Airline chiefs ask TSA to reconsider knife ruling

A box of knives confiscated by Atlanta airport security.
A box of knives confiscated by Atlanta airport security. (AP)
Posted: March 14, 2013

US Airways Group chief executive Doug Parker and Delta Air Lines chief executive officer Richard Anderson have urged Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole to reconsider allowing small knives in the cabins of commercial aircraft.

The TSA announced the change last week, raising the ire of pilot and flight-attendant groups that called it an unsafe plan.

In a letter to the TSA, Anderson said the move "will add little value" to passenger security screening efficiency "in relation to the additional risk for our cabin staff and customers."

"We have consulted with our flight attendant group and we share their legitimate concerns," Anderson wrote. "If the purpose is to increase security checkpoint flow, there are much more effective steps we can take together to streamline the security checkpoints."

Amending the policy would have been "most effective" if TSA had sought input from airlines and flight crews about a change "that might place our flight attendants' safety at risk," Parker said. He called on TSA to reverse the rule change, scheduled to go in effect April 25.

Under the revised policy, knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches and less than one-half-inch wide would be allowed in airplane cabins. Passengers can also carry two golf clubs, toy bats, and other sporting equipment such as ski poles, hockey and lacrosse sticks, and billiard cues in their carry-on luggage.

Contact Linda Loyd at 215-854-2831 or

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