TSA gets positive reviews from most Americans, poll finds

Friday - 8/10/2012, 9:06am EDT

A Gallup poll finds that 54 percent of Americans think the Transportation Security Administration is doing a good or excellent job.

Meanwhile, 30 percent said TSA did a fair job and 12 percent gave it a poor rating.

Despite the overall positive view of TSA's performance, a smaller proportion — 41 percent — think TSA's screening methods are effective at preventing acts of terrorism.

Gallup polled 1,014 adults between July 9-12.

Generally, there were no major differences in responses among those who flew infrequently and those who flew often, as well as little difference between parents of minors and non-parents.

Younger people surveyed had a more positive response to TSA. Gallup offered an explanation: "When the TSA was formed in late 2001, Americans who are now 18 to 29 were between 7 and 18 years old, meaning that their flying experience has been mostly in an environment in which increased airport security and TSA screening procedures are the norm."

The TSA has been under scrutiny by Capitol Hill. In recent months, legislators have called into question the effectiveness of the agency's methods, as well as pointing to faulty equipment and rudeness toward travelers.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said TSA wasted millions of taxpayer dollars developing equipment that didn't work, leaving "a dire picture of ineffectiveness."

The Government Accountability Office has also detected flaws with three TSA screening programs.

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