Travelers respond to TSA announcement on pocketknives

Security agency says knives pose little risk

Author: Cory Smith, Reporter,
Published On: Mar 06 2013 05:06:08 PM CST   Updated On: Mar 06 2013 08:43:51 PM CST

The TSA’s decision to allow some pocketknives on U.S. airline flights received mixed reviews a day after the change was announced.

Beginning on April 25, passengers on U.S. airline flights can carry-on pocketknives that are 2.36 inches (6 cm) or shorter and less than one-half inch wide.

The blade cannot be fixed or lock into place.

“It's not a necessity for travel therefore it doesn’t have any place on a flight,” said William Terihay. “It’s probably not the best idea to have somebody come on a flight (with a pocketknife) where obviously you’re in a confined space.”

Frequent traveler Evan Haney disagreed and said the TSA made the right call lifting the ban.

“It’s good for me. I tend to defer to the wisdom of TSA when they do these things,” Haney said.

The decision comes more than a decade since the Sept. 11 attacks, when hijackers used pocketknives or box cutters to gain control of the aircrafts.

TSA officials said they want security agents looking for more dangerous items such as bomb components.

“Ten years ago, it's one size fits all and everyone was being screened identically. Now, our intelligence provides us more information on people so we're able to provide that intelligence and apply a different level of screening to them,” said Charles Honore, assistant federal security director for San Antonio International Airport.

Honore said the ban on box cutters is still in place.

“A pocket knife that’s being carried on an aircraft -- obviously you can do a number of things with that. It’s to cut string, it’s to cut open mail. But a box cutter, obviously there’s no reason to carry that on your person,” Honore said.

But Terihay said there is no difference between the sharp objects.

“It has that potential ... to cause bodily harm," he said.