Yes, but it depends on something too. If the public wifi with password has the password listed somewhere for people to read it, then it is equally insecure as the open public wifi without password.
The idea is that a hacker who is on the same network with his gear can use this wifi connection to hack your wifi by using a router and set it up to have the same login credentials as the place you connect to. In essense they will make you log on his network instead of the one you actually want, then use that method to hack your laptop.
But if you have to get the password from the owner, it is too much security risk for the hacker to get that password, so they won't bother. Because asking for that password means the hacker is no longer anonymous.