According to the results of a survey just released by the US Travel Association, two-out-of-five travelers this season are saying they’re trying to skip the plane and those pesky lines and checkpoints in lieu of other methods of transportation. It might not seem like a substantial number, but the association’s CEO, Roger Dow, tells US News & World Report, "Our research shows that reducing hassle without compromising security will encourage more Americans to fly — as many as two to three additional trips a year — leading to an additional $85 billion in spending that would support 900,000 American jobs."
At a time when American Airlines is posting $400 million in losses and the country as a whole is in the midst of one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, can we really afford to make flying so much of a hassle that 40% of people polled say that they will drive or stay home rather than deal with airport security? I, for one, have not flown since January of last year, and I will not purchase another airline ticket until this nonsense stops. I have spoken with a number of others who feel the same way, and now this poll provides objective proof of what I have long suspected was true.
Consequently, I encourage the airlines to join the fight against TSA abuse. We can be (reasonably) safe without giving up our liberty. I would really like to take my family on vacation again. But I, and apparently, a growing body of my peers in the U.S., will never do so while the TSA is allowed to scope, grope, and even strip search people whose only "crime" is to purchase an airline ticket.