Most people believe the long lines at airport passenger-screening points are worth the long wait and also have given high marks to federal airport screeners, a new Zogby poll says.
According to the survey of 1,012 likely voters, more than nine in 10 believe the tighter security measures in place since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks – the cause of most delays – are worth the time it now takes to get to planes. Only 5 percent disagreed.
People living in the West were slightly less likely – 88 percent – to agree the longer wait times were worth it, with 8 percent saying they were not.
The June 6-10 poll, which was released last week, said approval of longer waiting times is nearly universal at 97 percent with likely voters under the age of 35. Of voters over 70, 90 percent agreed.
Following the 9-11 attacks, Congress passed legislation authorizing the federal government to assume responsibility for airport security. Prior to the attacks, airport security checkpoints had been staffed by private firms contracting with individual airports.
Screeners now are employed by the Transportation Security Agency. They are required to be American citizens and must meet more stringent qualification standards.
Also, the poll said, voters oppose steps to replace the federal screeners with those employed by private security firms. Over half of respondents, or 55 percent, believe they would feel less safe with private screeners, with 16 percent saying they would feel safer. About one-fourth of respondents said changing to private screeners would make no difference to them.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.