LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Flight attendants at Los Angeles International and airports around the United States are out in force Monday to call on federal regulators to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin.
KNX 1070’s Chris Sedens reports the planned protest at LAX is part of a continuing series of leafleting efforts after an “abrupt policy change” by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) are asking travelers passing through the Tom Bradley International terminal to contact their member of Congress to block the TSA’s decision to “accept pre-9/11 weapons”.
The TSA announced the new rule in March that will permit knives with non-locking blades under 2.36 inches long and a half-inch wide — as well as sports equipment such as golf clubs and hockey sticks — on commercial aircraft effective April 25.
However, flight attendants participating in the multi-city effort fear the decision could expose airline personnel to potential risks.
KNX 1070 reports Congresswoman Maxine Waters supports the flight attendants.
“We will never forget how a small group of terrorists used knives and box cutters to take over four commercial airplanes,” Waters said.
Union members are asking supporters to sign a White House petition that argues “TSA was created because blades on airplanes were used” in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
“We do not need to choose between guarding against a hostile take-over attempt or prohibiting an explosive device. We need to ensure air travel is secured against all threats to our safety and security,” the leaflet read. “The people on the front lines of aviation security know that allowing knives on planes is a bad idea.”
In addition to LAX, protesters are leafleting at airports in Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington/Dulles. The local effort began at 12:30 p.m.