Small Knives Will Soon Be Welcome as Carry-Ons aboard U.S. Flights

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to loosen restrictions regarding carry-on items aboard commercial aircraft, allowing small knives, hockey sticks and golf clubs.


The change represents the first time since the September 11, 2001, attacks that passengers will be able to carry items previously considered a safety risk.


As of April 25, it will be okay to carry on a knife, as long as the blade is less than 2.36 inches in length.


Billiard cues, ski poles and lacrosse sticks also will be permitted on planes.


Flight attendants aren’t happy about the policy change, arguing that it will create unnecessary risks and further crowd overhead bins. While knives and clubs “pose less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit,” they “are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin,” said Stacy Martin, president of the Transportation Workers Union Local 556, which represents Southwest Airlines flight attendants.


TSA officials said they made the switch in order to bring U.S. rules impacting carry-on items in line with those of international carriers. They also said it will allow passengers to move through screening lines more quickly, since it reduces the number of prohibited items that TSA screeners have to deal with.


Box cutters will continue to be banned because, given their use during the September 11 attacks, “there’s just too much emotion associated with them,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole. “The sensitivity to those who were attacked on 9/11 still resonates strongly.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

TSA to Allow Small Knives, Sporting Gear on Planes (by Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times)

Flight Attendants Cry Foul as TSA Says Some Knives OK (by Linda Loyd, Philadelphia Inquirer)

TSA Will Permit Knives, Golf Clubs on U.S. Planes (by Jeff Plungis, Bloomberg)

TSA Releases Airport Confiscation List; Items Include Chastity Belts, Samurai Swords, Bag of Eels (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

TSA Confiscates an Average of more than 3 Loaded Guns a Day at Airports (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

5 Suggestions for Upgrading Airport Security: Clifford D. May (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Bob Burns 5 years ago
Hi. Bob here from the TSA Blog. The knife you have pictured will still be prohibited because it has a locking blade. For more information on the changes to the prohibited items list, please check out the latest posts on our blog. Thanks, Bob Burns TSA Blog Team

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