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Poll: You'd pay $50 for faster airport screening--but it costs $85

April 24, 2014|By Catharine M. Hamm | Los Angeles Times travel editor
  • This photo provided by the Transportation Security Administration shows two World War I artillery shells discovered by baggage screeners in checked luggage that arrived on a flight from London at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
This photo provided by the Transportation Security Administration shows… (Associated Press )

How much is it worth to you to get through airport security faster? Most people would pay about $50, according to a Harris Poll released Thursday.

Unfortunately for those folks, the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, which allows expedited screening for prequalified passengers, charges $85 for five years of "fast pass" screening.

The misapprehension may stem from this finding: 41% of respondents said they had never heard of PreCheck.

Those are among the notions about the TSA and its procedures and programs that the survey of 2,234 adults revealed. The survey was offered online from March 12-17.

Among other findings:

--37% think that PreCheck applicants should have to pass a drug test. This is not required, and the survey did not reveal why respondents correlated drug use with security.

--89% of respondents don’t think they’ll be able to get on a plane if they don’t have their identification. In the past, the TSA has told me that there are other ways to verify your identity, although you may not make your original flight because of the extra time needed to establish who you are.

 --Half of respondents think TSA screeners make air travel safer, but 43% say they are neither “more nor less safe” and 7% say they are somewhat or a lot less safe.

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