The media has recently reported a decision the Transportation Security Administration have recently lifted restrictions on the transportation of pocket knives aboard U.S. based air carriers, for the first time since policies were implemented after September 11, 2001. This letter is written on behalf of flight crews, cabin crews, and passengers in the United States and around the world. This policy...
The media has recently reported a decision the Transportation Security Administration have recently lifted restrictions on the transportation of pocket knives aboard U.S. based air carriers, for the first time since policies were implemented after September 11, 2001. This letter is written on behalf of flight crews, cabin crews, and passengers in the United States and around the world. This policy simply cannot and should not go into effect for the safety of passengers, and crews.
A USA Today article cites Kip Hawley, the former head of TSA under President George W. Bush, as stating that reinforced cockpit doors are a reason to allow the transportation of such weaponry in our aircraft.
Since the tragic events on September 11, 2011, a federal program has been implemented allowing flight crews (pilots) to carry arms while fortified behind the supposedly bulletproof cockpit door. Most would agree that this is in the best interest of safe operation of an aircraft in-flight. However, the proposed relaxation regarding pocket knives on board aircraft is detrimental to cabin crews who are the first line of defense in preventing a threat to the cockpit, but have no protection for themselves should a threat arise. We ask, what will be done to protect cabin crews (flight attendants) or other passengers in the event of an altercation with an irate passenger or potential terrorist? Will we be allowed to arm ourselves? I surmise not.
Cabin crews encounter personalities of all types and are equipped to communicate and reason with all of them, including potential threats to the safe operation of an aircraft. THAT is without weapons! Now, imagine if that same potential threat were armed with any sharp object. Not only are passengers in danger, but if flight attendants become casualties, what is preventing that threat from gaining access to the flight crew? A reinforced door and your desire to align our policies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) policy is simply not enough to justify your reasoning for this outrageous change in policy.
The TSA has scrutinized many different items passengers attempt to carry on board aircraft for years, yet policies allow for the transportation of knitting needles, scissors, and screw drivers, to name a few. You won't allow a yogurt or an orange juice through, but a knife you will? Your job at the TSA is to protect American lives. To many, this is a backward way of thinking and goes against the very ideals that created the Transportation Security Administration, and thus diminishes the effectiveness of this agency to prevent terror. Need you be reminded that hijackers on board those perilous flights on September 11, were able to gain access because they eliminated the cabin crew with similar type weapons?
Flight attendants and their unions have lambasted your decision, are shocked that your "Risk-based assessment" is reason enough to implement this dangerous change in policy. We urge you and your colleagues to reverse this foolish decision effective immediately, or take precautions to allow flight attendants to protect themselves.