The TSA today announced that it is modifying its guidelines for allowable carry-on items in commercial airliners. The new rules would allow small knives, sticks and clubs but continue to ban larger or more substantial instruments. Knives with molded or fixed handles, or ones longer than 2.36 inches or wider than ½-inch would continue to be banned and subject to confiscation. The TSA said that the decision to change the guidelines was “made as part of TSA’s overall risk-based security approach and aligns TSA with International Civil Aviation Organization Standards and our European counterparts.”
At the same time the TSA announced that it would allow certain other formerly banned items, including small bats and sporting equipment, including novelty bats shorter than 24 inches in length. Passengers will also be allowed to carry hockey and lacrosse sticks, billiard cues, and up to two golf clubs.
A leading flight attendants’ union, TWU, which represents Southwest and AirTran flight attendants, blasted the rules change, saying that while pilots are protected by secure doors from such threats, “they are real threats to flight attendants and passengers” in the passenger cabin.
The ruling would allow passengers to carry small Swiss Army-style folding knives, novelty team baseballs bats and personal sporting good items, many of which now are confiscated by TSA during the screening process.
The new rules go into effective on April 25th.