Airport security measures: Necessity vs convenience

Ben GlanvilleHead of Data Services, UK & Growth Markets
March 23, 2017, 2:56 PM GMT+0

In light of additional airline security restrictions introduced this week, new data from YouGov Omnibus shows that flyers’ perception of the inconvenience of such measures increases as their sense of necessity declines.

The research was conducted among more than 1,500 British adults who have flown in the past ten years. It shows that there are large differences among flyers about the perceived necessity of current airport security restrictions.

While the overwhelming majority of travellers believe measures such as scanning hand luggage (95%) and full body scans (84%) are necessary, this is not the case for other safety precautions. Only around two thirds of flyers believe placing toiletries in clear bags (68%), limiting the volume of liquids in hand luggage (67%) and removing shoes (65%) are necessary.

But as the perceived necessity of the measure declines, the sense of inconvenience to travellers increases. Although only about one in seven (15%) flyers believe having hand luggage scanned to be a hassle, this figure rises to more than four in ten when it comes to removing shoes (43%) and limiting liquid volumes (46%).

The fast turnaround research carried out overnight follows the announcement from the UK and US governments that they have banned various electronic devices from being carried as hand luggage across several routes. The majority of the responses were collected after yesterday’s terrorist incident in Westminster.

When it comes to this week’s additional measures, the public is so far unconvinced by their necessity and divided about their convenience. While just over half (56%) of flyers believe the restrictions on laptops and tablets in hand luggage are needed, a third (33%) think they are not. Travellers are almost evenly split about how much bother it will cause them, with 50% believing the measures are inconvenient and 47% believing they are not.