The TSA recently announced they would be allowing pocketknives through airport security and on to planes starting in April. A lot of people are very concerned about the safety repercussions, including the flight attendant unions and some members of Congress. I have tried to stay away from the pocketknife controversy because, honestly, it’s been covered pretty adequately everywhere. But in case you aren’t aware, here are the details (from the TSA blog, emphasis mine):
Starting April 25, TSA will relax restrictions on certain items previously prohibited as part of its ever evolving efforts to focus on items that pose the highest threat. Relaxed restrictions will apply to knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than 1/2 inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage.
The relaxing of the rules around knives has predictably drawn the most questions and criticism. I totally get why people get freaked out thinking about knives on a plane. It sounds so dangerous!! However, when you look at the knives in question, they are smaller than the sewing scissors that have been allowed on planes for years. As I have personally carried these tiny scissors (similar to these) on many trips (probably over one hundred) during the last few years, it’s hard for me to get too excited about pocket knives.
Now, I said earlier that I have purposely stayed out of the discussion. Obviously that’s changed today! The reason is a New York Times article from Monday. The author wrote about the TSA changes last week, and not surprisingly received a ton of comments from readers. What was surprising was that a large portion of the comments in support of the relaxed regulations were from women business travelers. As I happen to be a woman business traveler who finds the relaxed regulations not that big of a deal, I found this very interesting. Because other groups were so opposed to changing the rules, I kind of assumed I was a minority. Now that I know that’s not the case, I want to know what others in my situation think as well. (Pictured: a lovely Swiss Army knife. I don’t carry one, but if I did this one would top the list!)
So, Readers, what is your take on the TSA allowing small knives through security and onto planes? Does it seem dangerous, or no big deal? In your comment, if you’re comfortable with it please identify your gender. Just because I’m curious 🙂
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