TSA Changes Rules for Prohibited Items - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/22/05

TSA Changes Rules for Prohibited Items

We're smack in the middle of one of the busiest travel times of the year, but this year you'll see some changes at the security gate. Starting today, the Transportation Security Administration says passengers can now carry metal scissors with blades less than four inches long and tools less than seven inches long, such as screwdrivers.

The TSA says this will allow them to focus on searching for explosives. But passengers we spoke with had mixed feelings about it.

"If you've banned certain tools and implements, then you shouldn't let them back on to planes," said traveler Simon Smith, from London, England.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Liela Weltman of Hilton Head Island. "It should never have been allowed."

But some say the heightened security measures following 9/11 were too tight. Savannahian Nick Fehlinger told us, "There are certain security measures we did need to bump up, but things like toenail clippers and nail files was just kind of ridiculous."

"If you can take a ballpoint pen on a plane, you should be able to take anything," said Dave Parrott, also of Savannah.

Sometimes it's difficult to remember exactly what is allowed and what isn't. If you have any questions, you can always ask a TSA officer.

The TSA confiscates about 150 items a day at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

"We have razor blades, knives, box cutters, an inert hand grenade--either way a hand grenade cannot go--pepper spray, folding pocket knives," said screening manager Steve Gustafson.

The same goes for lighters and liquor with a highly flammable alcohol content of more than 70 percent. Ultimately, the TSA says the goal is keeping passengers and the skies they fly safe.

One thing the TSA is stepping up is passenger searches. They'll be selecting more people for wand screening as well as patting down your arms and legs, not just your torso, during searches.

The complete list of prohibited items can be found online at: www.tsa.gov.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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