Airline passengers will be allowed to carry small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment on planes beginning next month.
That announcement Tuesday by John Pistole head of the federal Transportation Security Administration, drew an immediate outcry from unions representing flight attendants and other airline workers.
The unions said the items can be a danger to airline workers and passengers. They said TSA's decision to drop its prohibition on passengers carrying the items onboard was made for the convenience of the agency's screeners, not the safety of the traveling public.
TSA spokesman David Castelveter said armed pilots, federal air marshals and airline crew members trained in self-defense provide additional layers of security to protect against misuse of the items.