A D.C. flight attendant is taking his industry’s concerns over a proposal to allow small knives on planes to a new audience: Passengers.
Robert Valenta, chair of the D.C. Flight Attendants Association, spent Friday morning at Reagan National Airport passing out flyers to passengers in protest of the TSA’s new knife policy.
“Let’s go back to 9/11 and look at the size of the knives that were used,” Valenta told News4's Seth Lemon. “It doesn’t take much to do damage.”
The flyer that Valenta was handing to passengers quoted part of the 9/11 Commission Report: “The hijackers attacked sometime between 8:42 and 8:46. They used knives.”
The flyer has a picture of a pocket knife, and reads, “No Knives, Ever Again.” Passengers also are being asked to sign a petition to return to a ban on all knives on planes.
The Transportation Safety Administration has announced that on April 25 it will allow passengers to have in their carry-on luggage knives that are less than 2.36 inches long and less than one-half inch wide. Larger knives, knives with locking blades, razor blades and box cutters still are prohibited.
The TSA also will allow passengers to carry on billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs and toy plastic bats, such as wiffle ball bats.
The TSA says the change will allow it to focus on more serious threats. But groups that represent pilots and flight attendants have said the change would put them in danger.
Flight Attendants in Los Angeles and Dallas also are leading protests against the change. On Monday, flight attendants in Los Angeles carried large yellow signs from terminal to terminal that read “No Knives, Ever Again.”
The Flight Attendants Association hopes that passengers will pressure the TSA and Congress into changing the ruling; Congress has scheduled hearings for next month to review the TSA policy change.