The events of September 11, 2001, changed everything about air travel. Since that day, flyers have endured sometimes obvious and other times mystifying restrictions on the kinds of items allowed on flights. Yesterday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) made the surprising announcement that starting April 25th domestic flights will conform to international rules and allow certain small knives and items like hockey sticks, golf clubs and pool cues be permitted carry-on items.
Boy Scouts and passengers intent on bringing their favorite 9-iron on vacation may breathe a sigh of relief at the soon-to-be relaxed regulations, but coalitions and unions that represent flight attendants aren’t so pleased. “While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin,” said Stacy Martin, president of the Transportation Workers Union that represents flight attendants for Southwest Airlines.
Do you think small knives and certain sporting equipment should be allowed on commercial airplanes? Are these items security risks? Will this give TSA more time to screen for explosives?
Kelly Skyles, National Safety and Security Coordinator for Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and representing the flight attendants of American Airlines; has been a flight attendant with American Airlines for 26 years.
Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Policy at Reason Foundation; author of the study “Toward a Risk-Based Aviation Security Policy”