March 20, 2023
March 6, 2023
February 20, 2023
February 6, 2023
Just today it was announced on ABC News that the TSA has changed their rules regarding items which may be carried onto commercial aircraft. According to TSA spokesman David Castelveter, the items the agency has altered their opinion on are items they see every day; items that many flyers attempted to bring on commercial flights. Such items as golf clubs, pool cues, and pocket knives “don’t present a risk to transportation security.” Really? Funny, these items were considered a threat 10 years ago, but now suddenly because many people try to bring them on flights, they are no longer dangerous? Somehow that fails the test of reason or logic.
Consider box blades, which were used in the 911 hijackings and remain banned from flights. These are nothing more than razor blades embedded in a handle. They are sharp and can slice through a human quickly, but no less quickly than a very sharp pocket knife. Some pocket knives are made from the same material and can be sharpened like a Ginsu knife…or a box blade. The major difference between a box blade and a pocket knife is the depth at which someone can penetrate flesh before slicing. Obviously, a pocket knife has the potential to do more damage, just as quickly. So this part of the new rule fails the test of logic.
What about pool cues and golf clubs on commercial flights?
I once had a walking cane that had embedded in the handle, a two-foot sword. I never sharpened it because I was not interested in carrying a concealed weapon (it was a gift which I used on occasion), but it did have a point and could have easily been used to stab. The point is, anything with a certain length and girth can be used to conceal any manner of weapon so this part of the new rule also fails the test of reason.
Why Has the TSA Changed It’s Ruling on Pocket Knives and Other Dangerous Items on Planes?
In short, the sequester is the reason for the changed ruling. The TSA knows that should the budget cuts go into effect March 28, 2013, there will be layoffs of security personnel. The TSA says that it believes these items do not pose a significant risk to flights and searching for and confiscating these will consume too much time at airports. Passengers already must arrive a minimum of one hour ahead of their flight schedule in most cases, so the cutbacks are certainly going to increase the time spent in security checkpoints. This is part of the reason so many who can do so choose to charter a private flight instead. By flying private, busy executives and other travelers are able to avoid these long security checkpoints.
But will the TSA ruling really matter to fliers?
Already political action groups such as the Flight Attendants Union Coalition are mobilizing to challenge these new rules but given the budget constraints, the only alternatives would be to arrive two or maybe three hours before your flight…or fly private.
Of course, the FAA also announced recently that it would likely be closing as many as 100 air traffic control towers nationwide and in a blog I wrote earlier this week, I listed some of these locations. Making the list were many not-so-out-of-the-way towers. For instance, there were to be tower closings all around California and in particular Los Angeles, throughout Florida including Orlando and Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, and many others in busy metropolitan centers.
If we combine the TSA ruling with the FAA closures, one can only surmise that flying commercial is about to become far worse than ever. Not only will passengers be forced to endure very long waits in security, but the potential for in-air collisions will increase as well. Yet another reason for taking a private flight for pilots of private flights are often far more experienced. In addition, a smaller aircraft is easier to maneuver so should there ever occur a need for quick evasive action as a result of an overworked or understaffed air traffic control tower, the risk is greatly reduced in the smaller aircraft.
No matter how the issue is cut, the cuts facing the FAA and TSA are not going to bode well for anyone flying commercial. Bad news for the airlines…but of course, good news for us.
If you would like to learn more about booking a private flight for your next trip, contact Charter Flight Group today. We will be happy to provide you with a safe flight and help you avoid those long security lines.