Airline passengers respond to planned TSA security changes

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- On Tuesday, TSA Administrator John Pistole announced that small pocketknives and an array of sporting equipment -- which were banned from aircraft cabins in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- will be allowed in U.S. planes beginning April 25th.

Groups representing Federal Air Marshals and flight attendants -- outraged over the Transportation Security Administration's decision to allow small pocketknives back into aircraft cabins -- say they will ask the TSA to reconsider the policy.

Both groups say they learned about the policy change Tuesday, and charged that the TSA is forgetting about the terrorist attacks that led to the formation of the agency.

FOX6 News spoke with passengers at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee about this changes one day after they were announced.

Passengers at Mitchell Airport agree getting through airport security can be tedious. From monitoring toothpaste and shampoo, to forcing passengers to remove their shoes, the TSA has passed numerous restrictions since September 11th to keep passengers safe. However, they are now saying some of those restrictions could be getting in the way of real security.

"That takes time and effort and the key factor for me, that may detract us from that -- it could be catastrophic failure to an aircraft," a TSA official said.

Some items they will now allow passengers to carry with them includes sporting equipment like billiard cues, hockey sticks and two golf clubs -- and even knives. The knives must be no bigger than 2.36 inches long and a half-inch wide, but razor blades and box cutters still won't be allowed.

"I own knives, pocket knives, and none of them would fit to the two-inch, and I can`t imagine anybody`s not used to, at 10 years now, taking those out of your pocket before you come to the airport," a TSA official said.

The TSA says this will also put the U.S. more in line with international regulations and passengers say they will still feel safe enough to fly.