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3 On Your Side: Airplane Knife Ban To Be Relaxed

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The rules are changing for air travelers, and not everyone is happy about it. Soon passengers will be allowed to board commercial airline flights with items that have been banned since the September 11th attacks. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has the details.

Over the last 12 years, millions of knives have been confiscated at airport checkpoints. Now, the ban is being relaxed. Beginning April 25th, passengers will be permitted to carry small folding pocket-knives as long as blades are no longer than 2.36 inches and no wider than half an inch. Box cutters and larger knives will still be banned.

But flight attendants say even small knives present a real threat. Stacy Martin is President of the Southwest Airlines flight attendant union. He says, “They’re allowing these items to come through and they’re putting the responsibility of the cabin completely on us, even though they know coming through security are these items.”

The Transportation Security Administration argues the change brings U.S. regulations in line with international safety rules and will allow security officers to spend more time looking for higher threat items like explosives. Former NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker says, “We’ve seen underwear that can blow up. We’ve seen people with shoes they’ve attempted to blow up. We’ve seen people with chemicals that could potentially blow up and they really need to be looking at the kinds of threats that are significantly more lethal than a two-and-a-half inch blade.”

In addition to relaxing the ban on small knives, airline passengers will also be able to carry-on novelty-sized toy bats, billiard cues, hockey sticks, and golf clubs.

For more information visit: TSA’s website