ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) - Frequent flyers will soon notice some changes the next time they visit the airport. Starting next month, the Transportation Security Administration is loosening its rules on what passengers can take onboard.
All blades have been forbidden in cabins since the 9-11 terror attacks in 2001. Now, the TSA is relaxing that rule.
Beginning April 25th, passengers will be permitted to carry on small pocketknives, as long as the blade is not longer than 2.36-inches and not wider than half an inch.
Box cutters, larger knives and those with locking blades and molded grips will still be banned.
It's a switch sparking mixed reaction from passengers at Austin Straubel International Airport in Ashwaubenon.
"That doesn't make me nervous," Mark Wenzel said. "With the restrictions they have on the knives it doesn't make me nervous at all."
Wenzel and his wife fly a few times a year. He said the new rules may change what he packs in his carry-on bag.
"I haven't in the past, but I guess I would consider carrying a small pocket knife," he said. "I do quite often anyway."
"I think it's an excellent idea," said Bob Brockman. "It's long overdue because what are you going to do with a pocket knife?"
TSA leaders say the change will bring the United States into alignment with international rules. Also, reinforced cockpit doors and better intelligence have made the ban on small knives unnecessary.
However not everyone is convinced.
"I'm not particularly fond of the idea," said Phillip Puotinien. "I understand they're not very large knives but still it could do some damage, so I'm a little concerned about it."
Sporting equipment such as golf clubs, hockey sticks, toy bats and ski poles will also be allowed in carry-on luggage.
All of these changes are causing a lot of concern from a national flight attendant union, who calls them poor decisions.