Travel

Survey: Fliers give thumbs up to security, unsure about fast lanes

Many travelers don't know whether PreCheck lanes cut wait times, survey says
Survey finds most travelers don't want cellphone calls allowed on planes.

A majority of U.S. travelers said they were satisfied with or neutral about airport security measures, a survey released Thursday says. But 67% said they couldn't tell whether the Transportation Security Administration's expedited PreCheck lanes made any significant difference in wait times.

Survey results from the Travel Leaders Group come the same week that TSA expanded PreCheck to international carrier Air Canada. The agency is opening more enrollment centers nationwide to process qualified fliers.

PreCheck members leave their shoes and clothing on, and laptops and liquids inside carry-on bags when they go through security.

In the survey, 62% said they didn't know if expedited lanes made wait times significantly shorter -- and 60% said they had never used one. Just 7.6% felt fast-lane screening made a difference and said they used it all the time, and 17% said they felt it reduced wait times for regular screenings.

"Travelers today have become very adaptable in terms of airport security and what procedures they must comply with from airport to airport," company CEO Barry Liben said in a statement. "That may help explain why such a high percentage of consumers polled are satisfied with – or perhaps even resigned to – what is required of them."

Other findings include:

--When asked what security measures they would like to eliminate, 31.7% said removing their shoes, 24.1% said none, and 18.2% said limiting liquids in carry-on bags.

--57.5% don't want to allow passengers to make cellphone calls in flight, 27.1% say it's OK but not for long conversations, and 5.8% said they were in favor of it.

--39.8% like the Federal Aviation Administration's policy change that allows electronic devices to remain on in airplane mode on landings and takeoffs.

--56.6% said finding direct nonstop flights was the most important consideration in buying airline tickets, while 29.1% said their top consideration was the least expensive overall fare.

The consumer travel survey was based on 2,719 people nationwide who were polled between April 6 and 28.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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