Tamara talks about knives, the TSA & travel stress! Oh my!

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Hello Everyone!

I am so happy to have so many people reading my posts. I wonder if someone important heard my concerns from a prior post, because it looks like I won’t have to sit next to that pocket knife carrying passenger on my next flight after all! Yippee!

The TSA has delayed the policy change that would have allowed passengers to carry small folding knives onto planes.

In a letter Monday to employees, TSA chief John Pistole said he decided to maintain, at least temporarily, a post 9/11 ban on knives after meeting with an aviation security panel. The policy change allowing knives had been scheduled to take effect Thursday, April 25, 2013.

The letter did not say if anyone would reconsider lifting the knife ban in the future. However, with the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon, perhaps TSA wants to keep the focus on serious threats like checking for explosives rather than measuring tiny knives.

There was a huge backlash from flight attendants, airline executives and lawmakers, as I imagined there would be, but also pressure from some the families of 9/11 survivors.

The proposed policy change, announced last month, would have allowed passengers to carry folding knives with blades 2.36 inches or shorter and less than a half-inch wide, as well as pool cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, golf clubs and novelty-size baseball bats. Until further notice, the items remain banned from the cabins of commercial planes.

Travel Agent Consortium‘s have been conducting surveys since the initial announcement of the lift on the ban and they found one major concern was air rage. The fear was giving angry passengers potential weapons. Unfortunately, I am not the only travel agent to have had clients banned from certain airports because of angry and rude behavior. Incidents involving unruly passengers have been on the rise recently. A CNN report stated statistics released by IATA ( International Air Transport Association) show a 29 percent rise in air rage between 2009 and 2010, and a 27 percent rise from the year before. The report also noted economic stress and excessive consumption of alcohol as contributing factors for the rise in air rage.

With the increasingly longer lines at airport security, flight delays as long as three hours (the result of staffing shortages brought on by federal sequester cuts and resulting furloughs), and some airlines increasing their change fees to $200 or more… the mood of the average traveler is not going to get any better.

How can you reduce your stress on your next flight:

1) Allow sufficient time for airport check in

2) Schedule longer layover times of at least 1 ½ hours (unless you want to get bumped or delayed )

3) Have your 3 ounce containers of liquids or gels in the 1 quart zip- top bag on top of your carry on when going through security

4) Be mindful of alcohol consumption in airports and on board the flight

5) Take a deep breath and focus on the positives (perhaps on all of the wonderful miles you will be earning …I think that is what René does lol)

Remember, even with all the rules/reversal of rules/changes and minor inconveniences …. Flying is still the best way to travel! – Tamara

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  1. I still don’t understand why anybody “needs” to bring a small knife with them. Having them banned on the planes is a good idea and needs to stay in effect permanently. If you need assistance opening something that requires a knife, use the call button and ask the attendant for some help.

  2. “staffing shortages brought on by federal sequester cuts ”

    where is the airport ticked fees being diverted to?

    seems to me that there is more than enough taken each day with the volume of travelers to fund all aspects of the faa.

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