looks like TSA is actually doing their job.
articleAirports' Thanksgiving seizures: 15,982 knives and a brick
Tue Dec 3, 6:09 PM ET
By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Some passengers still haven't gotten the word about what they can and can't take on airplanes. Seized at airports during the American Thanksgiving holiday crush: 15,982 pocket knives, 98 boxcutters, six guns and a brick.
Still, transportation officials said the airport chaos predicted by many never occurred. Passengers waited less than 10 minutes on average at security checkpoints during the first holiday travel season since an all-federal work force took over screening.
Michael Wascom, spokesman for a group representing the major airlines, said operations were generally smooth even with bad weather in some places. "Passengers moved efficiently through the airports, and customer service standards were upheld," said Wascom, spokesman for the Air Transport Association.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the government has tightened restrictions on what can be taken on board a plane.
Robert Johnson, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said many holiday travelers are inexperienced fliers and don't realize they can't take knives, scissors, fireworks or ammunition onto planes. If they try to, the prohibited items will be confiscated. Passengers also could be prosecuted, a decision made by law enforcement officials depending on the item and the circumstances.
Between Tuesday and Sunday, six people who tried to carry guns onto planes were arrested.
At the 38 busiest U.S. airports over the Thanksgiving holiday, 1,072 clubs or bats were confiscated, 3,242 banned tools and 2,384 flammable items, including a welding gun. Another 20,581 sharp objects — such as scissors, ice picks and meat cleavers — also were stopped at the checkpoints. Someone tried to bring a toy cannon made of live ammunition onto a plane at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
A man tried to carry a brick onto a plane at Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) National Airport in Washington.
"I don't know why he would carry a brick," Johnson said.
The prohibited items are turned over to local police, where they're either kept as evidence or thrown away, Johnson said.
The TSA hopes to better educate people about what they can take onto airplanes by Christmas, when air travel will be complicated by new gate check procedures and many more checked bags screened for explosives.
"We would expect that, with the Christmas holiday, a lot of these people will be back and we hope they'll learn their lesson," Johnson said.