Are screening times shortening in the US?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Plane38 million trips weren’t made by Americans last year because of any number of reasons. Can that really be true? And hidden away in the research is potentially good news for travellers.

The research was commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, and, if true – because as readers know I am sceptical of a great deal of research – then this is just the sort of thing that might deter passengers from considering US holidays. But, to reiterate, these are domestic flights not international ones and most holidaymakers will fly straight to their destinations rather than connect on to feeder flights.

To put it into some perspective, 38 million flights equals just 8% of travel demand according to the association.  But what is deterring people from taking flights?

The first was the concern over flight delays and cancellations and 39% of respondents gave that as the answer. This figure is greater than those deterred by the fees imposed by airlines for checked bags and for seat assignments. Largely, overseas passengers flying into the US don’t face these issues as they are treated differently and don’t pay luggage fees but if during your holiday, you take flights separate from your main arrival and departure flights and connections, you might face them. Just over a quarter of those asked said this was the reason why they hadn’t made a flight.

Next comes safety which was cited by 11% of people and then comes security screening at just 8%. On the face of it this looks like good news. If only 8% of people said this then it would seem that those endless lines that I have faced have been reduced and that airports and the screening services have been achieving shorter times. Last year I nearly missed two flights by taking more than 70 minutes to get through security at Orlando International and JFK in New York.

Was I unlucky? Are queues shortening? Readers who travel to the US this summer might like to let us know their experiences.

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