Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Knife Tracking Tags

Prevent terrorists from getting knives from airport restaurants
  [vote for,

In major airports, full service restaurants are increasingly found within the secure area. Because of security, some have to limit their menu to foods that can be eaten without using a knife.

In other airport restaurants, customers are still given metal knives, even steak knives, with their meals. This means that someone could take a knife from the restaurant and take it on an airplane without getting caught. In these restaurants, the wait staff are supposed to alert security if they notice a knife missing. However, they are likely to not notice the missing knife.

My solution is that to track the knives with electronic article surveillance tags, which are used in retail stores to prevent shoplifting. The tags would set off an alarm if a knife was taken out of the restaurant. This should be relatively inexpensive because many products have a disposable electronic tag attatched to the package that is deactivated at the register. The tags used on the knives would not be deactivated. For security, they could be inside the knife handle. Alternatively, they could be attatched to the outside of the handle and covered with protective plastic.

Also, this could be used for the chef's knives to replace the current methods of chaining them to the counter or requiring the staff to count them.

crj900, May 31 2013

Terminal Cornucopia http://fort.ninja/
Making weapons from stuff available in the airport. Scroll down to Current Projects. [notexactly, Jan 18 2016]


       or chain them to the table.
FlyingToaster, May 31 2013

       Just go all-Asian and it's just chopsticks.
not_morrison_rm, May 31 2013

       A chopstick, held threateningly against the ear or eye, is as effective as a knife. So, for that matter, is a pencil.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2013

       // The vast majority of restaurant steak knives I've seen are far too dull to be used as a weapon.// I don't know about the knives they give to customers, but I assure you that there are plenty of sharp knives past security. Back when I worked at an airport Starbucks we lost at least a knife a week.
DIYMatt, May 31 2013

       I'm still of the "issue every passenger a knife" school. Practically speaking, no one will ever be able to hijack a plane with a knife ever again, since everyone is aware of the possible consequences, and a knife user just isn't that hard to take down.
MechE, May 31 2013

       That's one of the more difficult object holders to take down.
rcarty, May 31 2013

       //I've spoken about this issue on another post quite recently. The vast majority of restaurant steak knives I've seen are far too dull to be used as a weapon. I'd like to see a photo of such a knife, behind the airport security checkpoint, next to an actual dinner plate with the airport visible in the background.//   

       If you currently google for "airport steak knife" you will find a long list of blog posts generally falling into two categories:
1) People observing that the steak knives available after security are potentially a weapon, and
2) People peeved at not being able to cut their steak in the airport restaurant with provided cutlery.

       From this, I infer that (in accordance to the idea's second paragraph) airports differ on this; YMMV.   

       Unfortunately, looking at the first few pages of google image results give no photos with the rigorous requirements stated. That doesn't really surprise me though - it's not an obvious thing to record. Also I guess most people would feel a bit foolish or be concerned as to looking suspicious doing so.   

       I'm not actually clear why you need to see a plate in the photo - it makes it harder to get under some circumstances. Also, clearly showing an airport might be harder than you think - the relevant part of an airport is hard to distinguish from shopping centre. Actually carrying knives off to a place which is clearly airport, the boarding gate - and posing with it for photos - would be a big personal risk.
Loris, May 31 2013

       From Frank Herbert's "Dune", via Duncan Idaho...   

       "Killing with the point lacks artistry, but don't let that hold your hand when the opening presents itself."
normzone, May 31 2013

       Of course if somebody really wanted to hijack a plane, they could just bribe the TSA agents with some crack.
DIYMatt, May 31 2013

       The arm of a TSA agent, removed suddenly from its normal location, is potentially a club-like weapon - while making it difficult for the agent to shield itself on the side from which it was detached.   

       The entire agent would also make a substantial club, were it not so soft and heavy. Its use would likely be limited to smothering effects.   

       Oh, and to the idea: my cousin worked as an airline stewardess (this was back in the mid-'50s, so they weren't FAs yet). She and her fellow stewardesses were having dinner at an airport restaurant, when the topic of her recent tonsillectomy came up, and for some reason, everybody wanted to see. So, using a fork handle as a tongue-depressor, she was showing the gory details; they all started laughing, my cuz loses her grip on the fork and swallows it.   

       She calls the local hospital, where a nurse, and then a doctor, try to convince her she could not have done such a thing; finally the doctor suggests she come in for an x-ray to prove to her that she didn't actually swallow a fork.   

       Well, a silver fork shows up *really well* in an x-ray, even when the x-ray is reproduced in a newspaper, which it was the next day.   

       The next time she and her crew went to that restaurant, the staff had been notified in advance and set her a special place at the table - with yard- long ribbons tied to all the silverware.
lurch, May 31 2013

       My friend's a pilot, they don't let him take nail clippers on board the aircraft as they could be an offensive weapon. The TSA apparently don't realize that as a pilot, he really doesn't need an offensive weapon to gain access to the cockpit and control of the aircraft, and that should the need for an offensive weapon arise, there's a fire axe in there with him.
bs0u0155, May 31 2013

       //// People observing that the steak knives available after security are potentially a weapon////   

       //These are likely the same sort of people who considered a nail clipper to be a potential weapon ...//   

       It's sort of the point that the people fretting about nail clippers are *not* worrying about the knives.
Loris, May 31 2013

       Knives? Nail clippers? Feh. The unassisted human hand can reliably deliver a lethal blow, given sufficient training.   

       This is not about killing. It is about _threatening_ to kill, for which even the bluntest of knives is far more effective than the hands of a trained martial artist.
Wrongfellow, May 31 2013

       By the way, welcome to the Halfbakery!   

       Your use of proper grammar, spelling, and syntax (not to mention paragraph breaks) doubtless lulled the others into assuming you must be one of the less prolific “regulars”. That's a good thing—keep it up.
ytk, Jun 01 2013

       a couple superfluous commas maybe.   

       Eminently practical and practicable: bun anways [+]
FlyingToaster, Jun 01 2013

       Here's my bun as well. The very same subject came up last fall when my Dad and I visited a concourse sports bar in Philly and were handed decently sharp steak knives from a big bin under the hostess' station.
Alterother, Jun 01 2013

       and yet the steak knife murder rate remains stubbornly low. Getting a weapon on a plane is a simple black bag job, any weapon. Security is to make you the consumer piss your pants with how safe you are, because the big men with the machines and the guns are there. Any sensible person realizes that the airport itself is as porous as your average supermarket. I can't help you however, my name is flagged. I cant go anywhere without a search and a swabbing. {f.y.i. fuck you TSA}
WcW, Jun 01 2013

       //...the relevant part of the airport is hard to distinguish from shopping centre.// The airport restaurants I have seen had windows looking out onto the ramp/tarmac where you could see planes from the restaurant.
crj900, Jun 19 2013


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle