Knives on a plane? Really?

Story highlights

  • The latest TSA move to allow some knives and sports equipment is causing a furor
  • Flight attendants have created petitions demanding the TSA reverse its policy
  • Security experts say the policy doesn't address the need to evaluate travelers, not things
Whenever the U.S. Transportation Security Administration changes the way it screens passengers, it's bound to cause a stir.
This time is no different.
The TSA's move this week to allow small pocket knives on airplanes has generated a storm of criticism and concern among aviation professionals and passengers alike. Critics are outraged by a new rule that will allow knives with very short blades onto aircraft. The agency says it believes knives cannot be used to hijack planes because of strengthened cockpit doors and more passenger awareness.
"This policy reversal is against the best interest of the security of crew and passengers in the aircraft cabin and we will stop at nothing to fight it," said the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, in a press statement issued Thursday announcing its campaign to reverse the TSA's decision.
The coalition represents nearly 90,000 unionized flight attendants at carriers across the country.
Former flight attendant Tiffany Hawk is "stupefied" by the TSA's decision to allow knives "especially since the process that turns checkpoints into maddening logjams -- removing shoes, liquids and computers -- remains unchanged," she wrote in an opinion column for CNN.
Under the new rules, knives with blades that are 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or shorter and less than a 1/2 inch wide will be allowed in airline cabins as long as the blade is not fixed or does no