Too many carry-ons are frustrating passengers

Survey: Too many carry-ons are frustrating passengers

By Jim Glab FAA/Security

When going through airport security recently, have you looked at the people ahead of you in line and counted the number of carry-on pieces they have? Lots of travelers have, and they don’t like what they see.

According to a new survey of 4,400 persons who have flown in the past year, their biggest frustration with airline travel and airport security – cited by 72.4 percent – is “people who bring too many carry-on bags through the security checkpoint.” The survey was commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) to mark the tenth anniversary of the Transportation Security Administration.

Other key security screening frustrations cited by survey respondents included “the wait time to clear the TSA checkpoint” (68 percent); “having to remove shoes, belts and jackets” (62.3 percent); and “TSA employees who aren’t friendly” (42.5 percent). In spite of their complaints, 66 percent said they think TSA is doing a decent job of protecting them, and a significant majority said they approve of recent TSA initiatives like the PreCheck trusted traveler program and improvement of full-body scanners to prevent detailed views of travelers’ bodies, USTA said.

“While we recognize the significant steps TSA has taken to improve security screening, the process still remains inefficient and frustrating for millions of Americans,” said Roger Dow, USTA ‘s CEO. He said it should be possible for TSA to “reduce the hassle of flying without compromising security,” and USTA made some specific suggestions about how to do that.

The group recommends that airlines should allow more opportunities for travelers to enroll in TSA’s nascent PreCheck trusted traveler program, now being tested at four airports, “and not discriminate against consumers who are not members of their loyalty programs.” It also said airlines should work with TSA and the travel industry “to decrease the number of carry-on bags going through passenger checkpoints,” largely a result of hefty checked-bag fees; and that TSA “must continue to focus on passenger facilitation” to keep people from avoiding air travel altogether.