Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Charter passengers cause most airport security delays

Charter passengers cause the majority of delays in airport security checks leading to higher security costs, claims a scientific research company.

Between 33-50% of charter passengers carry prohibited items, according to an airport security consulting company, with 33% needing to be re-examined.

This compares with only 10-15% of scheduled passengers carrying prohibited items and only 10% of regular flyers needing to be re-examined by security employees.

The research showed that while charter passengers accounted for less than 50% of overall traffic, they were responsible for an additional 35% of the overall security costs.

The majority of passengers pass through the security process very quickly, but passengers who negotiate with the security personal take up close to 80% of the time spent passing through screening.

The findings are based on a one-year in-depth study by Kirschenbaum Consulting held at a regional European airport.

"Security has become a key cost component in airports. We can clearly see that delays at the screening check point are directly related to the type of passenger involved," said Prof Alan Kirschenbaum, founder and CEO of Kirschenbaum Consulting.

Kirschenbaum added that it could be said charter passengers were more likely to purchase holiday gifts and, given their lower sensitivity to security, more likely to be stopped for possessing prohibited items.

Airports estimate that it should take 20-30 seconds for a regular passenger to pass through the security screening process while the research showed passengers ignorant of the rules take one to two minutes.

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