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

PreCheck Silver Lining to TSA’s Troubled Security Protocol

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However, when recalling their more recent TSA security experience, 38.8%, a minority, stated they were not satisfied, which is down from last year’s 44.7%, and further reduced from a 2012 figure of 56.4%.  Indeed, 33.5% – up from last year’s 25.7% and 2012’s 18.5% – said they were satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with their experience.  Interestingly, while the overall rate of approval with the TSA is stagnant, an increasing percentage of readers recall having a positive experience at their most recent interaction.

This rise in positive reporting may be due to the growing participation in TSA’s PreCheck trusted traveler program, which affords shorter lines at dedicated PreCheck security checkpoints where participating travelers are allowed to keep their shoes on, and are not required to remove laptops and liquids from their carry-on bags..  For the first time since FBT began polling these questions, a majority of poll respondents, 78.1%, reported having used PreCheck in the last year.  This figure is up drastically from last year’s 45.9%, and triple the percentage from 2012: 26.3%.  The TSA appears to be continuing to roll out the process to make it more accessible for those who fly frequently and are less likely to pose a security threat.

Despite the continued overall dissatisfaction with the TSA, users of the PreCheck program tend to be a little more positive.  Of the 78% of flyers who have used the program, a majority – 66% – were satisfied with their experience, although this number is down 14 percentage points from last year’s 80% rate of satisfaction.

While the effectiveness of the security protocols is still in question, is the TSA experience improving at all?  Many think so, citing Precheck as the bright spot, while others think airport security is a lost cause and doomed to be forever one of the most burdensome aspects of traveling.  The entire process will undoubtedly continue to evolve and time will tell whether the TSA will change for the better, or will proceed to rely on intrusive and outdated security practices.

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