Frequent flyers give TSA failing grade

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Ninety percent of frequent flyers think that the U.S.

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Ninety percent of frequent flyers think that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is doing either a poor or fair job in performing security screenings at the nation’s airports, according to a new survey of frequent flyers conducted by Frequent Business Traveler magazine.

The survey found that the typical American frequent flyer holds the TSA in fairly low regard with 76.1 percent of respondents indicating the TSA’s screening procedures are either not effective or not too effective at preventing acts of terrorism on an aircraft; 19.1 percent indicating somewhat effective; 4.1 very effective; and 0.6 extremely effective.

A total of 1,852 respondents took part in the online survey conducted from August 10 to August 31, 2012 in partnership with FlyerTalk.

“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.”

Other Key Findings

• A majority (56.4 percent) stated they were not satisfied with their last security experience. 18.5 percent said they were either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied.

• More than 50 percent (56.9) of those surveyed said that the TSA was doing a poor job in airport security screening, 33.9 percent rated it fair, eight percent rated it good, and only 1.2 percent rated the agency’s work as excellent.

• A quarter (26.3 percent) of survey respondents have used PreCheck, the TSA trusted traveler security lanes. 72.9 percent of those who have used the service were either satisfied, very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the experience.

Frequent Business Traveler’s survey findings fly in the face of a recent Gallup poll which reported that Americans, including those who do not fly, have positive views of the TSA and its effectiveness.

“If I want to know what’s broken in airport security, I’d prefer to ask people who fly a lot,” said David M. Goldes, publisher of Frequent Business Traveler, “Our readers and survey respondents took an average of 32 flights per person in the past year and 96 percent of them are members of a frequent flyer program, making them a very qualified group to render judgment.”

About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.