TSA Allows Scissors Less Than 4 Inches, Resist The Temptation To Use Them

When the TSA was first created by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act in November 2001, it was part of the Transportation Department. There wasn’t yet a Department of Homeland Security. The federal security agency that replaced private contractors at airports across the country was quickly derided for its bureaucracy and security theater. One nickname it was given: Taking Scissors Away.

Perhaps that’s why so many people don’t realize the agency’s policy on scissors changed and you can, in fact, bring scissors in your carry on bag provided they are “less than 4 inches [in length] from the pivot point.”

While you’re permitted to bring scissors, you need to handle them responsibly while inflight. That can pose surprising challenges. I present you with one example:

Aviation is 2020 is an exercise in one personal responsibility after another. Wear a mask, and don’t succumb to temptation with scissors.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hair draped over the screen. For me: step one. Ask offender to move hair. Politely. Step two: Tell offender to move hair. Not so politely. Step three: request flight attendant to get hair removed. Step four. Start kicking seat in front of me. If there is a step 5 it’s scissors. ✂.

  2. In 2017 I wrote a book about my experiences as an African American female screener in O’Hare airport. My book The TSA Plantation is an example of the racial barriers establishing that Black Lives don’t matter until we die in large numbers. Our suffering
    is supported by tradition and
    those who go along to get along.

  3. My Walter Mitty-type thoughts of a flamethrower, without considering the practicalities, are similar to @Douglas Swalen’s idea!

  4. Tsa plantation? Well thats your choice to work there isn’t it? Not much of a plantation

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