American Airlines is voicing concern over the TSA's recent decision to allow passengers to bring small pocketknives onto airplanes.
In a letter to John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, Will Ris -- American's senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs -- says the government should have sought out input from airlines and workers before making its decision on loosening its restrictions.
Last week, the TSA announced that it will allow people to carry small pocketknives on planes for the first time since the 9-11 terrorist attacks, along with glof clubs, hockey sticks and small plastic baseball bats.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represent flight attendants at American, objected to the change, as did other union.
Here is the text of Ris' letter.
In light of the TSA’s announcement last week on proposed revisions to the prohibited items list, I
wanted to voice American’s concern over the allowance of certain types of knives on aircraft.
We agree that it is important for the TSA to regularly revisit its rules and regulations, and fully support its frequent review of what is in the best interest of the flying public. The TSA’s guidelines are crucial to the safety of our crews and customers, and we have – and will – adhere fully to its policies.
However, American feels that those guidelines are often most beneficial when we collectively discuss
and review any proposed alterations that will affect our crewmembers and customers. In this particular case, we believe input from airlines, as well as the men and women who fly and serve the aircraft, would have been valuable to help determine the most useful and appropriate revisions.
The safety of our people and our customers is paramount and we will continue to support policies that
keep the airspace safe, and allow customers to move through the screening and security process as
quickly and safely as possible. But we encourage the TSA to reassess its proposed revisions to the
prohibited items list, scheduled to take effect April 25, to ensure that any and all changes have been
thoroughly reviewed and vetted.
-- Steve Kaskovich