Flight attendants not happy about changes to TSA requirements

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, March 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "The majority of all the flight attendants in all the work groups are not happy about this at all," said Southwest Airlines' Flight Attendants Union President Stacy Martin.

Starting April 25, you'll be able to bring certain small knives onto the plane in your carry-on. The blade must be less than 2.36 inches long and less than half an inch thick.

"I can understand them not wanting box cutters, razors, but to allow the little pocket knives, that seems counter-productive to me," said frequent flyer Linda Coffman.

In a statement from the TSA, the agency says this change will allow officers to "better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives."

Even though they're small, Martin says the knives can still do damage.

"If you take one of those little knives and put it behind your index finger with it held in the palm of your hand, you would not even know they had a blade behind that finger, and I think that's just not good at all," Martin said.

On the other side of the debate, frequent flyer Mary Sicard says allowing these knives could help make flights safer.

"I think that arms more people. Should something happen, somebody else will have something they can come to the rescue should something go wrong," she said.

It's a debate that's not going away any time soon. In fact, they've even started a petition, but they're not stopping there. Martin is meeting with the head of the TSA, John Pistole, tomorrow.

"I'm flying to Washington, D.C., tonight. We'll be meeting Mr. Pistole tomorrow, myself with any of the other flight attendant coalition groups," he explained.

"I think by relaxing the rules some, there will be pros and cons to it both ways. One, you equip passengers to better protect themselves. Two, it puts your stewards and stewardesses in a little bit more danger," Sicard said.

Knives aren't the only thing the new guidelines will allow. You'll also be able to carry on sporting equipment like lacrosse sticks, pool cues and, probably most importantly for Augusta, up to two golf clubs.

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