Majorities in U.S. and Five Largest European Countries Consider Air Travel to Be Safe

Majorities in U.S. and Five Largest European Countries Consider Air Travel to Be Safe

Majorities in U.S. and Five Largest European Countries Consider Air Travel to Be Safe

Majorities also support the use of full body scanners

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Financial Times/Harris Poll in the United States and the five largest European countries looks at air travel safety and security and finds an overall sense of safety prevails. Three-quarters of Spaniards (75%), more than seven in ten Britons (72%), more than two-thirds of Americans (69%) and Germans (68%), and more than three in five Italians (64%) and French (62%) all say they consider air travel to be safe. In fact, one-third of Britons (35%) and Americans (32%) say they consider it to be very safe.

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These are some of the findings of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 6,130 adults aged 16-64 within France (1,097), Germany (1,070), Great Britain (871), Spain (1,003), the U.S. (1,044) and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (1,045) between November 9 and 16, 2010.

Other interesting findings of this survey include:

  • Considering some of the new airport security measures that have been put in place, such as removing shoes and no bottled water, around half of Germans (52%), French (49%), Americans (49%), Spaniards (48%) and Britons (47%) all say these current airport security measures are adequate and should not change. Italians are more torn, as two in five say both that these measures are adequate (41%) and the same number say that they are not rigid enough and should be made more rigid (41%);
  • About one in five adults in each of the six countries (between 18% and 25%) believe that these security measures are too rigid and should be relaxed. When these adults were asked what should be relaxed or removed completely, adults said the limit on liquids (between 64% and 90%), having to fit cosmetics and liquids into a plastic bag (between 55% and 74%), and removing shoes and belts (between 45% and 75%) top the list;
  • As full body scanners are rolled out in the United States, adults in all six countries say they support these devices being used. Strong majorities in Italy (68%), Great Britain (68%), France (65%), Germany (64%), the U.S. (62%) and Spain (59%) all mostly support the introduction of full body scanners in all major airports; and,
  • One additional security measure is being discussed in the U.K.—profiling airline passengers at security, or targeting specific groups. Over half of Britons (54%), almost half of Americans (48%), and two in five Germans (43%), Spaniards (42%) and Italians (41%) would mostly support this additional security measure. French adults are of a different mindset with 41% saying they would mostly oppose this practice while 38% would mostly support it. There is also a great deal of uncertainty on this security measure as one in five adults in all six countries say they are not sure if they would support or oppose this measure.

So What?

As the holiday season kicks off around the world, many people will be flying this month. And, each of them will have to kick off their shoes, take their laptops out of bags and, perhaps, deal with a pat-down at security. However, these measures seem to be working, as adults in these six countries believe these current security measures are adequate and they feel safe when flying.

TABLE 1

ON THE SAFETY OF AIR TRAVEL

"Please tell us your view surrounding the safety of air travel. Do you consider air travel to be…?"


Base: All EU adults in five countries and U.S. adults


U.S.

Great

Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

Safe (NET)

69

72

62

64

75

68

  Very safe

32

35

18

17

23

17

  Somewhat safe

37

37

45

48

52

51

Neither safe nor unsafe

13

12

30

29

17

20

Unsafe (NET)

18

16

7

7

8

12

  Somewhat unsafe

12

12

5

5

6

6

  Very unsafe

5

4

2

2

2

6

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding




TABLE 2

ON THE RIGIDNESS OF CURRENT AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES

"Some experts have argued that some relatively new airport security procedures for passengers, such as no bottled water and removing shoes should be relaxed as they are unnecessarily rigid. What do you think?"


Base: All EU adults in five countries and U.S. adults



U.S.

Great

Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

Current airport security measures are adequate and should not change

49

47

49

41

48

52

Current airport security measures are not rigid enough and should be made more rigid

30

30

29

41

27

30

Current airport security measures are too rigid and should be relaxed

20

23

21

18

25

18

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 3

STEPS TO RELAX/REMOVE FROM AIRPORT SECURITY

"You say that you feel current airport security measures are too rigid. Which steps should be relaxed or removed completely?"


Base: All EU and U.S. adults who think that airport security measures should be relaxed



U.S.

Great

Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

100ml limits on liquids

76

64

79

76

79

90

Removing shoes and belts

64

75

69

57

74

45

Having to fit cosmetics and liquids into a plastic bag

60

59

66

55

57

74

Taking laptops out of bags

22

26

20

27

29

21

Being personally scanned and examined with metal detectors

19

11

12

8

12

12

Another step

21

7

7

4

8

5

Note: Multiple responses accepted



TABLE 4

SUPPORT FOR FULL BODY SCANNERS AT AIRPORT SECURITY

"Some safety authorities are pushing for the introduction of full body scanners in all major airports. Would you mostly support or oppose this additional security measure?"


Base: All EU adults in 5 countries and U.S. adults



U.S.

Great

Britain

France

Italy

Spain

Germany

%

%

%

%

%

%

Mostly support

62

68

65

68

59

64

Mostly oppose

18

16

15

15

19

22

Not sure

20

15

20

16

22

14

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 5

SUPPORT FOR PROFILING PASSENGERS AT AIRPORT SECURITY IN UK

"In the UK there is discussion about 'profiling' airline passengers at security. This could mean security staff targeting specific groups – for example people who look like they are from the Middle East. Would you mostly support or oppose this additional security measure?"


Base: All EU adults in 5 countries and U.S. adults

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