TSA to now allow pocketknives, but not “massive steel dildos”

The TSA’s ban on small pocketknives, wiffleball bats, hockey or lacrosse sticks and golf clubs will end late next month.

It’s a positive change for the TSA, though it still is a far cry from admitting that locking the pilot doors on planes has been the single biggest safety improvement since 9/11.

Here’s the TSA statement in full, released yesterday:

“Through TSA’s layered approach to security, and to align more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, effective April 25, 2013 TSA will allow knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than 1/2 inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage. This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives.”

More importantly, though not an actual “change,” the hotly-debated issue of whether the TSA allows sex toys that are more than 7 inches has been clarified by New York magazine. They’re legal, just in case anyone is wondering about that. (Though apparently the TSA draws the line at “massive steel dildos.”)

In fact, as NY Magazine has uncovered, you can even go to the TSA Web site and enter the item that you want to bring on the plane, in order to see if it’s okay.  I tried “vibrator,” and what do you know?

TSA permits vibrators

It’s not perfect, but the TSA is finally showing that the organization can evolve.

tsa-girl-wheelchair

Three year old Lucy, whose bff stuffed animal Lamby was banned by the TSA.

The TSA still has plenty of silly rules and even with those, their biggest problem has been their poor treatment of passengers including taking away the stuffed animal “Lamby” from three year old Lucy in a wheelchair a few weeks back.

And who can forget the TSA ban on cream cheese, unless it’s on a bagel, then it’s ok.  Or the TSA’s concern over the icing on a cupcake.

The list of abusive and mindless treatment of travelers is a long one for the TSA. and if the organization is going to turn the corner and put bad behavior behind, that has to be the focus of the organization.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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