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
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Unless you don’t use the internet, don’t live in California, or haven’t been paying attention to the recent news… you should be aware that self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a reality. I have seen them – they are real. If you believe in the future reality of self-driving cars, then continue reading on. If you don’t believe in the future possibilities, then I am not sure what to do to convince you other than discuss the very real changes that will roll out with the consumer producti...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...