US Airways Joins Delta, Asks TSA to Reconsider Knife Policy

Mar 12, 2013 10:12am
gty airport no shoes jp 120215 wblog US Airways Joins Delta, Asks TSA to Reconsider Knife Policy

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US Airways CEO Doug Parker has asked  TSA Administrator John Pistole to “reconsider” the decision to allow certain knives back into the cabins of commercial aircraft.

In a letter dated March 11, Parker writes, “US Airways fully supports the continuous  review and amendment of TSA policies. We also understand and support the risk-based assessment employed by the TSA. However, this review and policy amendment process is most effective when it is conducted in a collaborative way with airlines and their flight crews.

“In particular, seeking input before implementing a change in policy that might place out flight attendants’ safety at risk would have provided a more thoughtful path to the desired outcome of secure and safe air travel.”

US Airways is the second airline to question Transportation Security Administration policies on this controversial decision. Delta Airlines was the first to voice concern.  Delta CEO Richard Anderson wrote in a letter to Pistole that although the Atlanta-based carrier has a strong relationship with the TSA, he disagreed with the agency’s recent decision and shared the “legitimate concerns” of flight attendants.

The move came after a recommendation by a TSA working group that such items were not a security threat. The move will conform to international rules that allow small knives and sporting goods. The change was announced March 5.

The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents the 90,000 flight attendants on carriers nationwide, has called the announcement allowing small knives “poor and shortsighted.”

RELATED: TSA to Allow Pocket Knives on Planes 

In his letter, Delta’s Anderson pointed out that small knives have been banned from commercial planes for the past 11 years, and argued there are more effective ways to streamline checkpoint flow.

Starting April 25, passengers flying on U.S. flights will be allowed to carry small pocket knives – blades less than 6-centimeters long – up to two golf clubs, ski poles, as well as sporting sticks used for hockey, lacrosse and billiards. Baseball bats will remain on the no-fly list, although wiffle-ball bats and souvenir baseball bats (less than 24-inches long) will be allowed.

Razor blades and box-cutters like those used by the 9/11 terrorists will still be banned.

ABC News’ Kevin Dolak, Serena Marshall and Matt Hosford contributed to this report.

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