Public divided on TSA, but most still think flying is a convenient way to travel

June 03, 2016, 4:45 PM GMT+0

Despite widespread gripes, Americans are divided on whether the TSA does a good job or a bad job, and most people think air travel is convenient

As summer flying season approaches another summer of long lines at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints looks set to steal the headlines, despite promises by the head of the TSA that this year won't be a 'summer of misery'. The head of security at the TSA was replaced last week following Congressional inquiries into staffing decisions which led to insufficient staffing at checkpoints despite alleged overstaffing in other roles, exacerbating checkpoint waits.

Research from YouGov shows, however, that Americans are divided on whether or not the TSA is or is not doing a good job. 41% of Americans say the TSA is, while 39% say that they is not. This near dead heat persists even among frequent fliers (48% to 51%) and occasional fliers (41% to 42%).

The TSA is often cited as one of the reasons why air travel today is so inconvenient, but when Americans are asked to score the convenience of different forms of travel, most say that air travel (57%) is a convenient way to travel for five hours. Car travel (80%) is far and away the winner of the most convenient way to travel. Bus travel is the big loser, with 77% of Americans saying it's inconvenient to take the bus, and a small majority (57%) also say the same about rail travel.

Frequent fliers are significantly more likely than occasional fliers to say that flying is convenient, however. 71% of frequent fliers rate it at least an 8 out of 10 or better for convenience, compared to only 45% of occasional fliers.

Full poll results and margin of error can be found here.