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Knives allowed on planes, local flight attendant says ‘bad idea’

Beginning April 25, the TSA says knives with blades no more than 2.36 inches in length from tip to where the blade meets the handle will be approved for carry-on luggage. These knives were previously confiscated. (AP/Gene Blythe photo)

I’ve surrendered a snow globe from the San Francisco Zoo and at least one sippy cup filled with milk to the TSA while traveling with my kids after the September 11, 2001 attack.

I understood then. Today, a lot of people involved with the airline industry don’t understand a new change from the TSA.

Small knives will be permitted in carry-on luggage on flights beginning April 25.

Knives with blades no more than 2.36 inches in length from tip to where the blade meets the handle – or hilt – will be approved for carry-on. The blade must be no more than half an inch in width. Box cutters would still be banned.

The TSA also announced toy bats and sporting equipment such as hockey sticks and golf clubs will also be allowed on board aircraft.

“This decision aligns TSA with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and our European counterparts,” the TSA said in a statement.

At least two industry groups oppose the change. The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, representing nearly 90,000 Flight Attendants, called the decision “poor and shortsighted” in a statement urging the TSA to change its mind.

“As the last line of defense in the cabin and key aviation partners, we believe that these proposed changes will further endanger the lives of all Flight Attendants and the passengers we work so hard to keep safe and secure,” they say.

“Flight Attendants are the front line safety and security professionals on board every commercial passenger aircraft in this country and must be given the tools and training to protect ourselves, our passengers and the aircraft.”

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants represents 16,000 American Airlines employees, and they also asked the TSA to reconsider the policy change. They further question why such a “momentous decision” was made without consulting flight attendants.

Beyond knives, they say imagine the potential danger for passengers getting hit accidentally with hockey sticks, baseball bats or golf clubs.

There’s no shortage of opinions on this through social media.

“As for weapons on the plane lets not forget that the TSA’s own testing shows that the majority of “banned weapons” get onboard flights,” writes Chris Cliff on Facebook.

“This is a moot point. There will never be another successful hijacking of an American airplane, or a plane with a significant number of Americans aboard because the default behavioral template for that environment has switched from passive acceptance to aggressive resistance,” says says Bill Kortenbach. “Every time someone even looks like trouble, the passengers dog-pile them. Be even more formidable with blades allowed. Stop thinking like sheep.”

A local flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, who didn’t want me to use her name, says, “I have a slight feeling of fear every time I step on a plane. This doesn’t help. It’s a bad idea. It’s time to find a new job.”


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