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March 02, 2005

Brad Feld commenting on TSA and knitting needles

Brad Feld commented on all the TSA people standing around the last time he flew out of DIA.  This TSA thing is driving me nuts. If I thought we were more secure, I'd be OK with it, but I feel like it is all for show to make it look like we're safer, when in fact we are probably less safe.

I wrote recently about seeing people on two different flights with 12" long knitting needles.  I was surprised because I thought they were still confiscating such things as tweezers and nail clippers from carry on luggage.  It turns out that some of the rules have been relaxed.  You can in fact take tweezers, nail clippers, corkscrews, toy transformer robots (where these once banned???), umbrellas and canes on the plane.

I was surprised to see that you still CAN NOT carry onto a flight tools of any sort, including axes, hatchets and cattle prods (that makes sense), hammers, drills or saws (OK) or wrenches and pliers.  (I guess you might try to dissemble the plane in flight, or make a weapon of some sort.)  Under the Tools category where the types of tools banned are listed, "tools" are listed.  Can't be too careful with tools I guess.

Note that knives of any type or size, except for "round bladed butter or plastic" knives, are still prohibited.  I'm not trying to get the knitters of the world on my case, but does it make sense to allow 12" long anodized aluminum knitting needles on the plane, while the TSA continues to build one of the best pocket knife collections in the world?  I haven't tried bringing on my 2 inch long Swiss army knife and I never will, because of this regulation:

If you bring a prohibited item to the checkpoint, you may be criminally and/or civilly prosecuted or, at the least, asked to rid yourself of the item. A screener and/or Law Enforcement Officer will make this determination, depending on what the item is and the circumstances. This is because bringing a prohibited item to a security checkpoint—even accidentally—is illegal.

I'm writing about this again, not to annoy the TSA, but to say that if we are going to have good security at the airport or anywhere else, it's got to be really good and not just for show.  The screener who looked at my ID last week, didn't even look at my face.  She looked all around me but not at my face and I've had this happen before. Even if she had compared my face to my ID, I'm not sure that a piece of plastic that any high school kid can fake, adds a lot to our security.

I've noticed from my typepad stats that a lot of people are getting to my blog via google and the search words "airline knitting needle".  I'm not at all sure what that means, but I'm not the only one thinking about this apparently.



March 2, 2005 in Travel | Permalink


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I got here wondering if I can bring plastic knitting needles on board.

Posted by: Art_song | Mar 23, 2005 2:40:31 PM

searching knitting needles and travel because I am sick of marathon 24+hr flights (Australia to Canada and stopovers) where I can't knit, because the world has gone stupid since 9/11. Yes, some needles may look long and lethal, but sheer demographics will tell you most knitting-needle-sporters are not violent. Those that are will make weapons from anything, no matter what you ban. I think of all the projects I could have finished sitting around in airports etc, while my poor knitting needles were checked safely away in my luggage. UGGGHHH!! Have a flight coming up and wanted to see if airline security had come to their senses yet.

Posted by: kim | Jun 7, 2006 3:59:22 AM