Frequent Fliers: 59% Oppose Enhancements and 43% Will Seek Alternative to Flying
The implementation of full body scans and pat downs by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as part of security enhancements at our nation's airports will cause 48% of Americans and 42% of more frequent fliers to choose a different mode of transportation when possible, a recent Zogby International Poll finds.
Overall, 61% of the 2,032 likely voters polled from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, oppose the use of full body scans and TSA pat downs. Republicans (69%) and Independents (65%) oppose in greater numbers than Democrats (50%).
Of those polled, 52% believe the enhanced security measures will not prevent terrorist activity, almost half (48%) say it is a violation of privacy rights, 33% say they should not have to go through enhanced security methods to get on an airplane, and 32% believe the full body scans and TSA pat downs to be sexual harassment. This is in line with frequent fliers (fly more than once every 3 months), as 53% say the enhanced measures will not prevent terrorist activity, 48% believe it's a violation of their privacy rights, 41% say they should not have to go through it to get on an airplane, and 35% believe it is sexual harassment.
While roughly the same amount believe the full body scans and TSA pat downs are necessary to keep the country safe and prevent terrorist activities on airplanes (34% of frequent fliers vs. 29% overall), frequent fliers are more likely to feel that the enhanced methods are not needed because metal detectors and bag screenings are working fine (33% to 26%). Just 16% of frequent fliers say no one has an absolute right to fly and if people don't like the security measures, then just don't fly compared to 20% of everyone polled.
The Zogby poll also finds when given a choice, likely voters will choose full body scan over the TSA pat downs (48% to 7%), but 42% would rather have neither. Frequent fliers feel about the same.
Pollster John Zogby: "It's clear the majority of Americans are not happy with TSA and the enhanced security measures recently enacted. The airlines should not be happy with 42% of frequent fliers seeking a different mode of transportation due to these enhancements. It seems the airlines and TSA need to come together to find a solution before the American flying public abandons both."
The interactive poll consisted of 2,032 likely voters and has a margin of error of +/-2.2%. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population.