Airline unions enlist 9-11 widow to protest knives on planes

“I am the widow of United Airlines Flight Attendant Alfred Marchand, who died on Flight 175 on 9/11," Marchand continued. "I'm also the mother of a current flight attendant.  I know too well the violence that can be wrought by a knife.”

The TSA has come under intense criticism for its decision to remove knives from its list of items that are prohibited on airplanes.  The agency has said that it will only allow passengers to carry knives with blades that are shorter than 2.36 inches in their carry-on luggage.

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Pistole has told lawmakers that taking small knives off its list of prohibited items will allow TSA screeners to focus on looking for potential explosive devices.
Marchand said the bombing of the finish line of the Boston Marathon this week showed that TSA should not relent at all in its inspection of airline passengers.

“The attacks in Boston prove once again that we can’t be selective in our vigilance,” Marchand wrote. “We must guard against all threats, big and small. Drastically changing the prohibited items list now would be a huge mistake….Allowing knives on planes nine days from today would send a message to the country that the TSA and the administration are oblivious to the safety of the traveling public.”

Marchand added that “TSA was created because knives were used against crew and passengers to bring down four flights [on Sept. 11th].

“Al’s final hours on 9/11 provided us with a key lesson: Desperate and depraved people with sharp blades can wreak havoc inside an aircraft,” she wrote.

Despite the strong pushback TSA has received about allowing knives onto planes, the agency has said that it intends to implement the changes to prohibited items list on April 25.

Lawmakers have introduced legislation to force the agency to reverse course on the decision.