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U.S. Travel: Long security lines will damage the economy

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U.S. Travel: Long security lines will damage the economy

Unread post by bimjim » Thu May 26, 2016

http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News ... he-economy

U.S. Travel: Long security lines will damage the economy
Johanna Jainchill
May 25, 2016

Millions of Americans will delay or cancel their air travel plans this summer to avoid long Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lines, according to a report from the U.S. Travel Association.

The association contends that this reaction will inflict billions in economic damage on the U.S. economy.

A survey of 2,500 Americans found that of those planning to fly between Memorial Day and Labor Day, 21.8% will either travel by other means or delay or cancel their trips because of “saturation coverage of hours-long waits at airport security checkpoints.”

Most travelers will not cancel their trips, but will adjust their behavior to cope with the lines: 60.3% of respondents said they would arrive at the airport earlier, while 17.9% said they would not change their travel behavior at all.

According to U.S. Travel, the lost travel spending will total $4.3 billion for the three-month summer peak season.

“To put these figures in perspective, the problems at TSA security lines are costing our economy almost a billion-and-a-half dollars in spending and more than 12,000 jobs every month,” stated U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow. “We're looking at convincing data that says hundreds of thousands of people are potentially reconsidering whether to get on an airplane every single day. Given the importance of travel to both our economy and our way of life, it is not an overstatement to call that a national crisis in need of a national solution.”

Dow said the Department of Homeland Security’s recently announced series of steps to better allocate staffing to address TSA wait times was encouraging, but that there was “little hope of help arriving in time for summer flyers.”

“Unfortunately we're well past the point when any single measure is going to provide enough relief to completely save the summer travel season,” Dow said. “The rosiest scenario we can hope for at this point is that policymakers sustain their level of attention on the TSA issue, and keep striving toward a wholesale policy shift that will set the system on the correct course over the long term.”

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