Welcome!

News Feed Item

Who Screens the Screeners? American Opinions on the TSA

Only half of Americans feel TSA screening makes air travel safer; Two-thirds concerned lessening security procedures for some passengers through TSA's Pre-Check could result in missing potential threats

NEW YORK, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- They have access to our documentation and belongings – albeit briefly. They both embody and carry out the safeguards put in place to protect travelers from the threats among us. "They" are the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its most visible set of employees, the agents responsible for security screenings at the nation's commercial airports. But what criteria do Americans think TSA screening agents should meet? And do they make air travel safer? Only half of U.S. adults believe so, with 50% indicating that TSA security screening procedures make air travel safer and 48% believing the screenings are an effective deterrent to hijacking.

Harris Poll Logo.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,234 adults surveyed online between March 12 and 17, 2014. (Full findings, including data tables, available here)

Those more likely to have been on the business end of a TSA screening within the past year are more likely to see it as both making air travel safer (46% among those who took no airline trips in the past year vs. 55% among those who took 1-5 and 57% among those who took over 5) and serving as an effective deterrent to hijacking (45% vs. 53% and 60%, respectively).

Screening the screeners

When it comes to who are acceptable candidates to become TSA agents, Americans appear flexible on qualifications but mindful of past misdeeds. Majorities feel it would be acceptable for someone who didn't attend college (81%) or who has no previous law enforcement experience (63%) to become a TSA agent. On the other hand, majorities feel someone who was disciplined for misconduct in a previous job (76%), or who has been convicted of driving under the influence (72%) or of a non-violent crime (68%) would not be an acceptable candidate.

  • Frequent flyers are more comfortable with someone who has been convicted of a non-violent crime in such a position (32% among those who took no airline trips in the past year vs. 29% among those who took 1-5 and 45% among those who took over 5).

Checking out the "pre-check"

When asked about their familiarity with the TSA's new pre-check program, wherein travelers can go through a faster security screening (with shoes on and laptops tucked safely away in their bags, no less) if they pay an application fee and meet a series of applicant criteria, six in ten Americans (59%) indicate having at least heard of it, while over a third (36%) indicate being at least somewhat familiar with the program (including the 2% who say they're already either participants or applicants).

  • As one might expect, those who fly more are both more familiar with the program and more likely to be in the system already. Frequent flyers are more likely to indicate both that they're very familiar with the program (4% among those who took no airline trips in the past year vs. 15% among those who took 1-5 vs. 29% among those who took over 5) and that they're already either a participant or an applicant (1% and 2% vs. 13%, respectively)

Strong majorities of Americans believe requirements for pre-check applicants should include:

  • Passing a criminal background check (76%)
  • Submitting to a fingerprint scan (73%)
  • Holding U.S. citizenship (70%)
  • An analysis of past travel habits (56%)
  • Passing a drug test (37%)
  • A check of family and social connections (35%)

When asked what expedited airport screening might be worth to them (in the form of a one-time application fee), those who have traveled by airline in the past year indicate a willingness to pay roughly $50, on average. Among those who have taken over five trips in the past year that figure goes up to about $77. However, only two in ten air travelers (19%) and three in ten more frequent flyers (29%) would pay $85 or more; as it happens $85 is what the TSA charges currently.

But regardless of what they know of it or would pay for it – what do Americans think of it? It turns out that U.S. adults have mixed feelings about this system, with things they like about it but some concerns as well.

On the one hand, a strong majority of Americans believe that separating out pre-screened passengers into a different line will make the screening process quicker for everyone (79%), while only three in ten believe the qualifications for the program infringe on applicants' privacy (29%).

But on the other hand, two-thirds are concerned that lessening security procedures for some passengers through the TSA's pre-check program will result in missing potential threats (68%) and over half don't think it's fair to treat passengers differently from one another (56%).

  • It's worth noting that these two concerns are less pronounced among air travelers – particularly frequent ones:
    • I am concerned that lessening security procedures for some passengers through the TSA's pre-check program will result in missing potential threats (71% among those who took no airline trips in the past year vs. 65% among those who took 1-5 and 54% among those taking over 5).
    • I don't think it's fair to treat passengers differently from one another (60% vs. 50% and 40%, respectively).

Additionally, nearly nine in ten adults (89%) said they would not expect to be allowed onto the plane if they showed up for a flight without their ID, when in fact the TSA can accommodate those showing up sans identification – though they do advise building in extra time for such circumstances and highly recommend traveling with ID for expedited check-in.

To view the full findings, or to see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 12 and 17, 2014 among 2,234 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #40, April 24, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll

On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
212-539-9600
[email protected]

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, will go over the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, applicatio...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...