TSA chickens out, won't allow items that don't threaten airplanes back on-board

The TSA has backed down from its moment of sanity in which it decided to allow golf-clubs, small knives and other items that pose no threat to airplanes back in the sky. The TSA's move had been a welcome effort to clarify that it was attempting to prevent terrorists from crashing airplanes, not prevent bodily harm to passengers (in order to do the latter, it would have had to also ban socks full of quarters, large booze-bottles from the duty-free, and innumerable other objects capable of harming crew and passengers). However, after hysterical criticism from flight crews, flier groups and cowardly congressmen, it changed its mind.

"After extensive engagement with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, law enforcement officials, passenger advocates, and other important stakeholders, TSA will continue to enforce the current prohibited items list," Mr Pistole said.

TSA cancels proposal to allow knives on planes


    1.  my first thought as well.

      I’m fine with most of the items being okay on flights… but a whole lot of damage was done with small knives when the fear of loss of life outweighed logic.

      1.  Yeah, it’s entertaining when BoingBoing gets all high and mighty and gets it spectacularly wrong. It’s not like 9/11 was carried out with explosives and automatic weapons.

        Sorry Cory, but your Leatherman isn’t welcome on the plane. I’m not even worried about terrorism, but am not thrilled about the idea of being in a enclosed space with some douche bag American who has now figured out that they can solve their problems in the sky with their handy pocket tool. Sure, I know there are a lot of fine weapons on a plane, but I’m none too fond of the 3-4″ razor sharp blades on those babies. Sorry dude.

        1. Please. 9/11 didn’t succeed because box-cutters were allowed; it succeeded because people were taught to react passively to hostage takers on planes. Try that now and you’ll get the crap beaten out of you before you get out of your seat. Won’t work again no matters how many pocket knives they’re carrying.

          You can make as threatening a weapon as a box cutter out of a coke can. Should we ban those?

          1. Should we ban Coke in a can?  Sure.  Soda drinks taste much better from a glass bottle.

            Now, about using drink containers to fashion impromptu weapons….

        2.  That was one of the most ill-conceived, annoyingly stupid comments I’ve ever read here.  Sorry dude.

        3.  Do me a favor – Don’t spend anytime in America.  We don’t need anymore exploded heads, especially ones that happen because people are afraid of what other people might do.

        4. How is a knife on a plane any more of a danger than a snapped credit card? Or an over heated meal?

          Not to mention the fact that this is one of many items on the list – possibly the only vaguely justifiable one.

          ‘Sorry dude’, try again.

          1. Check out Stephenson’s “REAMDE” for an excellent depiction of the damage that can be wrought by a snapped DVD.

          2. Back when AOL was trying to fill America’s landfills via their free CDs, I cut myself several times destroying them.  They do break into some nice sharp-edged shards, don’t they?

          3.  You can’t be serious? Yes you can stab somebody with a broken credit card. No you are not Jason Bourne, and it’s much easier for me to stab you several times in the face with a knife than with a credit card.

          4. What about a coke can? Plastic knifes could do a lot of damage too.

            Come on now – there are plenty of sharp objects on a plane. I don’t think there’s any need for a knife on a plane though, I wouldn’t describe myself as pro-knives-on-planes. But at the same time I don’t really see them giving anyone a real advantage. It’s not a gun.

          5. A Coke can? Really now…

            Is it necessary to resort to saying that credit cards and coke cans are as threatening as knives when they clearly are not? These policies deserve to be questioned but..  Yeesh.  Let’s ground this in some kind of reality..  Passengers are likely not action movie spies or guys who’ve been meticulously crafting a shank in their cell for months…

    2. I dare you to do the following:
      1) Sneak a box cutter (or other small knife) onto a plane (this part is easy)
      2) Attempt to coerce anyone on the plane to do anything using said knife

      Box cutters did not allow the 9/11 attacks to work. Passive passengers and flight attendants did. As you might recall, this worked for less than 1.5 hours. (The first plane crashed at 8:47, the passengers in the fourth plane revolted, and it crashed at 10:00.) 

      Small knives no longer pose any threat on a plane. The ban is nonsensical, costs millions of dollars, and distracts the TSA from actually enhancing travel safety.

      [ edit: spelling ]

      1. You know, you keep referring to “brave passengers and airline staff” to stop supposed terrorists/crazies from commandeering an airplane? Did you forget the real thing the airlines want to do is to remove the impenetrable doors between the pilots and passengers? That is the issue and not the supposed bravery of the average American on an airplane. Jeez!

    1. Of course.

      Now it’s democratic, and the TSA are just complying with the wishes of everyone else.

      But as they say, if your expert doesn’t agree with you, find another expert. The TSA could find people that support their policies all day long.

  1. Since “billiard cues, ski poles, and lacrosse and hockey sticks” (and golf clubs) are all far too long for carry-on anyway, I’m not sure why they were even being considered in the first place. They wouldn’t even fit in the overhead bins, at least not without pissing off everyone else in that part of the plane. (Do they still have a full-length closet in first class? I haven’t seen one in decades.)

    Ski poles? If you have ski poles, you have skis, which you have to check anyway, and are far more valuable than the poles. Why would anyone check their skis but bring the poles as carry-on?

    1. Some planes have a closet as you’re boarding, between First Class and the cockpit.  Some ski poles telescope.  Some pool cues break into two pieces and easily fit into an overhead bin.  But most people are effen freaks about trying to jam a fully exploded rollie into a bin.  Then they expect me, a beefy guy, to get it out for them when it’s time to go.  I don’t unless it’s a real old lady.  But they don’t usually have heavy bags – the old ladies’ bags are usually lightly packed.

  2. And yet, if the NRA made an issue of this, everyone would be allowed a gun on a plane tomorrow.

    1.  Deploying U.S. military are allowed to carry guns on an aircraft by showing a military ID and a letter saying they are allowed to do it.

    1. I have had it with these motherfucking cocks on this motherfucking plane.

      1.  Those are probably the last words that I ever expected to hear coming from our dear Antinous’ mouth.

        Frankly, I expected a rallying call for MORE cocks!

  3. It’s stupid as hell. All the cockpits are armored safes now, there’s no way any of those items could do anything except freak out some people in the cabin (who would then pile on the asshats).  Boxcutters are no longer a threat, and neither is my tiny little leatherman with scissors (nor was it ever). I’d be lucky if I could put someone’s eye out.

  4. As a flight attendant, it was bewildering to see how much my colleagues freaked out about this. If a passenger wants to cut us, there are a thousand ways they can do it without a pocket knife. Yes, box cutters brought down those planes, but that can’t happen now because no matter what happens in the cabin, no one is getting in to the cockpit.
    I am personally disappointed because I would like to carry a cheese knife, and no one seems to understand MY pain.

  5. Boxcutters were not part of the exception – only small non-locking blades i.e. things that tend to be more dangerous to the person holding them…
    From the many times that I have inadvertently left such an item in my backpack, there seems to be an ~ 1 out 20 chance that the screener will call it out… Odds seem much higher at smaller airports — that’s where I lost two items over the years.
    I could probably do more damage with a metal-bodied pen or a plastic protractor.

  6. There was a book called Shibumi about an assassin who learned a system called Naked/Kill, which allows you to use any implement:  comb, credit card, magazine, etc., to kill anyone.  He employed these weapons (in a quite mysterious fashion) to kill some Palestinian terrorists onboard a commercial airliner–as a steward.  

  7. TSA and its mismanagement is really a part of the problem and not a solution.  
    Now I think American Government needs to be cut apart with box cutters and reassembled into something more useful that does not profit a privileged group, while putting duress on the majority.

    1.  George W. Bush did that and came up with the Department of Homeland Security. We need better folks to do the assembling.

  8. TSA (the organisation that categorised a retractable car key as a flick-knife) doesn’t think things through.
    If they can’t have a consistent policy on whether an iPad needs to be in or out of your carry-on, how on earth are they going to get their heads around 2.36 inches?
    Keep things simple for them: nothing that cuts goes in the cabin and everything with a screen goes in the tray.

  9. The hands and feet of a martial artist or other fighter are much more dangerous than any 2″ pocket knife.  Unless they are going to start strapping naked passengers into their seats for the duration of the flight, this is just another act of security theater.

    The War on of Terrorism has succeeded in terrorizing a large percentage of the population.

    1.  That must be why so many people are mugged by high level martial artists instead of guys who just put a knife to your throat.

      1. FWIW, a 2″ knife with a non-locking blade is completely useless as a weapon. They’re about as dangerous to the wielder as they are to the target.

        Also, the argument is about determined attackers who are willing to spend years training for their task, and die in the process. Not muggers.

  10. “Hysterical criticism from flight crews”–yikes. That’s a bit loaded, that one.

    Coming from the husband of one of those flight crew members, I know he’s resting much more easily knowing that knives are staying on the no-no list. Want to take a knife with you on your trip? OK, pack it in your checked luggage. Travelers–no matter how frequently their travels–can subsume the inconvenience of being parted with their sharp metal for a few hours. A passenger’s assertion that his shriek about needing a “small knife” on his flight is more real and present than a flight crew’s daily dealings with a public who are permitted to drink to excess in confined spaces sounds… well, hysterical.

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