ATLANTA, Ga. -- Flight attendants from several airlines gathered at airports all over the country Friday to protest knives being allowed on flights by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
In a rule change starting April 25, non-locking knives with blades less than 6 centimeters will be allowed through security screenings. The TSA has said it allows them to focus more on threats like explosives that are more likely to bring down aircraft. The union members at Hartsfield-Jackson said the TSA has forgotten the lessons of September 11.
"How are they going to bring knives on board an aircraft when those were used to cut the throats of passengers and flight attendants on September 11? It is stunning," said Travis Bruce.
9/11 hijackers used box cutters to take control of the planes, and box cutters and razors will still be banned. TSA Administrator John Pistole has said extensive testing has proved looking for small knives can distract screeners from more important threats like plastic explosives.
"A small pocketknife is simply not going to result in the catastrophic failure of an aircraft, an improvised explosive device will," Pistole told members of Congress last month.
Several travelers refused the flyers, saying they didn't mind the rule change. But most who spoke up said they understood the frustration.
"If I have to dispose of my liquids, how are they going to let somebody on with a knife? Can't they do much more damage with that?" said Lameshia Shaw.
If you'd like to show solidarity with the flight attendants, you can find their petition here.