Travel Leaders Survey Finds Higher Satisfaction with Airport Security
By James Shillinglaw
June 11, 2012 1:18 PM
According to a new survey by Travel Leaders Group, the largest travel agency group in North America, American travelers are growing accustomed to the variety of security measures they are likely to encounter at airports. Two-thirds (66.2 percent) of U.S. travelers say they are “satisfied” with the level of security at airports, which is up 6 percent from last year, and only 17 percent say 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 by Travel Leaders from 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,” said 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.”
According to the survey, when consumers were asked about their level of satisfaction with airport security today, 66.2 percent sati they were satisfied, compared with 60.2 percent who said they were satisfied in 2011, and 72.9 percent who said they were satisfied in 2010. The same survey found 16.8 percent were neither satisfied nor unsatisfied, compared with 18 percent in 2011 and 13.6 percent in 2012. Some 17 percent said they were unsatisfied, compared with 21.8 percent in 2011 and 13.5 percent in 2010.
When asked if they have concerns about the use of full-body scanners at airport security checkpoints, 74.4 percent of consumers surveyed said no, compared with 72.2 percent in 2011 and 81.7 percent in 2010. The survey found 25.6 percent of consumers said they did have concerns, compared with 27.8 percent in 2011 and 18.3 percent in 2010 (though body scanners were not being used as much in that year). For the 25.6 percent of consumers who said they do have concerns, their top reasons were "potential known or unknown risks (44 percent), "privacy issues (27.9 percent) and "question effectiveness of scanners" (9.1 percent).
Travel Leaders also asked how likely consumers would be to participate in the Transportation Security Administration's TSA Pre-Check expedited screen initiative, which requires travelers to pay $100 and provide personal information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Some 21.2 percent of those responding said "very likely, anything to speed up the process," 28 percent said "somewhat likely," 39.6 percent said not "very likely" and 11.2 percent said "not sure."
This is the fourth consecutive year this consumer travel survey has been conducted. American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for such Travel Leaders Group companies as Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com. Last week, Travel Leaders Group released its findings on American travelers’ “tipping point” on the cost of airfare.