TSA Chief Alfred E. Neuman to Allow Small Knives on Planes

TSA Chief Alfred E. Neuman to allow Small Knives on Planes

What could possibly go wrong? Knives allowed on planes?? One would think this was an internet parody gone viral, or a trailer for a Samuel L. Jackson movie (“There are too many gad-dang knives on this effing plane!”) but… IT’S REAL GANG! IT’S REAL! (Block quotes credit AP via WSJ OnLine)

Airline passengers will be able to carry small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes beginning [April 2013] under a policy change announced Tuesday by the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

WHAT??

The new policy conforms U.S. security standards to international standards, and allows TSA to concentrate its energies on more serious safety threats, the agency said in a statement.

“More Serious Threats”? Threats other than planes being taken over by nefarious types that threaten to (or actually) stab passengers or flight crew??  Don’t even get me started on “international standards”!! (see “Ikea horsemeat”)

Transport Workers Union Local 556, which represents over 10,000 flight attendants at Southwest Airlines, called the new policy “dangerous” and “shortsighted,” saying it was designed to make “the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer.”

Spot on TWU!

The policy change was based on a recommendation from an internal TSA working group, which decided the items represented no real danger…

…To TSA working groups seated at their desks!!

The new policy permits folding knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and are less than 1/2-inch wide. The policy is aimed at allowing passengers to carry pen knives, corkscrews with small blades and other knives.

Got that? Leave your 2.37 inch and longer knives in your checked baggage WITH your ½ inch and wider knives, ok?  Seriously, are TSA agents now going to have new measuring devices (um… sequester?) and take MORE time to measure these knives?  Picture a TSA agent arguing with a “knife guy” that a knife is too big as you stand there in mismatched socks, holding up your pants with no change in your pocket to throw in self defense.

Passengers also will be allowed to bring onboard as part of their carry-on luggage novelty-sized baseball bats less than 24 inches long, toy plastic bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs, the agency said. The policy goes into effect on April 25.

Billiard cues? Hold on, haven’t these folks seen barroom brawls in the movies?  Ski Poles? Aren’t those merely sticks with pointy ends??

In 2005, the TSA changed its policies to allow passengers to carry on airplanes small scissors, knitting needles, tweezers, nail clippers and up to four books of matches.

Knitting needles?? Since 2005??  Matches??  Again, since 2005????

Listen, your humble blogger JUST took his first post-9/11 flight this past February. I’ll switch back to hitchhiking, it’s safer. Yes, I do worry about being stabbed in an enclosed place far above the ground!

TSA links

Statement on Changes to the Prohibited Items List 3/5/13

Small Knives Permitted in Carry-on Luggage 3/5/13

Sporting Equipment Permitted in Carry-on Luggage 3/5/13

“Changes to Prohibited Items List (PIL) March 2013” TSA .pdf

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