Pocket knife as carry-on item

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"US Airport Security" (largely confused, overwork, and underpaid teenagers) have confiscate from me a small Stanley utility knive with a 1" blade used in my work and a small folding pocketknife with a 2" blade. I was given the choice of placing these items in my luggage (about $10 in total value) and checking the luggage (a considerable 1-mile+ back in the airport) or handing the items over. What is the policy surrounding pocket knives as carry-on items?

-- G Kuyzin (gkuyzin@provide.net), November 12, 2000


I hade a Swiss army knife and leatherman seized on the plane from Santorini to Athens , it travelled in a seal envelope with the pilot. Seems to be common in Europe . They let me take it on the Chunnel train but said this was recent occurance as woould have been seized in th epast. BTW they also seized knittin needles and scisors from other passengers on the Santorini flight .


-- paul g (mpgerth@hotmail.com), January 08, 2001.

Yeah, I had my Swiss Army knife confiscated by Cathay Pacific in Japan. When we got to Hong Kong, they SOLD Swiss Army knives inside the security area, so you coulb BUY what they'd taken from me.

It was supposed to be returned when we got to Bangkok, but, of course, they couldn't find it. Eventually got it back, but man! was I pissed.

I think the bottom line is they can take what they want from you and promise to return it at the end of the flight - if you're lucky. TerryD

-- TerryD (tddork@yahoo.com), February 12, 2001.

I have a Swiss Army knife w/ 3" blade that always travels in my carry-on bag (as opposed to my "purse" or pocket). Maybe that makes some difference. I've traveled in the US and Europe and never had it confiscated or even commented upon.

-- Pam (pfp3@yahoo.com), April 09, 2001.

I had a small one inch knife taken from me at the airport in San Antonio. It's been on my keychain for so long, this was the first time they wouldn't allow it. I had the keychain packed in my carry on, but the security guard wouldn't let me keep it. He did mention that I could check the bag with the airline, but I didn't want that.

-- C Bell (snippet@mindless.com), June 06, 2001.

I can't speak for overseas, but US FAA regulations state a passenger can carry on any folding knife with a blade under 3 inches in length. Unfortunately, the same regulation allows security to prohibit any 'menacing looking' blades (which can be very subjective).

Also, airport security in US has no authority to confiscate anything, they only have authority to prohibit the tool from a plane (side note, police DO have authority to confiscate prohibited 'weapons', which may or may not conform to the FAA 3" rule).

I always carry a folding pocket knife in my pocket. I've never had a problem.

-- S. S. (no.address@home.cm), June 08, 2001.

I would stick with carrying a Swiss Army Knife, preferably an Executive because it looks classier. Buy a Photon II MicroLight and attach it to the SAK's keyring. Makes it look more friendly.

American airport security does not like folding knives with serrated blades and has the authority to confiscate them or any knives or other items that look "scary." Overseas airport security does not like folding knives with locking blades. Check out www.bladeforums.com for many threads on this interesting topic.

-- Craig Cardimon (cardimon720@yahoo.com), July 24, 2001.

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