Pocket Knives in Flight

Pocketknives will be allowed on planes beginning April 25. The retractable blade must be shorter than 6 centimeters (2.4 inches)and narrower than 1/2 inch at the widest point. Golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball bats
will also be allowed.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17776 posts

Paula, That's encouraging news about the pocket knives, but I wonder whether that will be universally applied in each country? Allowing Golf clubs, hockey sticks, Wiffle Ball bats in the cabin is ridiculous! The overhead bins are already stuffed to the "bulging point", so not sure where they will be kept??? Good luck trying to fit a bag of golf clubs in the overhead bins in a DH-3 aircraft! On a related note, one of our airlines here (WestJet) announced today that they will only allow ONE carry-on item plus a "personal item" (they previously allowed two plus a personal item). Cheers!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

I just saw the news, and its good. I used to take a full size stockman pattern knife to clean my pipes. Then we couldn't take knives so I made an exotic hardwood pipe scraper. Then I quite smoking. Then I began buying a small knife when I landed and gave it away when I left. I have carried a pocket knife since I was five and being without one is like being without shoes. I would really feel safe if I could carry my own Smith & Wesson Model 60. Then I would say "All is well".

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
683 posts

"Pocketknives will be allowed on planes" Who says? Is this a world-wide change or just the TSA? If the latter, how will you get your weapon home?

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

My understanding is that one may already carry on a knife under 6 cm in length in most places, including in your country. Thus, this news is just for TSA changes here so we can be like everyone else.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Oh, thank god. I've been waiting for this news. What about switchblades, though?

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
683 posts

Michael - you are probably right in practice, but strictly the rule allowing a knife with less than a 6cm blade into carry on bags only applies here if it does not have a pointed/sharp blade. The get out is there for, say, butter knives, rather than penknives.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

That is good news! I always carry a small swiss army knife and have really missed when traveling by air.

Posted by Paula
Arlington, TX, USA
278 posts

Ken, it is not a BAG of golf clubs, just one. Don't know why this is important unless you have just purchased a
club and you are transportating it home (?).

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17776 posts

@Paula, It could still be a challenge to fit a golf club or hockey stick into the overhead bins on some aircraft. This change sounds good in principle but perhaps may not work as well in reality. Cheers!

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

I believe the flight attendants have a place to store things like a golf club, hockey stick and wiffle bat.

Posted by Paula
Arlington, TX, USA
278 posts

The various flight attendant unions and the Transport Workers Union are very upset and are asking for a face to face meeting with Big Sis and
the head of TSA but I believe it is a done deal.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

It's TSA. The announcement came out early this morning. And you can't guess what the Brits will do. A couple of years back I was selected for a search at the Dover ferry. Not the whole car, just my luggage and pockets. I dumped my pockets in the tray and pointed out the small knife which the guy had over-looked as he started to fiddle with the luggage. (Being nefarious looking, I'd gone through the same drill at the same place the year before, displayed the same knife, and was told it was fine.) This time, the dude honed in on the fact that the 5.5cm blade (I just measured its twin replacment.) had a locking feature. It was about to disappear. I was once again unfortunate enough to be traveling with Legenday Bill. Business was slow. Legendary pointed out that I have a concealed weapons permit, that I probably had other illegal goods, that I should be strip-searched, and the good looking gal in the next lane should do it. Legendary does not speak softly. The lady came over to see what the fuss was about, but allowed she would have no part of it. The supervisor came over to see what a CWP looked like. By this time it was just people standing around jack-jawing and the pack never even got opened. But the damn knife was still going to disappear. Confisicated by officialdom. I offered to toss it in the trash, bust the blade off and toss it in the trash, whatever. Nope it was going to be confiscated. While the rest of us stood around batting the breeze, the original guy filled out the longest form I've ever seen and made me sign a copy, of behalf of Her Majesty, etc. etc. since the knife had this locking gizmo which 'was illegal in the UK'.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

I took that as the good scoop and never again carried a lock-blade knife to the UK. Moving ahead to a couple of months ago, I'd stopped for coffee and a leg stretch in Ft William. I was idly gawking at the window of a knife store on the pedestrian drag and guess what? There were lock-blade knives for sale coming out your ears - - most of them big enough to gut a galloping elephant.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1520 posts

OK, I get that people like their pocket knives, and that maybe serious golfers and hockey players don't want to check their fave clubs/sticks. But, Wiffle bats? Whatup with that? Is their a huge demand for carry on bats, with little kids having their plastic bats confiscated? And, if kids are no longer restricted to kicking your seat, but can also hit you in the head, what then?

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

The local news here describes souvenir bats as being okay. So...it's okay to bring items that could be used as weapons, but bringing liquids from home is still too dangerous. Crazy!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

Golf clubs are great weapons, don't believe me, put one in a prision yard and see what happens. Its a metal bar with a blob of metal on the end, far more dangerous to me then a 2 inch pocket knife.

Posted by Thomas
Vienna, Austria
502 posts

Have lost 2 (or is it 3?) Swiss Army knives while going through airport security. I have a habit of forgetting that I stuck them in an obscure pocket of my backpack after a picnic. No one ever hasseled me, they just took the knife and that was that. One funny story was going to Paris and the lady discovered a corkscrew similary stashed in a forgetful manner. She smiled and said "well, since you are going to Paris" and handed it back to me. Am trying to be more consciencious about checking all backpack pockets before using it as a carry-on, but it doesn't come naturally. :-)

Posted by Richard
Los Angeles
633 posts

A concealed weapons permit in Florida???? Isn't that just your drivers license?

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

I thought it was birth certificate - maybe that's Texas!

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
399 posts

@Thomas I frequently forget to remove my little Swiss Army Knife - it has never even been noticed! I will say it is the very small one.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

I mis-read the title of this tread and thought is said "Pocket Knives in Fight". I was curious what 20+ Rick Steves forum members might contribute to a discussion on knife fights... oh, "Flights". Not as interesting...

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2608 posts

Glad they fixed that issue.... So now we will have them measuring the knives... that will speed things up!

Posted by Richard
Los Angeles
633 posts

Last time a knife fight broke out on the forum, someone threatened to take a long trip and ignore Schengen....

Posted by Jan
Vancouver, WASHINGTON, USA
28 posts

Here is my take on the new rules according to people 'in the know'. Two clubs will be allowed, no more. The clubs will be allowed as it would be difficult to get in a swing on a plane. Small blades on knives are allowed since scissors up to a certain length have been OK for a long time without incident and yes, I have taken many a keepsake knife away because people forgot they had it tucked away in a out of the way place. Know what you have in your bags.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

So, TSA doesn't want to "waste time" on small knives that "can't bring down a plane" when there are so many other things that can that they want to focus on, like guns and bombs? Didn't small knives (aka box cutters) already bring down several planes? And like Pat said about prison, a 2.5 inch shiv (knife) will do the job just fine, and it can do the same on a plane. In the end, it probably doesn't matter since TSA fails 75% of its own internal tests anyway. I know there are FAs on the Helpline...wonder what they think?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17776 posts

Judging by the responses from U.S. Flight Attendants that were interviewed on the news last night, they're NOT at all happy with this decision. I expect they'll be making their opinions known to the TSA.

Posted by Allen
Lafayette, LA
194 posts

What if you already have difficulty getting through security because of your razor-sharp intelligence? Would a pocketknife be pushing your luck, TSA allowance or not?

Posted by Richard
Los Angeles
633 posts

Allen, If that post is any indication....they'll waive you right through!

Posted by Lisa
Lansing, MI, USA
77 posts

This does not apply in the state of Michigan! Michigan law prohibits all knives, and airport security here will continue to enforce that law, new rules or not. Be aware that if you go through security at Detroit Metro, they will still confiscate all knives.

Posted by Lane
Mansfield, GA
847 posts

Funny story Ed. Probably not so funny to you at the time though. I carry a small swiss knife on my key ring and forgot to take it off the ring on a domestic flight and it passed right on by the eagle eyed TSA agents. Don't know if it would have made it through an international fight though. Golf clubs? Put one in the hands of a vengeful woman and watch out. Just ask Tiger.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

The Flight Attendants are upset..... Why? Don't they realize the whole system is a JOKE and they prove that every day as they waltz through the screening with their Starbucks, full size liquids and anything else they want. Since airline and airport employees are exempt there is NO security in the current rules Remember the original liquid bomb plot? Guess who was part of it? Yep, an airport employee. And just because you are a Flight Attendant doesn't mean you aren't a security risk, Who set a bathroom on fire on a plane a few years ago? The Flight Attendant If the Flight Attendants really were worried they should be worried about this.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Carol: I'm not sure what you're talking about...the flight crew and FAs are not exempt from security screening...they go through security just like everyone else, even multiple times in a day. Yes, they may have priority, but they still go through the same process. And it's not just the FAs who are against this plan...the air marshals are also against the idea of allowing knives into the passenger cabin. It's a work safety issue and a security threat issue for them. What brought down all of those planes on 9/11 (hint: small bladed box cutters...aka knives)? And does anyone really believe the TSA is even capable of refocusing screening efforts toward bigger fish, such as bombs? They don't find the faux guns and bombs they place in bags in their own test screening 75% of the time right now. Is that supposed to improve because the screeners now don't have to worry about small knives? I agree with you that the system is a joke...most cargo isn't inspected at all, and there's more of that on your plane than passenger luggage. The FAs are probably the last thing we need to worry about. I'm not sure we'll do the right thing here...this is America after all...home of the AR 15 for everyone!

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

Yes, the flight crews go thru screening.. And they carryon on all that stuff that you and I aren't allowed to carry on. So as long as thier screening allows them to bring the 'banned' items etc.. then they invalidate the ENTIRE "security" theatre you are being subjected too. Want to smuggle a liquid bomb on? Give it to an airline employee! Want a dangerous tool? See an airline employee. And we are suppose to believe they are "pure" and would never do anything wrong. REALLY? Past history does not indicate they are the best security risks out there LOL!