Pocket Knives, Clubs and Bats to Be Permitted Aboard Commercial Aircraft

To conform with international security rules, the Transportation Security Administration of the United States will allow airline passengers to carry pocket knives with retractable blades six centimeters in length and narrower than one-half of one inch at its widest point — as well as hockey sticks, ski poles, golf clubs and hollow plastic bats effective as of April 25, 2013.

Pocket Knives, Clubs and Bats to Be Permitted Aboard Commercial Aircraft

I do not even know where to begin on this one.

First of all, box cutters — which were the weapons used during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 — are still prohibited, as well as razor blades. Who really cares how long is the blade on a retractable knife? It can still do similar damage in the wrong hands, depending on how sharp is the blade — as well as the point at the end of the blade.

Secondly, why will retractable pocket knives be allowed but not certain tools such as screwdrivers? Although tools such as wrenches and screwdrivers smaller than seven inches in length are allowed, there are field service engineers for hardware companies who travel as passengers on commercial aircraft to service customers whose hardware has malfunctioned and needs repair — and a basic set of full-sized tools are all that may be necessary to fix the hardware. Why is the field service engineer required to check simple tools such as a full-sized screwdriver — especially when a full set of tools is not required?

Perhaps I am dense, but would common sense dictate allowing passengers to no longer remove their shoes when passing through an airport security checkpoint before permitting billiards cue sticks and novelty baseball bats fewer than 24 inches long on flights operated by commercial aircraft? How about first ending those ridiculous restrictions on limiting the amounts of liquids which passengers are allowed to carry onto aircraft? Is a bottle of shampoo really potentially more dangerous than a retractable pocket knife? Last I checked, mustard gas does not emanate from transporting mustard.

Don’t get me wrong — I really have no problem with allowing the items which the Transportation Security Administration will permit passengers to carry aboard aircraft. However, why are people who record airport security checkpoints with cameras sometimes treated like criminals — and why are some disabled children bound to wheelchairs still subject to potentially traumatic screening procedures — when airline passengers will be allowed to carry pocket knives aboard aircraft without even a second thought?


I am all for ensuring that commercial aviation is as safe and as secure as possible for all who use it, as well as employed by it — but not at the expense of the convenience of passengers, nor at the expense of common sense. Eliminate the liquid restrictions, the shoe removal requirements and the needless harassment of airline passengers who seem to feel guilty until proven innocent — and then we can talk about permitting knives and clubs aboard airplanes.

I simply do not get it. Is it just me?!? Perhaps not — if this discussion by FlyerTalk members is of any indication

2 thoughts on “Pocket Knives, Clubs and Bats to Be Permitted Aboard Commercial Aircraft”

  1. craz says:

    1 big correction I believe both of the knives that are piced would NOT be allowed thru Security. 1 provision is that the blade cant be locked into place. Both knives you or IB have showing seem to be the locked into place kind. Think instead of the old Boy scout pocket knife which when opened and to close it all you do is push down on the blade.
    The 2 knives shown here seem in order to close you must press something to release it so it can close, those wont be allowed on board

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