How times have changed. The US Transportation and Security Administration on Tuesday announced it would be relaxing the restrictions on items prohibited from being carried aboard airplanes. Starting April 25th, for the first time since the September 11th, 2001 attacks, the agency will allow airline passengers to pack "small knives," and sports equipment in their carry-on baggage. The changes are being made to try and reduce the number of items the TSA confiscates that the agency doesn't think pose a threat to safety, Bloomberg reports. But flight attendant labor groups are criticizing the decision as unsafe and shortsighted.

Box cutters are still prohibited

The newly permitted items are still restricted by size and other attributes. For example, knife blades carried aboard can't be any longer than 2.36 inches and a half-inch wide, locking blades aren't allowed, and neither are knives with molded handles. Passengers are allowed to bring an assortment of sports equipment aboard, including pool cues, hockey sticks, ski poles, and lacrosse sticks, but are limited to two golf clubs per passenger. The TSA is also permitting "novelty" baseball bats, but still prohibits those larger than 24 inches long and weighing 24 ounces or more. The changes were announced by TSA Administrator John Pistole at a security conference in Brooklyn, New York, and the TSA quickly updated its website with the full list of the newly permitted carry-on items. However, box cutters are still prohibited and liquids are still being restricted for the foreseeable future.