers’ satisfaction with airport security.

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As the number of those satisfied has dropped to 63.6%, the number of dissatisfied has grown 5.4% year over year to 17%. Overall, despite news reports on longer security lines at many airports nationally, 52.3% of those polled expressed that they are “OK with the amount of time” it takes to pass through airport security, with a direct correlation to the rise among consumers indicating they’re using TSA Precheck® “all the time.” The survey was conducted April 4 to April 30, 2016, and includes responses from 3,431 consumers throughout the United States.

“There is a very delicate balance that must be maintained between the utmost safety and security of air travelers and making certain airports and airlines operate effectively and efficiently. Increasingly, we’ve seen longer lines at airport security checkpoints nationwide that could be further exacerbated by peak summer travel,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. “That’s why Travel Leaders Group works closely with the Department of Homeland Security to help our travel agents in advising clients on ways to decrease individual wait times. We are actively promoting and educating clients on TSA Precheck and Global Entry. Even semi-frequent airline passengers can greatly benefit from these programs.”

Key Findings:

Airport Security Satisfaction: When asked, “What is your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” 63.3% indicated they are satisfied and 19.4% stated they are neutral about today’s security measures – which is down slightly compared to last year. While the percentage of travelers expressing dissatisfaction with TSA has jumped, it is still the third lowest percentage over the past six years.

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

Satisfied

63.6%

65.8%

64.2%

62.2%

66.2%

60.2%

Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied

19.4%

22.6%

23.3%

19.8%

16.8%

18.0%

Unsatisfied

17.0%

11.6%

12.5%

18.0%

17.0%

21.8%

 

Overall Airport Security Wait Times: When asked, “With regard to how long it takes to get through airport security, are you…” over 52% of consumers polled are “OK with the amount of time it takes,” which is an increase of nearly 8% compared to last year at this time.

2016

2015

2014

OK with the amount of time it takes

52.3%

44.4%

39.6%

Wish it was somewhat quicker

33.8%

44.5%

46.3%

Frustrated by the amount of time it takes

13.9%

11.1%

14.1%

 

Trusted Traveler Programs: When asked whether or not survey participants have enrolled in Global Entry, only 18.6% said “Yes,” while nearly a third (32.4%) said they have registered and been approved for TSA Precheck.

TSA Precheck: When asked, “Has the TSA Precheck program at U.S. airports made a significant difference in wait times for security screening?” the percentage of those polled answering favorably increased.

2016

2015

2014

Yes, I use it all the time

20.3%

14.4%

7.6%

Yes, it’s reduced wait times for regular screening

24.0%

26.1%

17.6%

No

11.1%

14.5%

13.1%

I don’t know

44.6%

45.1%

61.7%

 

Expedited Screening: It should also be noted that when asked, “Have you experienced ‘expedited’ screening at an airport in the last 12 months?” 54.3% stated “Yes” and 45.7% said “No.” Last year 46.9% of those polled said “No” and in 2014 that number was 60%.

Eliminate One TSA Security Measure: With regard to TSA security screening at the airport, when asked, “Which of the following TSA security measures would you most like to eliminate?” the top responses were: “removing of shoes” (31.5%), “none, do not eliminate any security measures” (24.3%), “limiting liquids in carry-on baggage” (17.5%), “extensive pat-down” (11.0%) and “laptop removal” (7.5%).

  • Shoe removal has been the top response the past three years in a row.
  • Airline passengers who qualify for Global Entry and TSA Precheck do not need to remove shoes, computers or 1-quart bag carrying liquids at 160 airports throughout the United States.

Through the years, Travel Leaders Group has built a reputation for gathering extensive travel trends data from its vast network of travel agents and more recently from American consumers and travelers. This is the 8th consecutive year for the consumer travel survey. American consumers were engaged 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 including the flagship Travel Leadersbrand, as well as  All Aboard Travel, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, SinglesCruise.com, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units.

With annual sales approaching $21 billion, Travel Leaders Group is the largest traditional travel agency company in North America, comprised of approximately 30% of all travel agencies in North America that are wholly-owned, franchised, or member agencies. It’s a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.

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