Ten years later, TSA screening still frustrates air travelers

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Ten years since the Transportation Security Administration was launched, the airport screening process remains among the top frustrations for most air travelers, a new survey found.

When asked to list their top five frustrations with air travel, a majority of air travelers who were surveyed listed four gripes related to the TSA’s security checkpoints.


The findings came from an online survey by the U.S. Travel Assn., the nation’s largest travel trade group. It was released to mark the 10th anniversary of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the TSA in November 2001. The association surveyed 600 Americans who traveled by air in the last 12 months.

The top five frustrations cited by air travelers:

1. People who bring too many carry-on bags through the security checkpoint (72.4%).

2. Uncomfortable seats on an airplane (70.4%).

3. The wait time to clear the TSA checkpoint (68%).

4. Having to remove shoes, belts and jackets at the T.A checkpoint (62.3%).

5. TSA employees who are not friendly (42.4%).

But the survey offered some good news for the TSA: 66% of air travelers said they are somewhat or very satisfied with the TSA’s overall performance. The satisfaction rate was lower, 54.6%, for frequent travelers.

Also, nearly 75% of travelers said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the TSA’s recent announcement that the agency will eventually phase out the requirement for passengers to remove their shoes.


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-- Hugo Martin