TSA Relaxes Regulations: Pocket Knives to Be Allowed on Planes

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


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The Federal Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) on Monday halted its plan for implementation of a more relaxed list of prohibited items on passenger aircraft, once again allowing pocket knives and sporting equipment to be carried by passengers.

Implementation of the plan, due to take place on Thursday, April 25, was tabled due to an overwhelming negative response and concern from American consumers.

“In order to accommodate further input from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), which includes representatives from the aviation community, passenger advocates, law enforcement experts, and other stakeholders, TSA will temporarily delay implementation of changes to the Prohibited Items List, originally scheduled to go into effect April 25. This timing will enable TSA to incorporate the ASAC’s feedback about the changes to the Prohibited Items List and continue workforce training," said the TSA in a statement released yesterday.

Pocket knives allowed on planes

The controversial change relaxes strict guidelines put into effect as a result of the September 11, 2001 hijackings and terrorist attacks.

The most disturbing allowance for nearly 1800 consumers polled by Travel Leaders Group were changes to the Prohibited Items List for carry-on baggage to include the reinstated ability to carry knives on passenger aircraft.

The list of allowable items included a new rule regarding small blade knives, granting permission to carry a knife with a blade shorter than 2.36 inches in length and less than 1/2 inch in width. Toy bats, golf clubs, ski poles and other sports equipment were also set to be permitted under the new rule. All items will remain banned until further notice is given by TSA.

Survey says no cell phones - either.

Travel Leaders Group asked Americans across the country if they were in favor of the change and 73 percent of those polled responded that they do not want pocket knives allowed in airplane cabins.

The sampling also revealed that a vast majority (nearly 80 percent) indicate they do not want fellow airline passengers to have the ability to make cell phone calls inflight.

The survey, conducted from March 15 to April 8, 2013 by Travel Leaders Group, an $18 billion powerhouse in the travel industry, also revealed that 82 percent of the consumers polled were satisfied or neutral with today’s security measures.

“The results are very clear. Most Americans would prefer the status quo with regard to cell phone use inflight. Because so many planes are flying at near capacity and many passengers already feel a lack of personal space within the airplane cabin, it’s understandable that they want to continue to have some amount of peace and quiet whether they are on a short commuter flight or a flight that lasts several hours,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.

“Hopefully officials who are studying the idea listen to what the public has to say. The same is true for pocket knives in carry-on baggage. This is a real hot-button issue. The TSA’s rationale is that they are aligning their policy to match international rules. International air carriers have different rules for the allowable size and weight of carry-on bags – we don’t follow those guidelines. The rationale doesn’t make sense when so many consumers and flight crew members are opposed to the idea,” said Liben.

When asked, “Are you in favor of this change or against it?” 73 percent of those polled said they are not in favor of allowing pocket knives on planes.

54.8% I don't think these items should be allowed.
23.6 % I'm OK with it.
18.2% I'm OK with everything except pocket knives.
3.5% I don't know.

The travel survey was conducted for five consecutive years. American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com.


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