TSA to allow some knives, golf clubs, etc., on planes

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Frank, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Pissy had already lost the support of most flyers, now he has lost the support of pilots, crews, and some LEO types. I didn't think it could get much better but Pissy has found a way to be even more incompetent.
  2. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

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  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I disagree with you guys in part. If flight attendants (and airlines) don't want to deal with knives on a plane, that's their prerogative. It's no different than any other business situation (e.g. sports and concert venues) where you are screened for weapons, real and imaginary.

    However, the airlines have abrogated their screening responsibilities in exchange for being relieved of most of the (wasted) costs of security screening. If the airlines are unhappy with current screening standards, they step up to the plate and resume doing their job.

    I do share the flight attendants' concerns, and I've been through some of their training, albeit in a very abbreviated form, in Delta's in-flight training center. Flight attendants are trained to disable an attacker so they can back of safely and give more physically capable passengers a change to intervene if it gets physical. The equation changes if the attacker has a knife, small blade or large -- most of us would not have stepped up and given the training dummy that swift jab in the neck if he had been wielding a knife.

    Airlines are quite capable of screening at the gate if they want to. Singapore Airlines screened all of us boarding a SIN-SYD flight at the gate in SIN. Nothing was "confiscated" -- disallowed items were put in an envelope & tagged and reappeared at the baggage claim in SYD. This screening was for Australian standards (including no "sharpies", the U.S. isn't the only country marching out of step although Oz is much more benign & polite).

    As I see it, TSA has made a miraculous small improvement in their screening standards (must have been an accident), and the airlines need to take the initiative and attend to their own responsiblities if they're unhappy with it. Once that's done, it's a free market: If Delta steals your Swiss army knife and United doesn't, you can choose to fly with United.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Let's pray that Jon Adler is "sequestered". :D
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    When you as utterly inept as Pissy, it takes some time and serious effort to get the complete message out to all concerned.
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Your first two paragraphs pretty well state the issue.

    Airlines either gave up or had taken away their right to conduct security screening.

    The feds (TSA) have that obligation via congressional legislation.

    So either take steps to regain that level of control or shut the heck up.

    I in general terms like being able to take my small pocket knife on a flight. It is not a security threat. I do not understand letting someone bring a 9 iron. As I see it a golf bat is a much greater threat than a small knife.
  7. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    As I've told any number of people over the years who've said, "I can't handle this - you do it," once you've abrogated your responsibility, you're no longer allowed to have an opinion on how it gets handled.

    SD, STFU, and HAND.
  8. A report from the field:

    We had a long layover in JNU (Juneau) and I took the time to observe the large (both in number and body size) and rather motley TSA crew for the airport with all of five gates. One screener was so obese she looked like she could probably qualify for handicapped parking. Anyway, a gentleman came through and opted out, and took a kabuki style patdown: feather-light and stylized, very much for show. Then the x-ray discovered a "blade" in his bag. "I thought you guys allowed these now?" he protested. "Nooo, not 'till the end of April," said the nerdy kid doing the bag check, somewhat apologetically. This man rolled his eyes in great disdain, then went back to put the blade in his checked luggage. He was back again ten minutes later for another pointless kabuki pat down.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Honor guard material! Unfortunately the full-size photos of a couple of these are no longer easily found:

    tsa_honor_guard3.jpg tsa_honor_guard2.jpg tsa_honor_guard.jpg
  10. Oh, she was like three times the size of any of those folks. Hair like Medusa, too. I thought they were supposed to keep their hair tidy.
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    In the picture above with the sign of C10A above a persons head. Is that boggy burns with the camera?
  12. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed


    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) took action in paring its forbidden item list a bit — a tiny bit. Passengers will soon be allowed to carry on small knives and some sporting equipment that after years of careful research and untold hours of committee deliberations have been determined to be non-threatening in terms of airline security.
    These new rules are simply embarrassing and raise questions about whether those on this review committee are dealing with reality. At most, they are baby steps in the right direction. To some, they are a breach of personal security.
    This action, without any explanation of its philosophy, rationale or significant benefits, is generating more protests than plaudits.

    The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) has been pressing for changes to the TSA forbidden item list for years. CTA efforts are predicated on changes that have taken place since 9/11.
    In testimony before Congress, CTA has stated that:
    • Cockpit doors are fortified
    • Every passenger goes through a check against the terrorist watch list.
    • Pointless searches for items that cannot be used to take over the cockpit of a plane or be used as an explosive should be discontinued.
    • Eliminating searches for these items that do not threaten an aircraft will save millions of dollars annually.
    Unfortunately, this effort by TSA to streamline security screening and focus on real threats will run into a public relations buzz saw. Those favoring such changes will be disappointed by such halfway actions and those favoring the current system will wail about personal safety.
    Flight attendants are already up in arms.
    When TSA spokesperson Castelveter said, “There’s still an emotional attachment to that matter,” he hit the nail right on the head. He was only referring to razor blades and box cutters, but certainly knives stir similar passions.
    If TSA had initially announced changes in forbidden items by allowing sporting equipment and tools like screwdrivers and wrenches, there would not have been much visceral reaction. But, knives and box cutters are emotional push buttons.
    Since the actual screening process is not changing at all, passengers now will feel less safe after dealing with the same security line hassles. Plus, flight attendants and air marshals will be upset.
    Some see TSA’s actions as designed to make their own work easier, while putting passengers and crew at more risk. The opportunity to couple these forbidden item changes with benefits to the public and other dramatic security improvements has been lost.
    Now, TSA is faced with the worst of both worlds.
    The effects of this new rule may end up slowing security lines rather than speeding them along, costing more money rather than less, and adding a new level of confusion. Starting on April 25, some baseball bats will be forbidden. TSA security personnel will have to stop and measure.
    And, just how TSA agents will begin measuring the size of items to the tenth-of-an-inch (in a country that has officially refused to adopt the metric standards) and install scales to weigh plastic bats and allow them aboard should they weigh less than 24 ounces, hasn’t been disclosed.
    Here is the TSA announcement as it appeared on the TSA Blog.
    TSA established a committee to review the prohibited items list based on an overall risk-based security approach. After the review, TSA Administrator John S. Pistole made the decision to start allowing the following items in carry-on bags beginning April 25:​
    • Small Pocket Knives – Small knives with non-locking blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than 1/2 inch in width will be permitted​
    • Small Novelty Bats and Toy Bats​
    • Ski Poles​
    • Hockey Sticks​
    • Lacrosse Sticks​
    • Billiard Cues​
    • Golf Clubs (Limit Two)​
    Friends sent me Facebook rants about the fact that people can now bring knives and baseball bats on the plane, but they can’t bring in a cup of coffee.
    However, I have some other questions.
    Why is a larger-than-7-inch wrench more dangerous than a pool cue?
    Why is marijuana (including both medical and non-medical) on the no-fly list?
    Why is a larger-than-7-inch screwdriver forbidden when a ski pole is not?
    Why is a larger-than-7-inch pair of pliers forbidden?
    Why is a novelty bat, exactly the same weight and length as a billy club, permitted while the billy club is not? Aesthetics?
    Why is a fencing foil considered dangerous when a hockey stick is not?
    Anyone who has seriously discussed material changes to the TSA forbidden items list with pilots, flight attendants and the public knows the emotional reactions that suggestions of allowing knives on planes generate. TSA should not have been blind-sided.
    What could have been a positive modification to our airport security system complete with savings of money and time and no decrease in real security is on its way to becoming a public relations disaster. I’m expecting TSA to backtrack.
    Whatever path TSA chooses, they need to present it as a way forward, not a step backwards. These kinds of changes need to be vetted carefully with the most important stakeholders in this process — airline crews, the flying public and TSA.
  13. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I think Adler may have caused himself some ill will with these comments. I certainly hope so, because what he states is not the prevailing attitude I have seen/experienced at any level in TSA.

    Nope, no idea who that is, but it isn't Blogger Bob.
  14. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I am Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise. I've occasionally wondered what color the sky is on whatever divergent Earth those experiences of yours have been on.
  15. RB

    RB Founding Member

    If Adler is a federal employee then he should have corrective action taken against him by his agency. His statement is so objectionable it cannot be dismissed. I don't want any federal employee who embraces his position anywhere near me.

    Sadly I think he fits the DHS mold perfectly.
  16. FliesWay2Much

    FliesWay2Much Original Member

    That's a good point. The only thing that Pissy did was to allow this random collection of stuff past the checkpoints and into the airside part of the terminal. If the airlines feel strongly enough, as you state, there's no reason at all that they couldn't ban these items, or anything else they wanted to ban, from their airplanes via a corporate policy. Pissy would have nothing to lose by making such a proclamation.
  17. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    No real surprise here, but DL CEO Richard Anderson is speaking out against this change:

    So when even one of TSA's greatest cheerleaders is against this change, maybe people are waking up to Pervert Pistole's ineptness.
  18. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    A little side off topic, but I'm curious: how come other countries and their airlines, who buy the same model airplanes as one operated in USA, have figured out how to let passengers use their electronic devices such as ipads, camcorders on takeoff/landing but our glorious, highly advanced, tech savvy big brothers forbid us to use our Kindles let alone bring a bottle of water, a cupcake and some applesauce onboard?

    video above shows a guy filming his flight with no issues.
    Caradoc likes this.
  19. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    They're interested in real security, not a jobs program for the otherwise-unemployable.
  20. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I've yet to be on an airline that permits it.

    Some mid-eastern airlines also used to allow passengers to use small gas stoves on planes, but that didn't turn out well.

    Part of the reason for the ban on electronics < 10,000 feet is the same reason why pilots have to maintain a "sterile" cockpit < 10,000 feet. They want people's attention focused in case of an emergency. Electronic interference is very rare but there is little margin for error at low altitudes. At 300 miles/hour, you can cover the distance from 10,000' to ground in less than 24 seconds.

    The trend is that more and more landings are fully automated. The advanced systems (e.g. RNP -- Required Navigation Performance) that are being implemented to allow closer spacing of aircraft require it. Concerns about interference from passengers' electronics won't be going away.

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