Not everyone is happy about the TSA’s decision to take small knives and sports equipment – including golf clubs (2 per person), pool cues, lacrosse sticks, hockey sticks, ski poles – and small novelty/souvenir bats off the list of items that passengers are prohibited to take on planes as part of their allowable carry-on items.
The new rules go into effect on April 25, but many flight attendants and their unions aren’t happy. The Flight Attendants Union Coalition released a statement blasting the TSA’s decision. and Ian Funderburg, who identifies himself as a flight attendant, has started an on-line petition asking the President of the United States to reverse the TSA’s Decision.
A TSA spokesperson told me on Wednesday that the agency worked closely with airlines on this latest revision of the prohibited items list and that airlines were comfortable with the action.
I was also reminded that while the TSA has said it’s OK for hockey sticks and other sports equipment to go through the security checkpoint and taken onto planes, that doesn’t mean that an airline must allow that stick or that equipment onto the plane. If an item is deemed too big for the overhead bin, or if the item exceeds the number of carry-on items a passengers is allowed, an airline still has the right to ask a passenger to check an item that will not fit an overhead bin.
And if passengers are asked to check – and pay baggage fees for – sports equipment that TSA says is allowable past the security checkpoint, you can bet there are going to be dust ups and debate.
I had the pleasure of talking about this topic on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered on Wednesday evening. You can hear that four minute story here.