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TravelHaven NewsBrief — TSA Allows Some Items on Planes

The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that U.S. airline passengers will soon be allowed to carry small knives in their carry-on bags. Other newly permissible items will include lacrosse sticks, ski poles and small, souvenir baseball bats.

Starting April 25, passengers going through U.S. airports can bring on board folding knives with blades no longer than 2.36 inches. Under the TSA decision, however, box-cutter type knives used by the 9/11 hijackers are still prohibited. Razors as well as knives with molded grips also are still banned.

These changes were announced by TSA Administrator John Pistole during an aviation conference in New York. The changes were made as part of an “overall risk-based security approach” and to align with the international standards and those of European countries. TSA screeners at the Los Angeles International Airport alone seized roughly 47 such knives a day over the last three months of 2012.

The union for Southwest Airlines flight attendants called the decision “dangerous” and “designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer. Stacy K. Martin, president of Southwest Airlines’ Flight Attendants Union, said that the decision should be “immediately rescinded.” The union represents 10,000 flight attendants for Southwest.

This marks the first time such knives have been allowed on board since security was heavily increased in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.