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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

TSA to Lessen Carry On Rules, Just a Bit

The TSA has decided to allow small scissors and some tools in carry-on baggage on commercial flights.
Airline passengers will be allowed to carry small scissors and tools onto planes, reversing a rule that led to confiscation of many thousands of sharp objects at airports since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a Homeland Security Department official said Wednesday....

...With federal air marshals on planes, bulletproof cockpit doors, armed pilots and 100 percent screening of checked baggage, the threat of a terrorist taking over an airplane has lessened since the 2001 attacks, the official said. The biggest concern now is explosives.

Though the new list of prohibited items hasn't been finalized, certain sharp objects won't be on it, the official said, including scissors less than 4 inches long and wrenches and screwdrivers less than 7 inches long....
Uh... who carries wrenches and screwdrivers in their carry-ons? Okay, maybe the little screwdriver that comes in those eyeglass repair kits, but wrenches? From what I can tell, Swiss Army Knives and Leatherman multi-tools (and similar gadgets) still won't be on the list.

The official commented that terrorists probably can't take over a plane like they used to. Well, duh. That whole "just be calm and give them what they want" flew out the window on 9/11. The greatest threat is explosives (and if someone can explain why airline workers and cargo aren't screened as well as the passengers, I'd love to hear it).

If you look on the TSA web site, they have a handy dandy pdf file of what you can and can't take on the plane when you travel to Granny's for Christmas. Yes, you can take knitting needles. No, you can't take a meat cleaver. Who knew?

That still doesn't tell me why I got the extra-special treatment because I had an eyelash curler in my make-up bag and why little old ladies get searched all the time.

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