Bring a knife but leave your hairspray at home

Ray MartinChief Executive Officer, Americas
March 11, 2013, 6:26 PM GMT+0

Under new rules outlined last week, knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches will be allowed in airline cabins as long as the blade is retractable and does not lock into place. Passengers will also be allowed to carry two golf clubs, or other sports sticks such as ski poles, hockey sticks, and pool cues in their carry-on luggage.

Although the TSA has been criticized for being over-intrusive and ineffective our latest Omnibus Survey shows that these relaxed rules are not overwhelmingly popular. 44% of responders do not agree with the change in rules compared to 35% who do. The rule changes are most popular with men; 45% of men want to be able to carry knives and sports equipment, compared to only a quarter of women (26%). White (38%) responders are more likely to agree with the relaxed rule changes than Blacks (21%) or Hispanics (30%). Well over half (56%) are not affected by the new rules, as they never carry small knives when traveling

One fifth of Americans have had an item confiscated by airport security (20%) and the same number (19%) has been charged for additional baggage

Some American travelers have been adjusting their travel routine to fit with TSA requirements and meager domestic luggage allowances. Women seem to have made more concessions than men – half of men (49%) have made no changes to the way they pack their bags compared to only 32% of women who keep on with their old packing methods.

One fifth (21%) of women carry hand luggage only, except when on a trip longer than a week, and over a quarter (26%) of women carrying fewer beauty aids and products. 35% of women carry their toiletries in a regulation sized Ziploc compared to only 20% of men. 18% of women aren’t carrying around so many shoes.

Strategies for getting through security include trying to avoid too many layers (28%) wearing special shoes or flip-flops (28%) and avoiding wearing or carrying jewelry (18%). One in five (18%) don’t wear a belt. Nearly half (48%), however, haven’t changed the way they dress when traveling by plane.

For further information about poll results, and for details about methodology and Omnibus services, please email

Click here for full results.