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Small Pocket Knives

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Submitted by Anonymous on

I honestly think that this knew rule of having pocket knives on planes is incredibly stupid.They are really dangerous if stuck in the neck or eye. I also cant belive that i can bring my knife on board a plane. But NOT my cinnamon apple scented hand lotion. BS is my theory

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...

"I honestly think that this knew rule of having pocket knives on planes is incredibly stupid.They are really dangerous if stuck in the neck or eye"

So can a #2 pencil. Do you advocate banning them on board aircraft, too?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I support the TSA's decision to allow pocket knifes. Many citizens carry these knifes for shear utility purposes. It's very annoying when the TSA confiscates these knifes from law abiding citizens who then have to spend another $13+ dollars to replace it. I carry my pocket knife with me everywhere I go and the only place in which this isn't allowed is on one side of airport security. The reason is that these items are seen weapons a person would use to hijack a plane. Prior to 9/11 American's had the idea that the best thing to do in a hijacking situation was to go along with it. In a post 9/11 world we know we can't be complacent with hijackers on an aircraft.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have been a big fan of the TSA and specifically of Pistole's TSA. I have to say I think this change is ridiculous. Any reasonable individual should be able to think that the terrorists who carried out 9/11 would be able to replicate the results with blades of any size. Can the blades that are going to be allowed slash a throat and kill a person? If so they can be used to high-jack an aircraft.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why do you need these blades on the aircraft? Why can't you just put blades in your checked luggage? No need to have weapons on the aircraft.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Finally, a halfway sensible decision by TSA!

Those of you who wonder about the value of a pocket knife, or of its viability as a weapon clearly have never carried one. A swiss army knife is eminently useful. I use mine multiple times per day, and have carried one daily since age six. (Yes, even in school, as when I was in grade school common sense still prevailed.). Yes, not having it when I travel is a serious inconvenience, and I began checking bags for no reason other than not to have to do without.

For those concerned about their potential as a weapon, you have also clearly never used a non-locking pocket knife. You have to be careful when using them that the blade does not shift away from what you're doing. A good metal bodied pen, or even a disposable Bic is potentially more dangerous, yet it would be ridiculous to stop people from carrying pens.

As several sensible people have pointed out, anything can be used as a weapon by someone with the will and mind set. Even the plastic cup you get with your inflight beverage could be folded over on itself to make a rigid point if someone was so inclined. If we tried to ban every potential weapon, nothing, and no one would be allowed on board, and it would be the end of air travel. And, the terrorists would win.

The only reason airplanes were ever hijacked using a blade in the first place is because at the time, standard practice during a hijacking event was to comply with all requests of the hijacker, and that also at the time, doors to the pilots cabin were not secure. Policies have changed. No one will ever successfully use a blade again for a hijacking because passengers would overwhelm them rather than comply.

That TSA has finally recognized this, and begun to make changes to security policy that reflect reality and focus on more viable threats is the first sign I've seen in a long time that airport security is more than a Maginot line, trying to overreact to past threats instead of adapt and focus on current ones.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA may want to rethink this decision given what happened in Boston on 4/15/13. The USA is always going to be a target for terrorists. Do not become complacent. That is what terrorists look for. I am now very scared to even book a flight with my young son because of this pocket knife rule reversal. Wise up, TSA! 10 pocket knives in the hands of evil people is a lot of terror aboard any flight.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The rest of the world was not attacked on 9-11, it was the United States; and only us. If the rest of the world has such a great way of doing things and allowing/permitting small knives on planes; then why do we the United States still re-screen everyone entering the United States? because we do not trust them to do things correctly. This is a bad idea, just going along? Where is the leadership in that decision?

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"TSA may want to rethink this decision given what happened in Boston on 4/15/13."

I feel for the people in Boston, and hope to run that marathon one day. But I refuse to be terrorized, and hope our elected officials refuse to take knee-jerk measures as a result.

"I am now very scared to even book a flight with my young son because of this pocket knife rule reversal."

Are you also afraid to take your young son to the grocery store? How about sporting events? Or even church? If not, why not? People carry knives, much more dangerous than the ones allowed by the new rule, in those places all the time and, sometimes, even their guns. Besides, with a 70% failure rate, for every 30 or so that Bob posts about being caught every week, 70 more make it on. That should frighten you more that the knives that are allowed on due to the new rule. And yet, no planes falling out of the skies.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Many comments express concern over a small knife "slitting someone's throat..." Perhaps, but the concern on the plane is whether someone could do large scale damage, take down the plane, etc. Yes, one person could hurt another person with a knife, but they couldn't hurt a lot of people.
After all, anyone could walk down the aisle, stop and proceed to grab someone by the head and use the eye sockets like a bowling ball's finger holes. Should we ban trips to the toilet?
Why carry a knife? One, some people don't check luggage. People that ask that question obviously don't find uses for one. I do. But 3.5-4" would certainly be more useful, like for cutting an apple.
Now, what about that shampoo restriction?

Submitted by Anonymous on

As a professional pilot I can attest that allowing any knives, even small, will place our passengers in harms way.

Submitted by Jamie Conrad on

Please rescind the small knife ban as soon as possible. I keep one on my key chain because it's incredibly useful, and I've lost a bunch of them when I've forgotten to take it off. Nobody is going to hijack or bring down a plane with one of these knives. Sure, they're dangerous, but pre-9/11 we did not try to ensure that nothing dangerous could be brought on planes. Our goal should not be to minimize the chance that any bad thing can happen on an airliner. Our goal should be to make sure that a passenger can't hijack or bring down the plane, or kill great numbers of passengers. Beyond that, leave us alone.


Submitted by Jamie Conrad on

Please rescind the ban on small knives as soon as possible. I keep one on my key chain because it's extremely useful, and I've lost several because I forgot to take it off before going to the airport. Pre-9/11, we did not try too ensure that nothing bad could ever happen on an airliner, and we should not adopt that as our goal now. Our goal should be to ensure that a passenger can't hijack or bring down a plane or kill multiple passengers. Small knives can't do any of those things. So leave them and us alone.

Submitted by Wintermute on

This comment has been removed by the author.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I thought we were going to return to some common sense, but fear, uncertainty and doubt have won out...again. If the 9/11 hijackers had used napkins to suffocate victims, I assume we'd still have a ban on paper products on airplanes. If they'd used dental floss as garrotes, I guess there'd still be a ban on that.

They DIDN'T use little pocketknives (which because of their non-locking blades aren't much of a weapon) but those got banned, while 4" pointy scissors and mechanical pencils and pens and knitting needles and 7" screwdrivers and needle nosed pliers and a host of other items that could have played the same role as the box cutters that were actually used are allowed on planes.

I don't fly on trips of less than about 800 miles because I don't like to check a bag, and it's ridiculous to check a separate bag when all I have in the bag is one little pocketknife.

Let's end the absurdity of allowing 4" pointy scissors, but not allowing pocketknives. Sorry flight attendants, but you're just not using logic when you happily allow one, but not the other.

Submitted by Lauren on

Wow I guess I just missed the mark 4 weeks ago when Logan International held me in the side screening area for 20 minutes to fish out a 1.25 inch pocket knife I didn't know was tucked in my bag. Meanwhile O'Hare didn't seem to mind. Who knows what kind of trouble I could have got in. What an awful waste of time and money the TSA is.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Does the TSA agent have to inform someone if they are taking away a knife? I recently brought a serving set in my carry on that included a butter knife. I was pulled aside in screening. The head agent was called in. He unpacked my bag in front of me and looked at the serving pieces (spoon, slotted spoon, small spoon, fork and butter knife), ran an object around the inside of my bag that he put in a sensor and then repacked my serving set and handed me the bag. All without a word. I was busy catching my other totes and motioning to my family, so I didn't watch every move he made. When I got home, my butter knife was gone....

Submitted by Bob Burns (TSA ... on

Anon, the TSA Officer absolutely must tell you if something can't go.. They are supposed to give you options to check the item, take it to your car, mail it to yourself, etc. Butter knives aren't prohibited, and the TSO didn't give you your options, so I'm thinking the TSO forgot to put the knife back in your bag. Either way, it would be a good idea to reach out to the airport using our Talk to TSA tool. Go to the bottom right of and you'll see the icon.


Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Mws56 on

There is absolutely no reason to prohibit pocket knives. Millions of them flew on planes prior to 9-11 without any incidents. We need to reduce the intrusive inspections before we fly, and my pocket knife is a start.

Submitted by Mws56 on

This comment has been removed by the author.

Submitted by Anonymous on

A pocket knife is possibly the most useful tool I own, especially when camping or hiking, which I often fly to do. If someone really wants to use something sharp as a knife, they don't need a pocket knife, they could make one out of plastic or take their razor apart once in the air. I for one don't have a false sense of being safe from sharp objects just because tiny pocket knifes are banned.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Is a small tin of corned beef allowed in hand luggage? Because the edge of an opened can is, I assure you, lethally sharp!

We must continue with policies which ensure that the next time some smart-ass uses a corned beef tin (or something equally inventive) to take over Flight 93, the remaining passengers don't even have a nail-file between them to stand in his way!

Submitted by Anonymous on

yeah can u please clarify the length restriction to me please. technology blogs please let me know

Submitted by Mark J England on

IMO, the Captain's word is law. If he/she says no knives on board ship, so it must be.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Reading these comments makes me think the terrorists have won. I've carried a pocket knife daily for over 50 years and the only person I've every cut is myself. I can't believe the fear level of some people. Carry a Swiss Army knife for a month and if you don't think it's handy stop carrying it. Now it's in my carry-on.
Like I say, they won we are a nation of whimpering pups hiding in the corner.

The sacrifices of the greatest generation have been wasted.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dear Professional Pilot-

As an Engineer, I can assure you that driving to the airport will place your passengers in harms way.

Lets ban flying all together as the risk of driving to the airport is just too great.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I had a small General Electric money clip with a tiny blade in it that I have carried with me and flown with for 30 years. I had flown with it dozens of times since the TSA started.

They took it away from me in Albuquerque, and I had no time to return to put it in my checked baggage.

Then they proceeded to give me three separate pat downs. Oh, by the way I am a wheelchair user and was dressed in a jacket and tie and very polite.

As they continued to give me more and more full body checks I kept asking why are you doing this. The answer was, because you are in a wheelchair.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dont worry about the fact that you can bring a pocket full of pens and jab them into the necks of people

Submitted by Anonymous on

I too have carried the small Swiss army knife for 30 years- I am a reputable person and in the business of saving lives. My little Knife is a set of tweezers a plastic pick and a small set of scissors- I use it frequently most every day. the blade is not fixed and an inch and a quarter long. the box cutters are a very stable full hand grip deadly device. My little knife would close on my finger if I tried to use it for misdeeds. At the same time they allow scissors with a 4 inch blade- many of these are separable giving a potential terrorist two weapons. I fell this is a sexist discrimination allowing all the little ladies an undeniable advantage. I guess I will have to learn how to get that little splinter out of my finger with a pair of 4 inch scissors. Too bad the TSA doesn't look at the whole person and give some of us a break. I might have to do an emergency tracheostomy with a pen.

Submitted by Rick on

A 1.5 inch blade on a multitool is no more a weapon than a pen. The issue we face in the world today is ignorance on the part of people who do.

Submitted by Kent Verge on

Nothing feels quite like having to throw away a daily-carry pocket knife--one that has been in your pocket for 10+ years--while in the screening line because you forgot to leave it in the car. I suppose it would have been worse if it was something that had been passed down to me.