While airport security officials announced a more “comprehensive” physical screening for some airline passengers in March, in general, Americans are growing more content with airport security.

A study by Travelers Leaders Group found that nearly 68% of those recently surveyed stated they are “satisfied” and only 14.9% said they are “frustrated” with airport security. The data also revealed a significant decrease in individuals aggravated by airport security wait times compared to one year ago, and there is a growing percentage of travelers enrolling in trusted traveler programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. The survey was conducted April 3 to April 30, 2017, and includes responses from 2,854 consumers throughout the United States.

Key Findings:

Airport Security Satisfaction: When asked, “What is your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” 67.7% indicated they are satisfied and 17.4% stated they are neutral about today’s security measures – which is an improvement over last year.

  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Satisfied 67.7% 63.6% 65.8% 64.2% 62.2%
Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied 17.4% 19.4% 22.6% 23.3% 19.8%
Unsatisfied 14.9% 17.0% 11.6% 12.5% 18.0%


Overall Airport Security Wait Times: When asked, “With regard to how long it takes to get through airport security, are you…” nearly 52% of consumers polled are “OK with the amount of time it takes.” There was a significant drop in the percentage of those stating they are frustrated with how long it takes to get through security; just 4.7% of respondents noted frustration, compared to 13.9% in 2016.

  2017 2016 2015 2014
OK with the amount of time it takes 51.5% 52.3% 44.4% 39.6%
Wish it was somewhat quicker 43.8% 33.8% 44.5% 46.3%
Frustrated by the amount of time it takes 4.7% 13.9% 11.1% 14.1%


Trusted Traveler Programs: When asked whether or not survey participants have enrolled in …

  • Global Entry – 9% said “Yes” up from 18.6% in 2016.
  • TSA PreCheck – 3% said “Yes” an increase from 32.4% last year.
  • CLEAR – Only 2.1% indicated they have enrolled in CLEAR.

Expedited Screening: When asked, “Regardless of whether you have TSA PreCheck or not, do you think expedited screenings have made a significant difference in wait times at U.S. airports?” the percentage of those polled answering favorably has continued to steadily increase.

  2017 2016 2015 2014
Yes, I use it all the time 24.5% 20.3% 14.4% 7.6%
Yes, it’s reduced wait times for regular screening 34.6% 24.0% 26.1% 17.6%
No 15.2% 11.1% 14.5% 13.1%
I don’t know 25.7% 44.6% 45.1% 61.7%


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” (27.3%), “none, do not eliminate any security measures” (20.8%), “extensive pat-down” (19.7%) “limiting liquids in carry-on baggage” (19.2%), and “laptop removal” (6.0%).

  • Shoe removal has been the top response the past four years in a row.
  • Airline passengers who qualify for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck do not need to remove shoes, computers or 1-quart bag carrying liquids at 160 airports throughout the United States.