Results based on a new nationwide survey by industry powerhouse Travel Leaders Group

Plymouth, MN (May 1, 2014) — In the world of travel, airport security continues to be a hotly discussed topic on many levels, which is why Travel Leaders Group recently surveyed over 2,700 consumers throughout the United States to assess their overall satisfaction, gather feedback on how long it takes to get through airport security and obtain information on whether travelers view TSA Pre✓™ as helpful to the overall process. With regard to “airport security satisfaction,” 87.5% indicate they are satisfied or neutral with today’s security measures; however, nearly 62% of those polled can’t identify whether the TSA Pre✓™ program has made any significant difference in wait times for security screenings.  The survey includes responses from 2,719 consumers nationwide and was conducted by Travel Leaders Group – a $20 billion powerhouse in the travel industry – from April 6 to April 28, 2014.

“Travelers today have become very adaptable in terms of airport security and what procedures they must comply with from airport to airport. 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. In fact, when asked what one security measure they would like to eliminate, the second most common response was that they wouldn’t eliminate any of the current requirements,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “Throughout all of the changes in procedures over the years, our travel agents across Travel Leaders Group have been educating and reminding travelers what they may encounter at airport security, in an effort to make their overall travel experiences better. While we do have a number of clients who are ‘Known Travelers’ through TSA Pre✓™, our survey findings clearly indicate that the ‘verdict is still out’ as to whether that program has improved wait times at airports for a majority of American travelers.”

Here are the initial findings from the recent Travel Leaders Group “Consumer Travel Survey”:

Airport Security Satisfaction: When asked, “What is your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” 87.5% indicated they are satisfied with or neutral about today’s security measures which is up from 82.0% last year. The percentage of travelers expressing dissatisfaction with TSA is at its lowest level since Travel Leaders Group first began asking this question in 2010.

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Satisfied

64.2%

62.2%

66.2%

60.2%

72.9%

Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied

23.3%

19.8%

16.8%

18.0%

13.6%

Unsatisfied

12.5%

18.0%

17.0%

21.8%

13.5%


TSA Pre
™ :
When asked, “Has the TSA Pre✓™ program at U.S. airports made a significant difference in wait times for security screening?” the majority of those polled did not know if it has made a difference in wait times.

Yes, I use it all the time

7.6%

Yes, it’s reduced wait   times for regular screening

17.6%

No

13.1%

I don’t know

61.7%


Additional Statistics and Findings:

Overall Airport Security Wait Times: When asked, “With regard to how long it takes to get through airport security, are you…” 46.3% of consumers polled “Wish it was somewhat quicker,” 39.6% are “OK with the amount of time it takes,” and only 14.1% state they are “Frustrated by the amount of time it takes” to get through airport security.

Expedited Screening: It should also be noted that when asked, “Have you experienced ‘expedited’ screening at an airport in the last 12 months?” 60% of those polled said “No.”

Eliminate One TSA Security Measure: With regard to TSA security screening at the airport, when asked, “Which of the following TSA security measures would you most like to eliminate?” the top responses were: “removing of shoes” (31.7%), “none, do not eliminate any security measures” (24.1%) and “limiting liquids in carry-on baggage” (18.2%). In 2013, shoe removal was also the top response with 27.9%.  (Those airline passengers who qualify for TSA Pre✓™ do not need to remove shoes, computers or 1-quart bag carrying liquids.)

Electronics On During Takeoffs/Landings: Last fall the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it would allow electronic device to remain “on” from gate to gate, in “airplane mode.” When asked in Travel Leaders Group’s recent survey, 39.8% of those polled said they are “in favor” of this change, 31.4% are “opposed to the change” and 28.8% did not know how they felt about the change.

Cell Phone Use Inflight: For the second year in a row, consumers were asked about cell phone use inflight; this year, an even greater percentage of those polled are opposed to the idea. Nearly 85% of those polled are against allowing passengers to make cell phone calls during flight.  Here are the detailed responses:

2014

2013

I am opposed to   it.

57.5%

47.9%

I am in favor   as long as it is not used for conversations.

27.1%

31.3%

I am in favor   of it.

5.8%

10.7%

I don’t know.

9.6%

10.1%


Airline Ticket Purchasing Decisions:
When asked, “When purchasing airline tickets, which of these options would you most likely choose?” 56.6% indicate “Direct nonstop flight (in which you may or may not earn Frequent Flyer miles),” 29.1% indicate “Least expensive overall fare” and 14.3% would choose a “Flight which earns Frequent Flyer miles.”

Through the years, Travel Leaders Group has built a reputation for gathering extensive travel trends data from its vast network of travel agents and more recently from American consumers and travelers. This is the sixth consecutive year for the consumer travel survey.  American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Cruise Holidays, Nexion, Results! Travel, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com.

Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide. Most recently, Travel Leaders Group was again named among the Top 10 on the Travel Weekly Power List, #1 on the Business Travel News 2013 Business Travel Survey and #1 on Entrepreneur’s latest Franchise 500 list of full-service travel agency franchise businesses.

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Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers – through our beginnings as Carlson Leisure Group, a division of Carlson Companies, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group and through the additions of Nexion, Vacation.com and Protravel International – Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With annual sales of approximately $20 billion, Travel Leaders Group not only ranks as the #1 corporate travel management company by Business Travel News, but it is also among the top ten travel companies on the 2013 Travel Weekly Power List. In 2013, Entrepreneur ranked a Travel Leaders Franchise Brand #1 in the category of “Travel Agencies-Miscellaneous.”