President of Southwest Airlines’ Flight Attendants Union, TWU Local 556

Published 06 Mar, 2013

For further information contact:

Jamie Horwitz 202/549-4921

Attention aviation, business, labor, DC and Dallas-based reporters and editors
Statement by
Stacy K. Martin, President of Southwest Airlines’
Flight Attendants Union, TWU Local 556
Condemning TSA for Today’s Outrageous Decision Allowing Passengers to Carry Knives, Clubs and Other Potential Weapons on US Commercial Aircraft


TSA Administrator John Pistole’s announcement today that passengers will be allowed to carry knives, sticks and clubs on commercial flights is a threat to passengers and affront to flight attendants. This policy was designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer.

While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin.

Flight attendants at Southwest Airlines, AirTran and other carriers see our primary responsibility as maintaining order and keeping passengers safe. This change in policy creates an unnecessary risk for everyone who flies. TSA’s policy change is dangerous, shortsighted and should be immediately rescinded.

TWU Local 556 represents over 10,000 flight attendants at Southwest Airlines. The union is an affiliate of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), which represents 200,000 workers and retirees, primarily in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

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