Home Newsroom > SURVEY: The Passenger Experience at NY-NJ Airport Security

NEW SURVEY: NY-NJ RESIDENTS RANK AIRPORT SECURITY LINES AS "BAD" BY MORE THAN 2 TO 1

MORE THAN 70% WANT TSA TO TRACK AND PUBLISH WAIT TIMES, ONLY 5% USE MYTSA APP

 

(NEW YORK) ― A new survey released today by Global Gateway Alliance showed passengers are fed up with security lines at New York area airports and think TSA needs to do a better job of improving the experience and tracking wait times. The survey of more than 300 individuals in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area found that for every positive impression of airport security in the region, there were two “bad” or “very bad” ones. 

 

The report, which coincides with the start of the summer travel season, finds that three-quarters of respondents would like TSA to track and publish wait times on a publicly available website, a practice which the agency jettisoned in 2008. Instead, TSA now relies on passengers to upload their wait times onto an app called MyTSA, but our survey found only 5 percent of passengers use it.

 

Respondents believe TSA could mitigate the problem facing security chiefly by implementing a more accessible TSA PreCheck program and expanding the TSA workforce. While only 12 percent of those surveyed are currently enrolled in TSA PreCheck, over 65 percent would be more likely to enroll if TSA made improvements to the program, including improving enrollment accessibility, cost, and advertising. 

 

Global Gateway Alliance Chairman Joe Sitt said, “These findings demonstrate what we’ve long suspected: passengers are sick and tired of getting stuck on long lines when they’re trying to move through the airport. And with passenger traffic on the rise year in, year out, TSA needs to take action now. We need long term commitments from TSA and long term funding from Congress to ensure proper staffing at our airports, more PreCheck lanes are open, and enrollment centers are in places where people will actually use them. When it comes to our airports, security must come first, and TSA’s job is too important to get wrong.”
 

Full survey available for download here.

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS:

  • A large plurality of respondents (42.6%) have a “bad” or “very bad” impression of security lines at NY-NJ airports, as opposed to the 16.7% who have a “good” or “very good” impression. Specifically, 22.3% (the largest share of respondents) had a “very bad” impression, while only 3.5% of respondents had a “very good” one. 

  • More than five times as many respondents believe the lines have been getting worse (37.7%) rather than better (6.8%) over recent months. 

 

  • 54% of respondents criticized their most recent experience with security in the New York area when asked to describe it in a word, citing understaffing, inefficiency, and negative interaction as the three areas most in need of improvement. 

 

  • While two-thirds of respondents (58%) have heard of PreCheck, only 13% are enrolled. 65% would be more likely to sign up if enrollment were more readily available, advertised more, and cheaper.  

 

  • Three-quarters of respondents (70%) would like the TSA to track and publish wait times on a publicly available website. Only 5% use TSA’s wait time app. 

 

  • Over half of respondents (56%) support allocating more federal dollars to hire additional TSA officers and the largest share of those surveyed (40%) believe the TSA, rather than a private company, should remain in charge of managing security at New York area airports. 

 

  • Respondents rank increasing TSA staffing as the most important step to improve wait times, with expanding TSA PreCheck and increasing dog teams ranking second and third, respectively. 

 

The survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey between May 25-27, 2016. 310 respondents from New York and New Jersey participated.