Monday, March 18, 2013

Small Pocket Knives – More Support Than You Might Think

Small Pocket Knives.
Click to Enlarge
Note: Small pocket knives and some sporting goods remain on the TSA Prohibited Items List and may be transported in your checked baggage.

TSA is always assessing our policies, ensuring that they are based on the latest intelligence, best practices, and focused on mitigating the most serious threats to the traveling public. Of course anytime we modify these policies, the public has questions regarding the reason why.

Earlier this month TSA announced the latest modification to our ongoing efforts to provide the most effective security to the traveling public. The implementation of the change has been delayed, but TSA will relax restrictions on certain items previously prohibited as part of its ever evolving efforts to focus on items that pose the highest threat. Relaxed restrictions will apply to knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or lessin length and are less than 1/2 inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats,billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage.

On the Hill this week, Administrator Pistole said we know the aviation threat is, “from nonmetallic improvised explosive devices such as the liquids explosive plot we saw from the U.K. in 2006, the bomb used by the so-called Underwear Bomber on Christmas Day 2009, the toner cartridge printer bombs from Yemen placed onto our air cargo flights destined for Chicago in October 2010 and most recently, the improved next generation underwear device also from Yemen intended for a passenger jet on its way to the U.S....” 

We have yet to see a single incident where a passenger was injured using a knitting needle or scissors. Small knives have been permitted in Europe for some time now, with no incidents that we are aware of. In fact, the GAO published a report that said there had been zero security incidents where these items had been used aboard an aircraft.

Here’s some additional reading material with outside input made this week:



If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like "not going to happen because it hasn't happened" thinking and that is just plain wrong and somewhat complacent thinking.

Anonymous said...

So lets keep and maintain a ZERO INCIDENT track record for these types of items, only thing is, they should only be allowed to be packed in a suitcase that travels UNDER the plane and NOT in the cabin! I, as well as millions of other Americans would feel a lot safer if NONE of these items were allowed in "carry on" bags on the aircraft. I get the feeling that the TSA is making the analogy that...as long as the cockpit is locked/secured from any passenger, it is OK for the passengers to use the items on themselves to inflict pain, just as long as the plane is not forced down.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your dedication to keeping us safe. The stakes are so high when it comes to protecting us from terrorists while trying to avoid being overly restrictive. It's a tough line to walk. I know the dedicated women and men at the TSA are doing their best to make those hard decisions. My prayers are with all of you.

Anonymous said...

Can you please clarify about the length restriction. For example, I have a Swiss Army pocket knife similar to the first knife show on the left. The measurement shown is from the tip of the blade to the "handle" which includes a section which is not a sharpened blade. The knife I have has a measurement of ~2.5in from the tip to the "handle". The measurement of the sharpened section is ~2.0in. Would that pocket knife be permissible?

Noah kivesonplanes said...

Does anyone remember the term "box cutter"and how they were used?How long is the blade on boxcutter? Any knife as described can be honed razor sharp Perhaps the pilots behind locked doors don't mind but an unarmed stewardess and/or passenger might. What is the great necessity for a traveler to carry a pocket knife? Dave Gebing, Roseburg, Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Would it be true to say that the TSA inspectors are going to spend more time measuring theses allowed small knives than if they just kept the present policies in place? How is this going to free up more time to look for more destructive devices?

John Shannon, MD said...

My concern with 6 cm blades is the bad guy will come up with some way to make the folding knife stay locked (locked blades cannot be carry-on).

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. I view this policy change as proof that the TSA is not a mindless buracracy; rather a progressive government agancy committed to trasnportation safety.

Gene in Denver said...

The picture of what appears to be a "standard" Swiss Army knife shows the 6 cm limit as being from the base of the blade to the tip. Actually that length is more than 6 cm as the *sharp edge* of the blade is 6 cm. So does a standard SAK pass or not? And concerning poles: I'll assume that hiking/trekking poles fall under skis poles. Realizing that the TSA doesn't oversee this, what can be said about the return international trip from European points? It is not clear that poles can be arrived as carry on from there? The knife policy appears to be reciprocal.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a sensible decision to resend a ridiculous regulation as regards the small knives. I can once again attach the small Swiss Army knife to my keychain. TSA got two of mine over the years when I forgot about them.

Anonymous said...

Common sense prevails at last! I can do more damage with my ball point pen than with the small Swiss Army knife.

Andrew MacKie-Mason said...

Translation: we've been needlessly banning these things for years, but now you should thank us for finally ending our senseless policy.

Anonymous said...

I'm usually critical of the TSA, but I think allowing pocket knives onboard is a step in the right driection. Knives are no longer a threat to airplanes. I think the allowable knife criteria is too small, but i realize you have to take initiatives like this slowly. Scissors and knitting needles have been allowed for years and there haven't been any attacks with them.

I hope to see more risk based initiatives in the future, since 99.9999999+% of travellers are not risks. This includes eliminating shoe removal and a loosening of liquid restrictions. Other countries don't require shoe removal and no planes have fallen from the sky. The liquid restrictions seem excessive since all of the confiscated liquids are simply thrown in a trashcan next to the checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

And yet your own boss has stated on the record that the TSA's sixth-of-a-million-dollar AIT machines might very well not find a well-concealed bomb.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/05/tsas-john-pistole-scanners-might-not-stop-an-underwear-bomber/257509/

«...Would the TSA have been able to identify this most dangerous anomaly in the crotch area, had al-Qaeda managed to build one in the U.S.?

(Pistole) mentioned the TSA's new scanning devices, now in use at about 180 airports.

"The advanced imaging technology gives us the best chance to detect the underwear-type device," he said.

The best chance? "This is not 100 percent guaranteed," he said. "If it comes down to a terrorist who has a well- concealed device, and we have no intelligence about him, and he comes to an advanced-imaging technology machine, it is still our best technology. But it's really an open question about whether the machine, or the AIT operator, would detect the device."»

Anonymous said...

None of this makes any sense because those knifes can do just as much harm as a larger knife...it can slit someones throat,etc. Yet you aren't allowed to bring larger bottles of shampoo,etc.in a carry on. I think you are making a huge mistake doing this because more is going to be snuck in. I really think this should be rethought through before allowing it. I know the stewardesses, pilots, and passangers are not happy about his and niether am I.

Anonymous said...

So knives will be allowed in the cabin, but I still can't bring a weeks worth of shampoo and mouthwash in my carry on bag?

Anonymous said...

ceounivaI'm sorry but you are WRONG on this. A person could be incapacitated if the knife was used to stab the person in the eye. A small knife can be concealed in the hand and the person would not even see the attack coming. Much different than a knitting needle that is much larger and can not be concealed in the palm of a hand.

Suzanne Smith said...

On behalf of knitters everywhere, I thank you for acknowledging that knitting needs are unlikely to be used as weapons on planes. (Thankfully, ungrateful relatives who turn up their noses at hand-knitted gifts are not at issue here. I have never had a problem bringing my needles on a flight, but I've heard from other knitters that there are inconsistent practices at airports across the US. Can TSA please clarify this issue (again) for its employees and airline passengers? What needles are allowed? Bamboo, wood, metal, plastic? Any maximum length or size? (needle diameter is measured in millimeters and can be as much as 15mm).

Thank you so much for your delightful blog. If only all your screeners were as charming as you.

Anonymous said...

There is never a threat until someone gets the idea, who would have thought a box cutter can control a pilot in a locked cabin. If there is a way to use the listed items as a threat, you can bet some idiot is planning right now.

Anonymous said...

The change regarding sporting goods makes no sense. Why allow 2 Golf Clubs but not three? Golf Clubs, Hockey Sticks, Lacrosse Sticks-they should not be allowed on the plane. I play hockey, and I know the argument that says the sticks can't easily be used as a weapon in tight quarters is erroneous. (Not to mention the accidental contacts.) These changes will result in more flight attendants getting injured.

Anonymous said...

You haven't seen a single incident involving a small knife? Really? How big is a box cutter? I know those still won't be allowed...but really a box cutter and a small knife aren't all that different.

Anonymous said...

The policy makes sense. In the past I have been asked to get rid of the p-38 can opener (that I got from a can of C-Rats in the 70's while in the RVN); I've pitched nail clippers; and three small leathermen that I forgot were in my work vest. I've read the account of WW2 Medal of Honor winner who, on his way to West Point was hassled severely by TSA, refused to toss his medal in the trash bin. It's about time (12 years is long enough!) for TSA to get real and look for the genuine risks rather than focusing on the easy 'feel good' crap.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a policy that finally makes sense. I don't carry a fingernail file or a box cutter; however I do have to get into tearfree, impossible plastic and super strong cardboard packaging. The plastic packaging is often sharper and more damaging than a sensible pocket knife that I carry every day except those when I fly. The pocket knife is far less destructive than my fist, elbow, or foot; or, for that matter, a pointed ballpoint pen. It also allows me to clean my fingernails, remove hangnails, and often unscrew things. On occasion I use it to open cans of food. There are times that I have had to use it to remove insulation. I even use it to crop an articl or cut a picture to size. When I don't have it I have no choice: I make an otherwise unnecessary mess. Thanks for an intelligent policy, this time! BTW maybe if I were a robot I could read that crap that must be entered to submit . . .

Del said...

I'm on a an average of 4 flight legs a week and this is the first sign of reasoned security actions since putting a "real" door on the cockpit. Generally the kind of knife that appears to be on the proposed "allow" list poses less of a danger to anyone on-board than items I routinely carry (ball-point, keys, etc.) It is more important to screen for dangerous people, than common objects. At least targeting screening around elements that have been used for attempted flight disruption makes more sense than continued restrictions on a pen knife.

Many thanks for starting to move to a more efficient and less intrusive security check.

Susan Richart said...

More damage control, Bob?

Laura Kliegman said...

Thank you Mr. Bob Burns...very interesting and informative!

Robert said...

I'm supportive of any loosening of restrictions by the TSA. I think we should get away entirely from expecting this agency to protect us and more toward defending ourselves (not that I want the TSA abolished, we just need to have more of a "Let's Roll" mindset when it comes to security anywhere.)

Anonymous said...

There have also been zero incidents when toothpaste has been used abroad in airplanes.

And zero incidents with shoes that are not removed abroad for inspection.

And zero incidents with jackets, belts, and laptops.

Remove all those stupid security measures too!!

Anonymous said...

To those scared out of their wits about small pocket knives on planes, relax. Knives are already there. TSA misses most of them anyway.

Also, don't forget 4" scissors are already allowed, and if the blades are separated, that's two 4" knives with handles.

Anything can be a weapon, if you want to be paranoid or prepared, depending whether you are cowering in fear or defending yourself.

Full soda cans make a nifty projectile and empty ones can be twisted and torn to make a very sharp edge.

Breathe. Think logically and practically. You are not that special and no one is trying to kill you.

There is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance or less that the guy sitting next to you on a plane is a terrorist. With those odds, you will be quite safe even if your seatmate carries a small multitool that contains a knife.

Anonymous said...

Scissors 4 inches from the fulcrum are allowed. Enough said.

Rosemary Blair said...

I had terrible trouble a while back with sissors. I cut my husbands hair and they where cutting shires. They did take them.

Susan Richart said...

Let's hear your excuse for this incident, Bob:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/19/tsa-agents-humiliated-wounded-marine-aggressive-in/

Absolutely despicable!

RB said...

Who protects the public from TSA?

TSA agents 'humiliated' wounded Marine with aggressive inspection: report

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/19/tsa-agents-humiliated-wounded-marine-aggressive-in/


This incident should result in everyone at that checkpoint being fired along with the airports FSD, AFSD, TSM and John S. Pistole for allowing TSA employees to do these terrible things.

Nothing short of firing is acceptable to correct this wrong!

Totally unacceptable for TSA to abuse Wounded Warriors!

RB said...

There is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance or less that the guy sitting next to you on a plane is a terrorist. With those odds, you will be quite safe even if your seatmate carries a small multitool that contains a knife.

March 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM
..............

The odds are far greater than you suggest.

1.6 million people fly each and every day in the United States. There have been no terrorist acts against aviation in the United States for over 10 years.

That would be 10 years X 365 days x 1.6 million flyers daily = 5,840,000,000.00 flyers and not one terrorist attack against United States aviation.

You figure the odds!

Anonymous said...

If you were really constantly revising your policies based on risk assessment, you would end the shoe carnival that no other nation replicates, end the liquids policy since there is no such thing as a viable liquid explosive, and vet rid of your naked body scanners that don't work, have never been independently tested, and have never found a dangerous object. You'd probably also stop you weekly fake-police blotter. I won't hold my breath,though, Curtis.

Anonymous said...

The TSA aggressive inspection of the wounded Marine at Sky Harbor Airport is despicable. Once again, the TSA is a national disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Good to know that we are wrong and TSA is right. Good to know that only the radical minority complains about them and that TSA operations are the epitome of Civil Rights and The Constitution.

If only I could believe you, Bob. If only...

Anonymous said...

"The TSA aggressive inspection of the wounded Marine..."

Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Susan Richart said...

"Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

One sure hopes that this was said with sarcasm and the anonymous poster does not believe it to be true.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
"The TSA aggressive inspection of the wounded Marine..."

Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

March 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM
...................
Only a TSA screener would make such and outlandish statement.

The public does not support the abusive treatment of anyone by the hands of TSA.

This Marine, a Wounded Warrior, was traveling in a group, is wheelchair bound, and presented no threat.

Some TSA screeners should be fired including the senior TSA staff at Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

Let's hear TSA's version of the disrespect shown when a double amputee veteran tried to go through screening at Phoenix. I'm sure TSA will expound all the normal fairy tales about how they always treat travelers will the utmost respect.

Anonymous said...

"Right minded people support the actions of TSA on this. For a long time DHS has warned the American people of the terrorist threat from veterans. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
***********************************
I suppose you also believe that DHS and TSA employees are worthy of taxpaying American's blind trust? If so, YOU ARE NOT in your "right mind".

Anonymous said...

I think the new knife rule is dangerous and ill advised. Period. The sporting goods relaxation is probably a good thing, how about adding kayak paddles, canoe paddles, fishing rods, etc.?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I think the new knife rule is dangerous and ill advised. Period."

Do you have facts and sources to back this statement up, or is this an emotional response?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone at the TSA think that the reason we have not had an incident using the previously banned items is due to the fact that they were banned?????? Their thinking is beyond ridiculous as we are still the prime targets for a terrorist attack. In the right hands, the newly allowed items can certainly be used as weapons, yet I must take my tiny bottle of hand lotion from my purse, put it in a plastic bag and load it on the belt. Please wake up!

Bob Gilbert said...

TSA:

Thank you for your diligence and for your ongoing review regarding prohibited items to be allowed in carry on luggage and on a person. I believe that it is not the weapon - knife, box cutter, etc. that represents the real danger in air travel or any travel mode. It is the person(s) with bad intent that we must be on the watch for...

Anonymous said...

You guys have no imagination!
It is very easy to hide a very long blade inside the ski pole. Just push the button, release the external tube-sheath and you have a foot long dagger with a great grip.

Anonymous said...

Hey TSA, explain how your "highly trained" agent thought a can of pepper spray was a laser pointer, and ended up assaulting other agents with it by accident at JFK on Tuesday?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/oops_tsa_guy_goes_spray_zy_zpNfHADRbTmEKrDnnHQ05H

Anonymous said...

Flight Attendants, Pilots, Airlines, TSA Agents...just about every professional organization in the industry is appalled by the new knife policy. Pistole says the policy will speed up security lines. It won't because agents will have to check width, length, locking mechanism of knives. More time consuming then simple confiscation. Pistole says a small knife can't bring down a plane because of new cockpit doors and procedures. Wrong again. There is a human factor. Five terrorists with small knives (as dangerous as box cutters) with those knives at the throats of passengers and Flight Attendants with threat of death would make it very hard for a Pilot to ignore. I am a Flight Attendant. Have been for 35 years. I know in detail what happens inflight and I can tell you that the cockpit is NOT always secure. I can also tell you that a good number of Pilots are married to each other, and often fly together on flights. Ask yourself how you would react to a murderer holding your spouse with a knife to her neck? As crew members we are always reminded by our airline security department that terrorists are constantly watching our procedures. Looking for any window of opportunity. They will take note of these new procedures. Pistole throws out statistics. Worthless....what were the odds on 9/11 of such a thing happening? One in a Million? Higher? It happened. How fast we forget. What would we have said if this new policy was instituted then? Even if it accompanied new cockpit doors and procedures. Few would have supported allowing knives onboard and they would have been right.<It's been postulated that the TSA is not in the business of protecting air crew or passengers. They are in the business of protecting against a plane being used as a deadly projectile. Fine, Then tell the traveling public that. Tell them that a Flight Attendant with a knife to his/her neck isn't your concern. That a passenger in the same situation isn't your concern. Tell them your job is limited to: A terrorist trying to bring down a plane and that's pretty much it.
You might also want to give the public a viable explanation as to why you never consulted any of the professionals in the airline industry before making your arbitrary changes. Tell them why Airline Managements (that looks under every rock in order to improve on time operations) are appalled by this change. Folks, the bad guys are watching. That'snot said to create undue fear. It is true. We all witnessed the horror of 9/11. Yes, the odds of it happening that day were phenomenal. Those odds really haven't changed but we still must be vigilant. Pocket knives do not belong on planes in this day and age. To the moderator. I am curious to see if you allow this post. I expect the TSA to be open to criticism on this issue. If it can't be as a government agency that will be noted and made an issue in and of itself.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"Flight Attendants, Pilots, Airlines, TSA Agents...just about every professional organization in the industry is appalled by the new knife policy."

Except security experts. They realize that a knife will never, ever, be able to be used to take over a plane again, and are thus not a threat. They also realize there are dozens of allowed items that are as dangerous as a knife, if not more so.

"Folks, the bad guys are watching. That'snot said to create undue fear. It is true."

Then why go on to invoke the memory of 9/11 after stating this? Unless you're trying to get an emotional response instead of a logical one. The logical one is that there are numerous items as dangerous as knives already allowed (and it's easy enough to obtain a knife INSIDE the "secure area"), and yet the bad guys, who are "always watching" haven't used a single one to attempt to take over an aircraft.

If we're banning everything that's dangerous, we would all have to travel completely naked with no possessions carried on at all, as just about anything can be used as a weapon, including clothing. And even then, people have their hands, feet, and heads to use as weapons. The only way to be 100% safe is to not fly at all.

Is that absurd? Of course it is. But we weigh the risks. Is clothing less risk than exposing my naked butt to the flying public? Probably. And so are small knives.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think that this knew rule of having pocket knives on planes is incredibly stupid.They are really dangerous if stuck in the neck or eye. I also cant belive that i can bring my knife on board a plane. But NOT my cinnamon apple scented hand lotion. BS is my theory

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"I honestly think that this knew rule of having pocket knives on planes is incredibly stupid.They are really dangerous if stuck in the neck or eye"

So can a #2 pencil. Do you advocate banning them on board aircraft, too?

Anonymous said...

I support the TSA's decision to allow pocket knifes. Many citizens carry these knifes for shear utility purposes. It's very annoying when the TSA confiscates these knifes from law abiding citizens who then have to spend another $13+ dollars to replace it. I carry my pocket knife with me everywhere I go and the only place in which this isn't allowed is on one side of airport security. The reason is that these items are seen weapons a person would use to hijack a plane. Prior to 9/11 American's had the idea that the best thing to do in a hijacking situation was to go along with it. In a post 9/11 world we know we can't be complacent with hijackers on an aircraft.

Anonymous said...

I have been a big fan of the TSA and specifically of Pistole's TSA. I have to say I think this change is ridiculous. Any reasonable individual should be able to think that the terrorists who carried out 9/11 would be able to replicate the results with blades of any size. Can the blades that are going to be allowed slash a throat and kill a person? If so they can be used to high-jack an aircraft.

Anonymous said...

Why do you need these blades on the aircraft? Why can't you just put blades in your checked luggage? No need to have weapons on the aircraft.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a halfway sensible decision by TSA!

Those of you who wonder about the value of a pocket knife, or of its viability as a weapon clearly have never carried one. A swiss army knife is eminently useful. I use mine multiple times per day, and have carried one daily since age six. (Yes, even in school, as when I was in grade school common sense still prevailed.). Yes, not having it when I travel is a serious inconvenience, and I began checking bags for no reason other than not to have to do without.

For those concerned about their potential as a weapon, you have also clearly never used a non-locking pocket knife. You have to be careful when using them that the blade does not shift away from what you're doing. A good metal bodied pen, or even a disposable Bic is potentially more dangerous, yet it would be ridiculous to stop people from carrying pens.

As several sensible people have pointed out, anything can be used as a weapon by someone with the will and mind set. Even the plastic cup you get with your inflight beverage could be folded over on itself to make a rigid point if someone was so inclined. If we tried to ban every potential weapon, nothing, and no one would be allowed on board, and it would be the end of air travel. And, the terrorists would win.

The only reason airplanes were ever hijacked using a blade in the first place is because at the time, standard practice during a hijacking event was to comply with all requests of the hijacker, and that also at the time, doors to the pilots cabin were not secure. Policies have changed. No one will ever successfully use a blade again for a hijacking because passengers would overwhelm them rather than comply.

That TSA has finally recognized this, and begun to make changes to security policy that reflect reality and focus on more viable threats is the first sign I've seen in a long time that airport security is more than a Maginot line, trying to overreact to past threats instead of adapt and focus on current ones.

Anonymous said...

TSA may want to rethink this decision given what happened in Boston on 4/15/13. The USA is always going to be a target for terrorists. Do not become complacent. That is what terrorists look for. I am now very scared to even book a flight with my young son because of this pocket knife rule reversal. Wise up, TSA! 10 pocket knives in the hands of evil people is a lot of terror aboard any flight.

Anonymous said...

The rest of the world was not attacked on 9-11, it was the United States; and only us. If the rest of the world has such a great way of doing things and allowing/permitting small knives on planes; then why do we the United States still re-screen everyone entering the United States? because we do not trust them to do things correctly. This is a bad idea, just going along? Where is the leadership in that decision?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"TSA may want to rethink this decision given what happened in Boston on 4/15/13."

I feel for the people in Boston, and hope to run that marathon one day. But I refuse to be terrorized, and hope our elected officials refuse to take knee-jerk measures as a result.

"I am now very scared to even book a flight with my young son because of this pocket knife rule reversal."

Are you also afraid to take your young son to the grocery store? How about sporting events? Or even church? If not, why not? People carry knives, much more dangerous than the ones allowed by the new rule, in those places all the time and, sometimes, even their guns. Besides, with a 70% failure rate, for every 30 or so that Bob posts about being caught every week, 70 more make it on. That should frighten you more that the knives that are allowed on due to the new rule. And yet, no planes falling out of the skies.

Anonymous said...

Many comments express concern over a small knife "slitting someone's throat..." Perhaps, but the concern on the plane is whether someone could do large scale damage, take down the plane, etc. Yes, one person could hurt another person with a knife, but they couldn't hurt a lot of people.
After all, anyone could walk down the aisle, stop and proceed to grab someone by the head and use the eye sockets like a bowling ball's finger holes. Should we ban trips to the toilet?
Why carry a knife? One, some people don't check luggage. People that ask that question obviously don't find uses for one. I do. But 3.5-4" would certainly be more useful, like for cutting an apple.
Now, what about that shampoo restriction?

Anonymous said...

As a professional pilot I can attest that allowing any knives, even small, will place our passengers in harms way.

Jamie Conrad said...

Please rescind the small knife ban as soon as possible. I keep one on my key chain because it's incredibly useful, and I've lost a bunch of them when I've forgotten to take it off. Nobody is going to hijack or bring down a plane with one of these knives. Sure, they're dangerous, but pre-9/11 we did not try to ensure that nothing dangerous could be brought on planes. Our goal should not be to minimize the chance that any bad thing can happen on an airliner. Our goal should be to make sure that a passenger can't hijack or bring down the plane, or kill great numbers of passengers. Beyond that, leave us alone.

Thanks.

Jamie Conrad said...

Please rescind the ban on small knives as soon as possible. I keep one on my key chain because it's extremely useful, and I've lost several because I forgot to take it off before going to the airport. Pre-9/11, we did not try too ensure that nothing bad could ever happen on an airliner, and we should not adopt that as our goal now. Our goal should be to ensure that a passenger can't hijack or bring down a plane or kill multiple passengers. Small knives can't do any of those things. So leave them and us alone.

Wintermute said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I thought we were going to return to some common sense, but fear, uncertainty and doubt have won out...again. If the 9/11 hijackers had used napkins to suffocate victims, I assume we'd still have a ban on paper products on airplanes. If they'd used dental floss as garrotes, I guess there'd still be a ban on that.

They DIDN'T use little pocketknives (which because of their non-locking blades aren't much of a weapon) but those got banned, while 4" pointy scissors and mechanical pencils and pens and knitting needles and 7" screwdrivers and needle nosed pliers and a host of other items that could have played the same role as the box cutters that were actually used are allowed on planes.

I don't fly on trips of less than about 800 miles because I don't like to check a bag, and it's ridiculous to check a separate bag when all I have in the bag is one little pocketknife.

Let's end the absurdity of allowing 4" pointy scissors, but not allowing pocketknives. Sorry flight attendants, but you're just not using logic when you happily allow one, but not the other.

Lauren said...

Wow I guess I just missed the mark 4 weeks ago when Logan International held me in the side screening area for 20 minutes to fish out a 1.25 inch pocket knife I didn't know was tucked in my bag. Meanwhile O'Hare didn't seem to mind. Who knows what kind of trouble I could have got in. What an awful waste of time and money the TSA is.

Anonymous said...

Does the TSA agent have to inform someone if they are taking away a knife? I recently brought a serving set in my carry on that included a butter knife. I was pulled aside in screening. The head agent was called in. He unpacked my bag in front of me and looked at the serving pieces (spoon, slotted spoon, small spoon, fork and butter knife), ran an object around the inside of my bag that he put in a sensor and then repacked my serving set and handed me the bag. All without a word. I was busy catching my other totes and motioning to my family, so I didn't watch every move he made. When I got home, my butter knife was gone....

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

Anon, the TSA Officer absolutely must tell you if something can't go.. They are supposed to give you options to check the item, take it to your car, mail it to yourself, etc. Butter knives aren't prohibited, and the TSO didn't give you your options, so I'm thinking the TSO forgot to put the knife back in your bag. Either way, it would be a good idea to reach out to the airport using our Talk to TSA tool. Go to the bottom right of TSA.gov and you'll see the icon.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

mws56 said...

There is absolutely no reason to prohibit pocket knives. Millions of them flew on planes prior to 9-11 without any incidents. We need to reduce the intrusive inspections before we fly, and my pocket knife is a start.

mws56 said...
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Anonymous said...

A pocket knife is possibly the most useful tool I own, especially when camping or hiking, which I often fly to do. If someone really wants to use something sharp as a knife, they don't need a pocket knife, they could make one out of plastic or take their razor apart once in the air. I for one don't have a false sense of being safe from sharp objects just because tiny pocket knifes are banned.

Anonymous said...

Is a small tin of corned beef allowed in hand luggage? Because the edge of an opened can is, I assure you, lethally sharp!

We must continue with policies which ensure that the next time some smart-ass uses a corned beef tin (or something equally inventive) to take over Flight 93, the remaining passengers don't even have a nail-file between them to stand in his way!

Anonymous said...

yeah can u please clarify the length restriction to me please. technology blogs please let me know

Mark J. England said...

IMO, the Captain's word is law. If he/she says no knives on board ship, so it must be.

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments makes me think the terrorists have won. I've carried a pocket knife daily for over 50 years and the only person I've every cut is myself. I can't believe the fear level of some people. Carry a Swiss Army knife for a month and if you don't think it's handy stop carrying it. Now it's in my carry-on.
Like I say, they won we are a nation of whimpering pups hiding in the corner.

The sacrifices of the greatest generation have been wasted.