Feeling down as the security queues go up
AIRPORT security waiting times are on the up at Britain’s largest airport, according to the latest statistics.
So if you think you’re spending longer in airport security queues at Heathrow airport, you might be right.
More than a quarter of passengers at the airport last year (27%) said they spent between five and 10 minutes in a queue for security, according to the latest Civil Aviation Authority’s survey into passenger security screening at airports.
Waiting times at the hub airport were up by 23% from 2015’s figures, and last year saw an average queue time of 6.8 minutes.
Terminal 4 was deemed the worst for the longest waits, with 2% of passengers saying they waited 21 to 30 minutes and 1% said they waited for between 31 minutes and an hour.
But Terminal 3 scored best for satisfaction, at 90%, compared to 85% at Terminal 4.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, queueing was the least satisfactory thing about security screening, with 4% of passengers citing it as something they were unhappy with.
Among other complaints were the slow speed of the screening process, with 3% of passengers saying it was the least satisfactory part of the process, and staff attitude/politeness scored 2%.
However, overall 81% of passengers said no part of the process was the least satisfactory.
Mostly passengers were satisfied with their experience of security screening. A total of 87% said they were satisfied or very satisfied against just 2% who said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
As well as this, passengers were very likely to agree that any inconvenience caused by security screening was acceptable, which made up 91% of those quizzed at Heathrow.
More than 20,000 respondents were asked about their experience of security screening at five airports which were Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Manchester.
The Department for Transport, which publishes the survey results, said passengers tend to overestimate their queuing time so these figures are likely to be higher than actual times at these airports.
However, they give some indication of relative queuing times between airports and the extent to which these have changed over time.
In 2016, the majority (85%) of air passengers surveyed said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their experiences of security screening, with just 4% saying they were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied. The aspects of security screening with which passengers were least satisfied were queuing (cited by 5%), slow speed of processing (3%) and general organisation (2%).
The majority of passengers (79%) said there was no aspect with which they were least satisfied.
The proportion of passengers who disagreed or strongly disagreed increased to 4% in 2016.
Gatwick scored well in the survey with the highest acceptance, as 96% agreed or strongly agreed, where satisfaction with security screening was also highest.
But the other end of the scale with acceptance at the lowest was at Stansted (87%), where satisfaction was also lowest.
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