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Fri, Dec 03, 2010

Survey: Most In The U.S. And Largest European Countries Consider Air Travel Safe

Majorities Also Reportedly Support The Use Of Full Body Scanners

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.

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 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.
  • 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.

As the holiday season kicks off around the world, many people will be flying this month. 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, at least according to this poll, 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.

FMI: www.harrisinteractive.com

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