Now boarding for TSA: Small knives, golf clubs

NEED TO KNOW
  • Starting April 25, TSA to allow passengers to bring small knives, sports equipment as part of carry-on luggage
  • Yet large bottles containing liquids and gels are still banned
Swiss army knives will soon be permitted on planes after changes to the TSA policy.

If you travel with a Swiss army knife or hockey stick, you'll soon have an easier time getting onto your plane.

According to a statement from the Transportation Safety Administration, effective April 25, knives that do not lock and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than a half-inch in width will be allowed on planes.

However, razor blades, box cutters, and large bottles containing liquids or gels are still banned.

The TSA is also easing restrictions on sporting equipment on planes. Want to take a pool cue on a plane? Cool. Hockey stick? Fine by the TSA. Golf clubs, sure, but you're only allowed to bring two clubs as part of your carry-on luggage.

All of these items have been banned since 9/11. The TSA says reinforced cockpit doors are among the security upgrades that made the changes possible.

One fan of the changes is former TSA chief Kip Hawley, but he says they don't go far enough

"They ought to let everything on that is sharp and pointy. Battle axes, machetes... bring anything you want that is pointy and sharp because while you may be able to commit an act of violence, you will not be able to take over the plane. It is as simple as that," he told CNN. 

When asked if he may have been exaggerating, Hawley, who headed the TSA from 2005 until 2009, said he wasn't. 

"What are you going to do when you get on board with a battle ax? And you pull out your battle ax and say I'm taking over the airplane. You may be able to cut one or two people, but pretty soon you would be down in the aisle and the battle ax would be used on you."

However, some pilots and flight attendant unions are worried about the new changes.

"It's as if we didn't learn anything from 9/11," said George Randall Taylor, head of the air marshal unit of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. "Flight attendants are going to be sitting ducks."

Leslie Mayo, of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, said the top priority is passengers' safety, so the TSA's announcement is a "little bit concerning."

"I think once you're getting to the point where you're allowing knives and relaxing the rules such as what was announced yesterday, it becomes an opening. We aren't always able to anticipate the next threat," she told CNN

Let us know what you think. Are you fine with the new TSA changes? Do you think more restrictions need to be changed/added? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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