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Maybe if we could get through security faster, we'd travel more

By Michelle Baran
October 3, 2012
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Courtesy <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/billypalooza/3184530981/" target="_blank">billypalooza/Flickr</a></strong>

There has got to a better way to move people through airport security, according to the U.S. Travel Association, a travel and tourism advocacy organization.

In light of the Transportation Security Administration's proposed "trusted traveler" program that would offer expedited screening at major U.S. airports for those willing to undergo a background check and pay an annual enrollment fee of between $100 and $150.

In a recent survey of more than 1,000 adults commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, 45 percent of all travelers were either very or somewhat likely to enroll. But, 61 percent of frequent leisure travelers were either very or somewhat likely to enroll, and 75 percent of frequent business travelers were either very or somewhat likely to enroll.

Travelers would take two to three more trips per year if the hassle involved in flying could be reduced without compromising security, according to a TSA study.

"Travelers deserve a trusted traveler program that provides predictable wait times at airports and a screening process that recognizes their low-risk nature," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which has been advocating that the TSA go forward with the trusted traveler program. "We now know that frequent travelers are willing to pay for a better security experience."

The TSA officially recognized the need for change in a report released in March, which acknowledged that "each day in the United States, roughly two million air travelers are advised to arrive upwards of two hours before a flight in order to be processed through a one-size-fits-all security screening system."

The TSA noted that while there have been no successful terrorist attacks on an American aircraft since Sept. 11, 2001, the current security screening system is not the most cost effective or efficient system the U.S. is capable of carrying out.

"The country that put a man on the moon, invented the Internet and creates daily innovations in manufacturing can and must do better," the TSA stated.

What about you? Would you pay to be able to zip through security? Would you take more flights if you could?

Let us know by voting in our poll or by commenting below.

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