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Lighters, Nail Clippers and Lithium Batteries

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just wanted to jump in with a quick post based on some of the comments we’ve received so far about lighters, nail clippers and batteries. We just wanted to let you know that lighters and nail clippers are allowed through the checkpoint. Lighters were allowed starting in July 2007, (not including torch lighters) and nail clippers, as well as smaller scissors and tools, have been allowed through the checkpoint since December 2005. Unlike improvised explosives devices (IEDs), these items do not present a significant threat to an airplane.

Also, recent rules about spare lithium batteries in checked bags were enacted by the Federal Aviation Administration, not TSA. Click here (pdf) to see the FAA rules.

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Kip Hawley. You still have not addressed the "why" of why small knives are prohibited when scissors and other sharps are.Are you ever going to? If not, please say so and quit ignoring the question. By the way, concerning the person with the boxcutter in TPA today, did he have the intention to highjack the plane or to commit any other specific criminal act? Did you foil a highjacking or did you just catch another forgetful dummy?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm sorry, did you see the book that the box cutter was in, it {the book} was cutout, the blade was intentionally placed in the cutout portion of the book. The only person who will ever know if he wanted to commit a crime with the blade is the person who put it there. The question I would ask any reasonable person is why would you intentionally place a box cutter in an area designed to hide it (not from X-Ray). What is the intent? I realize that you must prove 2 things in court, "Mens Rea" and "Actus Rues". You must have a commission of a crime AND the "intent" to commit that crime. We have the prohibited item, caught before it entered the sterile area, and the intent was clear from the way it was hidden. The end result will only be clear to the person attempting to knowingly bring a prohibited item into the sterile area of an airport.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Correct me if I am wrong, and I am sure you will, but I don’t think there has been any kind of attack on a US airplane since the TSA started up in our airports. As a traveler I am pretty pleased with the thought that I will be safe when I go someplace. I am retired so I can get to the airport early and although I don’t find standing in line any fun, I can accept it for the safety of my flight. Thanks TSA for doing a great job.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I had the same experience as one of the bloggers regarding the TSA approved luggage locks.
When we travelled to South America we discovered that TSA cut our 2 locks instead of opening them with their keys. Luckily nobody stole our special clothes for our trip.
TSA reimbursed us for the costs of the two locks, just because we still had the receipt of the 4 locks and the box where it said that they were TSA approved locks.
Otherwise we would have suffered the loss. This is not a matter of money, but of principal, professionalism, and consistency.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Your blog is now showing the message

"An error (500 Internal Server Error) has occured in response to this request" while trying to access the inconsistencies section. Grins and Gripes has had no new posts since Feb 2nd.

Submitted by Anonymous on

just remember, passengers arent the only people on the plane. TSA makes air travel safe for everyone...including the airline staff. alot of these regulations were made with everyone in mind. follow the rules and deal with it. have a little faith in TSA. what has happened since they've come along? no knives? is this really a hassle for people?

why can you have scissors and not a knife? why do you need a knife on the plane with you?

Submitted by Anonymous on

first of all, if someone is sitting at a gate..or even on a plane unscrewing scissors i think someone might speak up before they got very far...in addition..why do you NEED a knife on a plane. lets be realistic. how comfortable would you be as a flight attendant on a plane with knives allowed onboard?

stop being selfish...everyone has the same rules. im a tso and i cant travel with my pocket knife. oh well. i check a bag.

oh and those people who are soo rude on the checkpoint...well most of them have served/protected your country...your rights...with actual guns...and now they are working security at an airport. think about it.

all i know is...i treat every passenger exactly the way they treat me. and if you see someone doing something you dont like...get a comment card at that specific airport and get that officers name. because some of these comments are almost hard to believe.

Submitted by Anonymous on

" why do you NEED a knife on an airplane...?" A small knife is a very practical and useful tool for removing threads from clothing, opening those clear food packets that can't be torn open, opening your mail and many other things. The included tweezers, scissors, nail file and toothpick are also very good to have at hand-especially if you're on a several day trip. It would be nearly impossible to "weaponize" a tiny knife with a 1 1/2 " blade. Ban weapons--OK, but allow accesories such as very small knives and demonstrate to the flying public that you are cpable of displaying at least some reasonable common sense.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to take this moment to apologize to TSO's who have to sit here and read all of this. Please don't think that the majority of people feel the same way as the majority of these posts.

As with most internet blogs/message boards/chat rooms, you have a few people who take over and inundate the site with their opinions. They tend to be aggressive, rude and in general, they enjoy the attention they receive, even if it is negative.

I too have seen over-zealous TSA employees on a few occasions. However, most employees are courteous and professional. I am no "rocket scientist" but I consider myself to be somewhat intelligent. And I feel safer flying because of the work that you people do.

Please try and take the legitimate complaints seriously and ignore the irrational few who post over and over again. The majority of people that I talk to and fly with are satisfied with our experience.

Submitted by GT on

It is interesting that virtually every comment that is supportive or defensive of TSA is posted by anonymous.

Regarding the TSA support posts, I can see the uneducated ire in the words and tone of the poster(s).

I particularly like the comment that most TSA has served in the military. That's funny. The complete lack of respect that is seen never had anything to do with the military.

I regularly fly to an from a country with serious ongoing security issues. One hundred percent of all luggage is hand searched, by soldiers, and is done politely and respectfully. The line moves quickly as well.

But in the US, everyone is a terrorist and some two bit fascist that has never traveled by air has to lord their pitful little power over travelers.

TSA is a wasteful disgrace. Who here knew that TSA held a Christmas ball, for their third year in existence? If I remeber correctly, they spent 10s of thousands of dollars on a balloon release, and an ice sculpture, and had the gall to give "Lifetime Achievement awards". After three years...
I have had better treatment by airport security in Munich, Germany. They have also been dealing with terrorism far onger than the US.
But the typical, nontraveled American can always do it better, and is too self righteous to look at lessons learned in other countries.

TSA, you are worthless window dressing. I only fly because where I need to go, boats and trains don't service.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to know why so many areas of this blog no longer accept comments?

Mr. Kauffman fights the last war and shows a remarkable lack of imagination in enhancing surveillance of radio controlled toys. As a taxpayer, that does not make me feel secure.

If there were a credible threat left to US aviation, we would be as exposed as we ever were.

Submitted by VA Yuppie on

Hello!

Rant: Why is everyone so afraid to ask TSOs questions?

Lets take a logical look at the situation. A TSO will subject someone to further screening under two circumstances 1) They are acting suspiscious. Do you really think a terrorist is going to risk asking a question?

2) They are threatening the TSO (ie making snide remarks, personally attacking the TSO). An honest question politely asked is not personally threatening to anyone.

Every time I have ever asked a question to a TSO (5 or 6 times) they have been extremely polite to me, probably b/c by being friendly and asking a question I pretty much just ruled out I'm a terrorist.

So please stop travelling with expensive items (mail them to yourself with insurance), be prepared to sacrifice that bottle of water/ swiss army knife/ lighter and everyone (you, other passengers, and TSOs) except the terrorists will be much happier.

Thank You!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm not sure where else to post this so forgive me if this doesn't belong here. I have a complaint about smoking. Once you go through security you can't go back out again even if your flight is delayed for hours. So, smokers just have to go without. I understand that non-smokers don't want to inhale my second-hand smoke, but you guys should really provide SOMETHING for us. I bet that if you allowed smokers to leave and go through security again, or allowed us outside through a door past security you'd cut your cranky passengers by at least half. I, for one, become extremely cranky if I don't have a cigarette for more than 3 hours.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I read with interest your post about lighters being allowed since july 2007 (except torch lighters). I have been flying once a month between dfw & ord and have been told (and given up) lighters at both ends. One was a zippo i have had since the early 70's. no torch lighters. i have been told that lighters are not allowed but i can have matches.

Submitted by Anonymous on

as i am reading through this little blog ive notced a couple things. first of all, most of these scenarios people come up with are hilarious. a bunch of trucks with explosives? come on.

my favorite though is the scenarios in which people claim to be responsible for themselves. yes im sure everyone on the plane will attack any terrorist with a knife and you will all be heros. THEY ARE PREVENTING THIS. if one person gets stabbed on an airplane, how safe will you feel? we will never know what would happen if you hadnt been subjected to rules when you fly...i dont want to know. all i know is nothing has happened since tsa has taken over...

and as a side note: why are you complaining about these rules. gas is way more ridiculous than leaving your knife in the car or at home.

Submitted by Anonymous on

folks, if you've read any of that beloved "patroit act," you will see that we are ALL suspected terrorists. and with bush's signing statements, we are ALL eligible for that one-way ticket to git-mo. seriously.

i can't wait for the security "threat" to go to red. it's been orange now for... how long? we could use some new fear.

and yea, a gun for everyone is simply genius. genius, i tell ya.

signed, tim mcveigh, jr. (boo!)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Small question - could you please provide benches or chairs in line so that people can sit when removing their shoes? I know this might slow things down a bit, but many elderly folks have problems balancing on one foot, as do pregnant ladies. Would it be so difficult to provide a bench seat in the line, and another on the other side of security?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can someone please explain to me why torch tighers are still banned?

Either something is a threat (IE - lighting a bomb or a seat cushion on fire) or its not a threat. The fact that a torch lighter burns hot makes no SENSIBLE difference. Someone could have a few disposables and do just as much damage.

To me its not the rule its the ridiculous inconsistencies like this that cause TSA to hide behind their absurd "safety" rules.

Lighters are either a threat or they are not. You can either light a fuse or a seat cushion on fire or you cant. Banning torch lighters while allowing EVERY OTHER KIND makes ZERO SENSE. Ban them all or dont ban any. Or please highlight an instance where one man having a torch lighter causes a bigger danger to passengers than the rest of the plane having a Zippo or Bic.

Submitted by Anonymous on

RE: Lighters are either a threat or they are not. You can either light a fuse or a seat cushion on fire or you cant. Banning torch lighters while allowing EVERY OTHER KIND makes ZERO SENSE. Ban them all or dont ban any.


They ban water so what chance do you think you have of getting the ban on torch lighters lifted?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Your system obviously stinks. Copy the Israeli system. They have never ever had a terrorist on either their El AL planes or ANY leaving any Israeli airport. I was not inconvienienced even going to Cairo from Tel Aviv! Water-no problem. Learn something TSA and stop this mockery. It's all show, we know it and hate it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ive read alot of the complaints that you people have written and quite frankly I think they are all jokes.As americans weve become extremely complacent and spoiled.Big deal so what you lost a lotion or face cream,are you serious.Is that your only complaint.You actually took the time out of your busy day to write that on a blog.you can complain all you want about the Tsa and the government but they still are in charge.And no matter how you complain and gripe you will still comply or you wont fly,its just that simple.Taking verbal assaults at these working people is mindless,heartless and just plain stupid.We all know as working americans that we may agree with all the policies that our bosses set fourth but we do have to adhere to them if we want to keep our jobs.The same with these officers.We may all have terrible and unbelieveable stories about TSA but each and everytime you fly you put your lives and safety in their hands.So apparently they are doing something right.Or ou wouldnt put Your families safety and lives at risk,Right?Treat them the way you want to be treated,and see what you get in return!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have an idea that's pretty revolutionary and most likely would be disregarded, but would have prevented 9-11 and would prevent any other hijacking: issue a small, sharp knife to each passeger (yes you heard correctly), and guns to the flight crew. Hijackers would be unlikely to attempt any unsavory activities if they knew they would be stabbed by hundreds of people and then shot (and if they were crazy enough to try, they would fail miserably). Of course this idea might need to be tweaked a little because of the dangers of guns depressurizing the cabin. If you take weapons away from people you endanger them to bad guys who know how to kill with their bare hands.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Alot of you are saying why can't I bring my swiss army knife? Yeah most passengers are harmless, and would never consider using something in their possession to harm someone else. But all it takes is for the one moron, the guy or girl who had a real bad day, or is feeling suicidal just because, or whatever, to decide to use that itty bitty knife to cut someone or threaten to. If you think "Oh, it's only an inch or two it can't do any or that much harm" think again! The guy who was having a real bad day could be sitting next to you on that plane and all it takes is something to make him snap.

It all boils down to a few things.

1. Do you want to be the person sitting next to the person who is carrying a small knife, gun, ect?

2. Do you want some one to stab you? Shoot you? Or worse?

So the next time you complain about your itty bitty wanna be knife being taken away, just think what it can do in the wrong hands.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To the person who wrote the comment about TSA should copy the procedures that the Israelis use, why would you even recommend that.There practices and procedures are much more strict and no nonsense than the practices Tsa uses in the states.You people complain about how your rights have been violated as is.Imagine if we did use the same procedures, this blog would be full everyday.The bottom line is you cant please everyone so why try.Tsa policies are not that difficult at all.But of course you all find somethng to gripe about.The rules are extremely easy to follow.The signs are posted all over the airports,CNN reports just about everything that goes on with Tsa on a regular basis,so just watch Tv.I hear absolutely nothing about how good a job these officers perform,and you cant tell me that all of them are jerks.Perhaps its you thats being the jerk.Lets talk about the countless weapons that they have thwarted from being on your flights on daily basis.Or how many drunk and unruly passengers they have kept from sittin next to you on your flight.Lets talk about the positive aspects of this organization for a change, instead of harping on the negatives(which are actually few and far between).At some point we are all gonna have to except the world in which we live in, and realize that the Tsa are absolutely necessary.No matter what you may think about them,we have not had another attack since their existence.Keep up the good work TSA,I appreciate you even if no one else does.

Submitted by Robert on

I believe that terrorists taking over an airliner with nothing more than box cutters will never happen again. The mentality in the air has changed, among both crew and passengers. No one will ever cower and give up their life for fear of being cut with a razor knife ever again.

Therefore, the colossal amount of time and effort spent deterring folks from bringing aboard ordinary Swiss Army Knives or Leatherman tools is a waste of time. This is nothing more than a "feel good" enterprise, trying to convince ourselves we are doing something worthwhile. It's time the rules were relaxed somewhat regarding small knives and tools.

~Robert

Submitted by Anonymous on

Small swiss army knives should be allowed. It the knife is a small keyring swiss army it should be allowed.

Andy

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's silly to ban small Swiss Army Knives (those that are under 65mm long when closed). The blades on them aren't a credible threat. The days when terrorists can take over an airplane with small blades while the other passengers don't intervene are long gone. Now the passengers would not be cowed into submission!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I can understand the TSA not wanting people walk on planes with hunting knives and huge locking knives. But I seriously don't think someone with a small NON-LOCKING pocket knife is a threat to a plane.

And the stories about the little P-38 can openers being confiscated shows the complete absurdity of the rules.

If the security officers inspecting carry-on luggage can't tell the difference between a small "pocket knife" and a weapon then maybe it's time for a little more training.

Pocket knives often have a lot of sentimental value and are, by a lot of people, dropped into the pocket in the morning without thinking. It's a habit. It's simply part of their everyday dress. To basically steal these valued objects when they don't pose any real threat is asinine.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I was an LEO at an international airport for a number of years and had the opportunity to observe the security screening process on a daily basis. It was certainly inconsistent and TSA employees seemed afraid to use any sort of independent thought or common sense when confronted with a gray area. It was actively discouraged by management and employees feared disciplinary action for practically everything they did.

The things that were allowed versus what was prohibited was often amazing. There seemed to be little common sense applied to the process and it wasn't uncommon that all you ended up with were angry travelers who had legitimate grievances.

Allowing small keychain sized tools like the smaller Swiss Army Knives and multitools would go a long ways towards allowing folks to have useful tools with them when they travel and be of no more risk than the knitting needles, scissors, and walking sticks (not to mention glass wine bottles!) that are allowed today.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Sounds like the TSA, FAA, Pilots Union and Association of Flight Attendants need to get together and get on the same page. Then after they are all the on that same page, let all the TSA checkpoint personnel in every airport in the country know what is and isn't allowed.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think most of us would raise an eyebrow if we saw a fellow passenger carrying a katana or bayonet, but why not allow non-locking folding knives with blades under three inches long? Sure, someone can be killed with a two-inch blade, but people can also be killed with screwdrivers, ball-point pens, belts, etc.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I agree 100% with the others who have expressed dismay over the inconsistancies in TSA policy.

4" metal scissors? No problem.
1.5" mini pen blade? Dangerous weapon!

Now, personally I feel that many of the items that the TSA allows are okay (scissors, tri-pod, etc.), but then they need to be consistant and realize that a Scissors is far worse than a 1.5 inch pen blade knife. A tri-pod is just as dangerous as a baseball bat. If those first things are allowed, don't ban the second things.

Or, if the TSA DOES believe that pen blades and baseball bats are dangerous, then they need to ban the other things as well.

I prefer they allow things, but if not, I'd at least like to see consistancy and ban all things.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ok guys and gals first things first. Even though you may think that just because you see TSO's enforcing certain bans and you see us taking those banned items does not mean that TSA created those rules

BRAVO, FINALLY SOMEONE WITH SOME SENSE.

ALL THOSE THAT GRIPE ABOUT THIS AND GRIPE ABOUT THAT REALLY WOULD NOT DO SO IF THEY ACTUALLY TOOKO THE TIME TO.."THINK" OF THE CONSEQUENCES IF IT IS THEIR LOVED ONES THAT ARE LOST BECAUSE ONE OF THOSE LIQUID, GELS, OR PASTES WE HAD TO TAKE, WAS ACTUALLY AN EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL.

HMMMMM....MAKES ONE WONDER IF THE TRAVELING PUBLIC REALLY ARE IN TUNE TO MAKING IT SAFE TO FLY AGAIN. AND REMEMBER, NOT ALL TERRORISTS ARE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST

Submitted by Anonymous on

"
BRAVO, FINALLY SOMEONE WITH SOME SENSE.

ALL THOSE THAT GRIPE ABOUT THIS AND GRIPE ABOUT THAT REALLY WOULD NOT DO SO IF THEY ACTUALLY TOOKO THE TIME TO.."THINK" OF THE CONSEQUENCES IF IT IS THEIR LOVED ONES THAT ARE LOST BECAUSE ONE OF THOSE LIQUID, GELS, OR PASTES WE HAD TO TAKE, WAS ACTUALLY AN EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL.

HMMMMM....MAKES ONE WONDER IF THE TRAVELING PUBLIC REALLY ARE IN TUNE TO MAKING IT SAFE TO FLY AGAIN. AND REMEMBER, NOT ALL TERRORISTS ARE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST"

You really should get yourself a real computer, one that has a working caps lock key. Typing on those Fisher Price keyboards is a real pain, you'll eventually get carpal tunnel.

I'm going to guess that it will be safer to fly if you on your break, or day off.

Submitted by Anonymous on

i can agree with everyone about the small knives. not the bigger ones. what if someone grabs a flight attendent and sticks a blade up to their throat. will you be able to stop that blade from penatrating? now theres 4 or 5 guys acting togather. how do you think that will go down, one giant cage fight 30,000 feet in the air?

as far as the other stuff, i totally agree. whats next, if your trained in martial arts you cant board? i'd take an 80 year old with a swiss army knife over someone trained to snap your neck.

Submitted by Grant on

No, all terrorists are not from the Middle East, just like not all people from the Middle East are terrorists. That much should be obvious.

Almost as obvious as there never being any recorded incident in which an aircraft was hijacked with a key chain knife with a non locking blade under 2".

9/11 changed the world, especially the travel industry, and increased security measures were a given. After all, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, right? We can't allow that to happen again. But, what folks aren't understanding is that the 9/11 attacks succeeded because they were unexpected. It was a surprise or sneak attack, which is why it worked as well as it did. If and when the next attack comes, it will be from another unseen angle, and I am pretty certain it won't be affected by whether or not they are allowed to carry a 1.5" blade through security or not.

The only thing that a ban on a key chain sized knife accomplishes, is holding up the lines as folks who completely forgot they had a useful tool are suddenly forced to stop and remove it from their keys. Even if the process goes smoothly with a straight up surrender, the time taken to remove it from a key chain doubles the time a person needs to get through security. Sure, it's only a minute, but if that happens with 20 people on a flight with 150 people on it, that's a 20 minute holdup when all is said and done. It only serves to put the passengers and the TSA officers at odds, for no particular gain.

For those who say to make certain you aren't carrying anything like that before going on the plane, well, it should be obvious that, for whatever reason, that is simply not going to happen. Some folks just don't think, and others are distracted by other arrangements, packing and so on. These small tools come in handy so often in day to day life that it's only natural to have them, but people don't think about them unless they need them, or they become an issue from something like airline security.

This policy was implemented by people that have no practical knowledge of security. These policies are written in response to something like 9/11, but need to be refined by folks who know better, have more experience and can see the actual benefits of tweaking policies for function and efficiency.

When a little thing like this can be addressed, with potentially significant results, does it make sense not to?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The biggest myth concerning TSA's liquid, gel and aerosol ban currently in effect is that TSA "confiscates" prohibited items in this category from passengers' carry-on luggage. If you are carrying oversize LGAs (anything > 3.4oz/100ml), or more allowable items than can fit in a one quart size baggie (i.e. over the 1 baggie per passenger limit), there are always options for the traveller: 1. Go out to your airline's counter to check another bag in order to transport these items on your trip, 2. Go out to give any of these prohibited items to someone that is seeing you off, 3. Go out to put them in your parked vehicle until you return, 4. Go out to mail them back to yourself, or 5. Leave it/them behind as voluntary abandoned property, which is what you are electing to do if you don't want to be bothered with the first 4 options. Although #5 is the least preferable, and the only one that doesn't include the dreaded "Go back out..." preface, it is NOT being confiscated by TSA; rather you are ELECTING to leave these items behind. These rules and options are not new, not hard to understand, and not top secret information (go to www.TSA.gov, read the posted signage all around you as you are waiting in line at the concourse checkpoint, or listen to the LGA messages that are ceaselessly broadcast over the airports' public address systems. It is my understanding that if you can drink it or pour it, if you can spray it or pump it, and if you can rub or smear it = it is a liquid, gel or aerosol. There are exceptions made for medical purposes and people travelling with babies and/or small children. The last time I watched the Discovery channel, bottled water is conseidered a LIQUID!!! The bottom line is, to skew an old adage, you can accomodate some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but...

Submitted by Anonymous on

"The biggest myth concerning TSA's liquid, gel and aerosol ban currently in effect is that TSA "confiscates" prohibited items in this category from passengers' carry-on luggage. If you are carrying oversize LGAs (anything > 3.4oz/100ml), or more allowable items than can fit in a one quart size baggie (i.e. over the 1 baggie per passenger limit), there are always options for the traveller: 1. Go out to your airline's counter to check another bag in order to transport these items on your trip, 2. Go out to give any of these prohibited items to someone that is seeing you off, 3. Go out to put them in your parked vehicle until you return, 4. Go out to mail them back to yourself, or 5. Leave it/them behind as voluntary abandoned property, which is what you are electing to do if you don't want to be bothered with the first 4 options. Although #5 is the least preferable, and the only one that doesn't include the dreaded "Go back out..." preface, it is NOT being confiscated by TSA; rather you are ELECTING to leave these items behind. These rules and options are not new, not hard to understand, and not top secret information (go to www.TSA.gov, read the posted signage all around you as you are waiting in line at the concourse checkpoint, or listen to the LGA messages that are ceaselessly broadcast over the airports' public address systems. It is my understanding that if you can drink it or pour it, if you can spray it or pump it, and if you can rub or smear it = it is a liquid, gel or aerosol. There are exceptions made for medical purposes and people travelling with babies and/or small children. The last time I watched the Discovery channel, bottled water is conseidered a LIQUID!!! The bottom line is, to skew an old adage, you can accomodate some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but..."

A human being is a bag of water. Contaminated by waste products, but mostly water....

Submitted by Anonymous on

About two years ago I read an item in USA TODAY, the newspaper for people who don't read the newspaper, which stated thated short-bladed knives would now be permitted in the passenger cabin. Even though, I have worked for TSA for 6 years, and, even though I knew nothing about such a change, I assumed some one would tell me when the change to knives being permitted occurred. Since, flashing a small knife around on an airplane would get you stomped on or worse, I began to wonder why the change was not made to policy.
As I read and heard various news items I think the non-change came from at least two places. First from the flight attendants union, many of them lost friends who were co-workers and loved ones on the day of the attack. Secondly, I think a group of surviving family and loved ones of September 11 opposed the loosening of the blade restriction.
These two groups have very real very understandable stake in this game and while I don't think knives are a concern I think they did.
At the end of the day, you don't need the blade on the plane.

Submitted by Anonymous on

In reply to Anonymous from 3/27/2008 at 8:30 PM.....Who are you to tell me what I "need" on an airplane? If I WANT a small knife to open my mail or clean my fingernails, and it's not a weapon capable of inflicting more than negigible injury, then I should be able to have it. I'm an American citizen, you know.I'm also a veteran. The sentiment in your comment just reinforces the perception that TSA is a mindless agency that enforces arbitrary and unreasonable rules on a compliant public "just because it can." As to flight attendants; There is no flight attendants' "union" that speaks for all of them. Practically every airline has its own flight attendants' union and they most definitely do not all agree on all issues. These unions exist to negotiate working conditions for flight attendants at their various airlines, not to impose their views, desires or prejudices on law-abiding travellers. The same goes for the survivors of 9/11 victims. I respect their grief, but that does not mean that they should hold sway over whether or not I should be allowed to possess an innocuous object on an airplane.If knitting needles, 7" screwdrivers and 4" pointed scissors can be allowed, then there is no valid reason why small knives cannot be also.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why did you delete my reply to Anonymous above? I questioned his right to tell me what I "need" on an airplane. I, as an American citizen,should have the right to have whatever I WANT to have aboard an airplane, so long as it is not dangerous and there is room for it, and I shouldn't have to explain it to you. A keychain-sized pocket knife is in that category. I also stated that neither flight attendants' unions nor grieving survivors should have the right to impose their desires or predudices concerning my carrying an innocuous object.After all, I too have a stake "in the game." I also pointed out that TSA applies arbitrary and puposeless rules on us "just because it can." Why won't someone in authority at TSA answer the question about small knives. Please don't tell me they're prohibited. I know that. What I don't know is WHY. Are you going to delete this post,too?

Submitted by Jason on

legally lockblade knives on planes for years and they caused no harm to anyone. I'd very much appreciate the ability to carry at least a small swiss army knife with me. I'm not sure that people should have to demonstrate NEED to be able to carry a perfectly legal and harmless item with them. There are really no legitimate reasons to ban such items.

Submitted by Anonymous on

In response to the question of why do I need a knife?

This last week, I needed to purchase a spare charger for my phone. It was completely encased in a tomb of plastic, and I had nothing I could use to liberate it.

All I want is my 1.25 inch swiss army knife, tweezers, scissors and toothpick combo. I truly don't see how anyone after 9/11 could be "threatened" by a 1.25 inch knife.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I do find it STUPID that you are allowed to carry glass-covered framed pictures thru security.

A couple of years ago, I saw a guy carrying a 4 foot by 6 inch panorama picture. If broken, the amount of glass he had would have made a SWORD, not just a knife.

I approached the screening supervisor and pointed out this fact to him: His response was "We dont make the rules, we just enforce them."

COME ON!! How about a little bit of sanity to this process? There are things that obviously are not "safe", and could trivially be weaponized, but we LET them thru just because there isn't some pre-defined rule against it? Sorry, folks, that's not "security".

Submitted by Anonymous on

Observation: There is too much inconsistancy between airports. I travel ewr/srq on a regular basis and at least once every round trip one airport will allow something and the other will not. My wife on our last trip had a brand new Disney sealed in original plastic wrap Cinderella play dough gift for our grand child that is probably being played with by the agent that took it way.

Submitted by Kentown on

When so many levels of security clear us of suspicion why is it necessary to confiscate our property? For instance, by mistake I carried a Swiss Army knife in my carry-on with a blade less then 2.5inches. The TSA official was polite but kept saying, "I think they're taking these". Well, if they might not be taking them and I fit all acceptable profiles, why take it? Shouldn't we start looking in the other direction? If we meet the good citizen profile, why not leave us with our personal possessions?

Submitted by Meyre on

If, as your commentary on lighters and scissors explains - that scissors were allowed as of 2005, and lighters in July of 2007, you people owe me for two pairs of Fiskars craft scissors, and at least half a dozen lighters. Obviously the message never got passed along to the people doing the screening, and my items were removed. I figure 35 bucks will cover it all.

Furthermore, I've made it through at various times WITH lighters. Either the folks working those checkpoints were incompetent, or I'm a better hider than they were finders.

How about this....is a 6" stainless steel crochet hook considered any kind of threat? I'd love to crochet on the flights, but I don't know if THOSE would be taken away too, and I don't really care to lose them.

M

Submitted by Anonymous on

What makes me really angry is that once my bags are checked through TSA security and marked accordingly with stickers, markers or highlighters on my luggage tags, they seem to show up at my destination (at least diff 4 times) either opened up again, the locks being cut off, or my bag being damaged where someone tried to get into the bag due to it being locked at TSA security. The airlines claim no responsibility and TSA doesn't either. So it's perfectly OK with everyone that someone has tampered with my bags and no one is responsible for replacing the cut locks (one was a TSA approved lock which costs a little more than regular one) or my damaged bag!!! I don't have money coming out of my ears to keep buying new locks or bags! Please STOP this from happening!

Submitted by Proud Texan on

Your site says "The vigilance of the flying public in-flight and on the ground is an important piece of aviation security. Passengers’ willingness to work with TSA and local law enforcement is crucial to enhancing security." If you truly believe this then why not let the us public that is licensed to carry a concelled firearm which does have to have no prior felonies, no history of domestic disturbance, no outstanding debt, has had a full background check by state and FBI officals. You let current and ex police carry a firearm why not the licensed public. Also what difference is it to have a screwdriver or scisors rather that a pocket knife with you on the airplane. Maybe it would be better to let a licensed hangun carrier to carry that has had a full backgroud check rather than let any one carry a screwdriver and scisors. Let get back to taking care of your selves and quit letting the terrorist win which is what your new sytem is doing i think just running scared.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I posted 2 different blogs and neither one has shown up. I had NO foul language and was not mean spirited, so why are they not shown? I feel like I'm in China where they censor anything they don't like hearing! Let's try again.

What makes me really angry is that once my bags are checked through TSA security and marked accordingly with stickers, markers or highlighters on my luggage tags, they seem to show up at my destination (at least 4 times) either opened up again, the locks being cut off, or my bag being damaged where someone tried to get into the bag due to it being locked at TSA security. The airlines claim no responsibility and TSA doesn't either. So it's perfectly OK with everyone that someone has tampered with my bags and no one is responsible for replacing the cut locks (one was a TSA approved lock which costs a little more than regular one) or my damaged bag!!! I don't have money coming out of my ears to keep buying new locks or bags! Not to mention this is a big security hole! If someone can open a bag that has supposedly passed inspection, then how can we be sure a dangerous item hasn't been added? Are we really safe from all the things that we check for? Please STOP this from happening!

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