TSA knife rule: would an airborne fistfight been worse?


(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

“They were actually throwing punches,” Army Brig. Gen. Jason T. Evans told a local television reporter. “It was actually a fight,” he said, according to the station’s Web site, WFAA.com

Evans and a couple of other passengers stepped in to break it up. But it appears some punches landed — one of the men had blood on his face and shirt — but the extent of injuries couldn’t be determined. Alcohol was said to have been a factor.

Might have been worse if they’d pulled out their knives, but of course knives aren’t allowed on airplanes . . . for now.

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole announced in March that, to move people faster through the hated airport security checks, he would allow small pocketknives on board as long as the blades were under 2.36 inches long. Get out your rulers.

Other changes could include allowing golf clubs and ski poles and such on board.

We’re told the TSA wants the rule changes, which were to take effect April 25, to put the United States in line with the rules in European countries.

But an uproar from flight attendants, air marshals, some airlines and members of Congress temporarily stalled the move.

And now the chatter is that TSA may decide to put them into effect over the Memorial Day weekend, which begins May 24. The TSA had asked for public comments on the changes, and agency officials are apparently going to brief folks on the Hill later this month.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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