Poll: 86% of Frequent Flyers Give TSA Two Big Thumbs Down

PreCheck Silver Lining to TSA’s Troubled Security Protocol

Travelers on line at JFK's Terminal 1 TSA security checkpoint

Travelers on line at JFK's Terminal 1 TSA security checkpoint

By Jeremy Del Nero on 16 October 2014
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Despite numerous efforts on the part of the Transportation Security Administration to make airport security a more bearable and streamlined process, frequent flyers continue to be dissatisfied with the TSA, and regard the screenings to be ineffective, according to a new survey by Frequent Business Traveler and FlyerTalk, the world’s largest online community.

Eighty-six percent of frequent flyers surveyed said they think that the TSA is doing either a fair or poor job of managing security screenings at the nation’s airports.  Two thirds of flyers agreed that the TSA’s screening procedures are ineffective at preventing acts of terrorism on an aircraft.  These figures closely reflect last year’s statistics; according to our readers, the TSA has not made any improvements to the way it operates.  The findings are from a survey conducted by Frequent Business Traveler and FlyerTalk, in which 2,746 readers were asked for their opinions on the TSA.

“For three years in a row, our survey has demonstrated that an overwhelming percentage of the traveling public believes that the TSA needs to do a far better job in managing the nation’s airport security checkpoints,” said Jonathan Spira, editorial director of Frequent Business Traveler.  “Our readers, which include the world’s most frequent flyers, have repeatedly pointed out that there are better, cheaper, and more effective ways of accomplishing what is a necessary task.”

The poll and strong opinions relating to the TSA sparked a heated discussion in the checkpoints, borders, and policy-debate subforum on FlyerTalk, in which dozens of readers and FlyerTalk members shared their stories and thoughts on the TSA’s effectiveness.  While the consensus among frequent flyers is that, in the words of FlyerTalk member ThrowDownYourLeavyScreens, “the TSA is security theatre,” another member, Tchiowa, insisted that the TSA is “very effective at stopping a terrorist attack on a plane” because terrorists are more likely to strike areas where security isn’t ever-present.

Rather than attributing the lack of recent aviation terrorist attacks to the TSA, FlyerTalk member Carl Johnson opines that the threat simply isn’t there, and even if it were, the security measures wouldn’t be enough to stop it.  “Document checking does nothing, shoe carnival does nothing, War on Water does nothing.”

PV_Premier thinks that the TSA isn’t preventative or anticipatory enough: “the organization is too big, too inefficient, and too reactive rather than proactive.”  Another FlyerTalk member, hook them, focused his distaste of the TSA on the employees, some of whom “definitely have a superiority complex and treat people extremely rudely.”

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