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March 05, 2013

TSA to allow small knives, golf clubs and hockey sticks on planes, flight attendant unions against the rule change

Starting April 25, passengers will be allowed to take small pocketknives, golf clubs, hockey sticks and souvenir or plastic baseball bats through security and on to airplanes for the first time since the terrorist attacks on September 11.

The rule changes, announced by Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole at a conference on Tuesday, will conform to international rules already in place.

The TSA will still prohibit some knives that include locking blades and box cutters and razor blades will still be banned, Pistole said at the conference, according to Bloomberg News.

Flight attendant unions swiftly decried the action, saying it could lead to a more dangerous environment for passengers and airline employees.

"This policy was designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer," said Stacy Margin, president of Transport Workers Union Local 556, which represents flight attendants at Southwest Airlines. "While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin."

Association of Professional Flight Attendants president Laura Glading said she was puzzled on how the TSA decided to change the rules without consulting flight attendant unions.

"In addition to being industry stakeholders, first responders, and September 11 victims, Flight Attendants are a resource," said Glading, whose union represents American Airlines' flight attendants. "Nobody knows what it takes to keep passengers safe better than we do.”

-Andrea Ahles


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Paul Medford

If they are that afraid, they need to find another line of work.

People carried pocket knives for 60 years before this stupid tule took affect.

What's with this need so many have, to control the lives of others?


Wow, really Paul? You believe that a rule of not carrying potential weapons on planes is constituting "controlling the lives of others"?

I don't understand why safety can't be #1 and instead the larger concern is to make travelling more efficient.

Paul Medford

Why, yes, really, Ryan.

You can kill a person, quickly, with a #2 pencil or ball point pen. Why were those never banned?

To expand on your theme of safety being #1. The only true means of ensuring safety, is to never leave the ground.

We need profiling. Quit looking at, and blaming every day objects, and start looking at people.

Knives, spoons, golf clubs, guns, thermonuclear devices, ..... whatever. It takes the human element to commit the assault. Why do we refuse to deal with this issue in a meaningful way?


Profiling? We need profiling? Wow.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, racial profiling is unconstitutional. And if that’s your idea then you’re opening an entire new can of worms, an illegal can of worms at that.

So maybe anyone that might look dangerous shouldn’t be allowed aboard? How can you justify that?

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