TSA to allow small knives, bats, golf clubs on planes
WASHINGTON — Airline passengers will be allowed to carry small knives onto airplanes for the first time since before 9/11.
The Transportation Security Administration will allow retractable knives with blades less than 2.4 inches long and narrower than .5 inches. Baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment will also be allowed on planes starting April 25.
The Associated Press reports the TSA announced the policy change Tuesday. The TSA says the policy will conform to international standards and allow the agency to concentrate on more serious safety threats.
A union representing more than 10,000 flight attendants at Southwest Airlines called the new policy “dangerous” saying it was designed to make things easier for TSA agents but not make flights safer according to the AP report.
The union says it agrees small knives and sports equipment would not pose a threat to pilots locked in a cockpit. But they could be a problem for passengers and flight crew in the cabin.
A spokesman for TSA says the items pose no real danger.
The presence of gun-carrying pilots traveling as passengers, air marshals and crew members trained in self-defense provide additional layers of security the spokesman told the AP.