Americans may not love the TSA, but they are learning to tolerate it.
In the last few years the Transportation Security Administration has removed the full-body scanners that create a nude-like image of passengers and restricted pat-down searches of children and the elderly, among other changes.
A new survey suggests that such efforts have made TSA screening less offensive to travelers.
Among more than 2,700 adults questioned in a recent survey, 64.2% said they are satisfied with airport screening procedures, with another 23.3% saying they are neutral about it. By comparison, the same survey last year found that 62.2% were satisfied and 19.8% were neutral.
Travelers who described themselves as unsatisfied about airport screening dropped to 12.5% from 18% last year, according to the online survey by Travel Leaders Group, a Minnesota-based travel agency company.
TSA officials say the agency has worked hard to ease the screening process for frequent travelers to focus more attention on high-risk fliers.
“Collectively, these efforts are part of a system-wide shift away from the one-size-fits-all security model following the 9/11 attacks,” said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein.
Longtime critics of the TSA acknowledged that the agency has eliminated some procedures that annoyed travelers — such as the so-called “nude scanner.” But most of those changes came after loud protest from travelers, said Paul Hudson, president of flyersrights.org, a nonprofit passenger rights group.
“I would say there have been some improvements, but in many cases it has come after some kicking and screaming,” he said of the TSA.
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