Carrying knives on flights

By | Category: Travel news

UPDATE: 24 April. US authorities have decided not to allow knives to be carried on planes. With objections from cabin crew and some passenger groups, it now means that there is little harmony with EU rules. Best advice is check the websites of the country to which you will be travelling to see what is allowed and what is not. And don’t forget to check any countries that you might transit through.

The US authorities have announced that as from April 25th, passengers will be allowed to carry certain knives on board flights. And as well as knives you can also carry toy cricket bats, ski poles and snooker cues.
Knives will have to be no wider than half an inch and no longer than 2.36 inches. (this odd size is because it equates exactly to 6cm.) And although not said, it looks as though if your penknife has a corkscrew and an implement for digging things out of horses hooves, that will be allowed as well. The full list of the changes can be read here.
Despite the fact that there had been hints that the rules on carrying liquids would be reduced there was no such announcement so you are still limited to liquids in containers carrying less than 100mm. You have been able to buy empty 100ml plastic bottles in order to decant liquids from large bottles but there have been a few instances where authorities in the Middle East have confiscated these because the volume as not being pre-printed on the container. You are probably better off buying smaller branded versions than using these anonymous bottles.
But what of nail scissors, tweezers, nail files and nail clippers you might ask. Many of us don’t know that these have been allowed to be carried for many years. As have corkscrews and round bladed knives. As long as the nail scissors had rounded or blunt tips they were OK as well. But razor blades are still banned.
This applies to US flights; how will it affect UK departing flights? Almost the same rules apply and the US authorities are only bringing themselves into line with other areas around the world. To see what is and isn’t allowed on UK flights, click here.
You might have wondered why corkscrews have been mentioned in this story. It’s because that is one difference between US rules and UK/European ones. Corkscrews can’t be carried on our flights unless they are in hold baggage.
The rules are a little vague; one area of the US website suggests that sharp ended scissors are banned, another implies the length of the blade is the only limitation whereas in the UK rules sharp pointed are allowed. Be cautious and pack round ended ones if going to the US. But if you are going outside the EU and the US, other countries may not have altered their rules. You need to check with your destination country as well otherwise you may still have items confiscated.
Now that authorities have brought in sensible changes on knives, how about re-thinking the rules on liquids?

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