Pocket knives and golf clubs soon to be ok on planes

Tampa, Florida -- Hockey sticks, golf clubs, and even small knives. They've been banned from planes for years, but a new TSA policy will change all of that.

This is the biggest carry-on luggage change since we had to start limiting our liquids seven years ago.

Effective April 25th, some foldingpocketknives will be okay to carry on a plane.

You'll also be allowed to bring most sticks used for sports, like golf clubs, ski poles, and hockey sticks through security checkpoints at Tampa International Airport and other airports.

Here is what will now be allowed, as of April 25th:

Folding knives without a molded grip and with blades that don't lock -- that are less than six centimeters, or about 2 1/3 inches, long.

The Transportation Security Administration says this change will give its staff time to focus on real hijacking threats, things like explosives, instead of seizing -- for example -- 47 pocket knives a day at Los Angeles International Airport alone.

Here's the TSA's argument: They say hardened cockpit doors have been installed since the 9/11 attacks. Plus, passengers and crews are much more motivated since 9/11.

So, essentially, it's unrealistic that terrorists with small knives could take over a plane. The people on board wouldn't surrender to those attackers, and even then, they couldn't reach the cockpit.

A coalition of unions representing flight attendants calls the move "poor and short-sighted."

The head of the union for Southwest Airlines' flight attendants says they agree golf clubs and small knives are less of a threat to the pilots, but they are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the cabin.

One item that's still banned are box cutters or utility knives with razor blades.

The TSA says there's still "an emotional attachment" to banning those items, since it was widely reported that's what was used in the September 11th attacks.

However, the 9/11 Commission found the terrorists almost certainly used more traditional pocket knives and did not carry boxcutters.

See more details on what will be allowed and what will still be outlawed form our partners at USA Today.


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