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View Full Version : Needles on Airplanes, I'm scared to do it


dink
05-21-2007, 02:30 PM
I'm taking a lovely 4+ hour flight to see my family over Memorial weekend. I been reading threads on the TSA security, and went to my airline (Southwest) and checked their rules, and that lead to the TSA site where it says it's okay to take them on, etc.

But part of me is afraid to do it, because I'm fearful they are going to be taken away. :pray: I'm wanting to take my Options but I'm fearful because they are so sharp they'll be taken away. I only have one small pair of plastic, and 3 wooden pairs, and the rest are metal.

I read someone said that putting the rubber end caps on may seem as a way of making them look less like a weapon. And then of course the self addressed stamped envelope. I'm just afraid because it's my first time, and well, I won't have any baggage to check should they get taken away!

jeanius80
05-21-2007, 02:40 PM
i used to work for tsa (until i had my dd, now i stay home:mrgreen:) i know they are okay. i would reccomend pulling them out of your carry on bag, lay them flat for the xray. this will make them easy to see. they may still want to open it up and physically look at them though. i would probably have at least one of your options circ put together and in use so they can see that they really are knitting needles. trust me, they are ok.

zip
05-21-2007, 02:40 PM
First, exhibit no fear. ;) It isn't as though you're trying to hide something. Don't point them out to security. Don't ask, "is it ok if I bring these with me?" You've done your homework. If you are denied (which can happen at any airport at any time,) there's a Checkpoint Mailers (http://www.checkpointmailers.com/index.html) kiosk at your airport.

Knitting_Guy
05-21-2007, 02:43 PM
I wouldn't make a big deal about it. Worst case, they tell you to mail them home.

dj
05-21-2007, 02:44 PM
It's not a problem. I flew in February - with a project - and no one said anything. I took something that wouldn't require scissors or anything other than the circular needles being used - the rest of my "stuff" was checked!

Sanibelle
05-21-2007, 03:00 PM
I get a magazine called Yarn Market News - it is really for people that own a LYS so I do not know how I got the subscription - but I just got a new issue on Friday and there was an article in there about bringing needles on a plane. I will check tonight when I get home but it seems that there was a new ruling last month that said metal needles and circulars over 32 inches were not allowed. I will post the quote when I get home.

Lynn

misha rf
05-21-2007, 03:05 PM
They're still allowed according to the TSA's website:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

Markette
05-21-2007, 03:12 PM
I felt the same way about taking needles on a plane a few weeks ago, but I finally just sucked it up and tried it. I had a shawl going on Inox grey circulars, and I put it in a plastic zip bag and put that in my work bag and didn't say a word to security about it, and they didn't say a word to me about it. In fact, when flying home, they checked inside my purse, but not the bag with the knitting. And then I got to the gate and there was a woman sitting there with long straights. I'm pretty convinced that there's no reason to worry, now.

KathyinCali
05-21-2007, 03:17 PM
[quote=Sanibelle;859393]I get a magazine called Yarn Market News - it is really for people that own a LYS so I do not know how I got the subscription - but I just got a new issue on Friday and there was an article in there about bringing needles on a plane. I will check tonight when I get home but it seems that there was a new ruling last month that said metal needles and circulars over 32 inches were not allowed. I will post the quote when I get home.


I would really appreciate knowing if this is a new rule. I travel all the time with metals and long circulars and haven't yet had a problem but there's always a first time.

Sanibelle
05-21-2007, 03:31 PM
I checked the TSA website - here is the quote from their web page:

Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint

Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by one of our Security Officers. Our Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security. We recommend the following when bring knitting needles on an airplane:

Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
Scissors must have blunt points
In case a Security Officer does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.
As a precautionary measure we recommend that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpointMost of the items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a security checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage.

Lynn

newknitteraswell
05-21-2007, 03:31 PM
i Just traveled on Southwest and took my blanket I am working on in my carryon and had no problems going through security and knitting on the plane.

Enjoy your flight.

Jess_knit
05-21-2007, 04:08 PM
I traveled to Denver and Philadelphia in March, and Denver again in April (from Pittsburgh) and not once, going or coming, did anyone mention my needles. I brought bamboo DPNs the first time, but I've also traveled with metal KP DPNs the second two times. I also brought blunt scissors and a metal tapestry needle. I wasn't stopped for any of that. (I was, however, searched for having a mostly empty bottle of water.)

I didn't mention anything to the security agents.

dink
05-21-2007, 04:47 PM
I'm going to go for it. Even if I were to put the end caps on my project currently on the needles, I could take the actual KP needles off, just in case, so I'm not having to mail back my entire project. Worth a shot. I'm pretty much almost done with my booga bag, but I was hoping to make the i-cord to kill some time. (I don't have any other projects yet to start) So I guess it's worth a shot. Either that or I could get some wooden DPNs.

Thanks for all the help everyone! I'm sure though on the flight there I'll be wanting to sleep (nothing like getting up at 4:00 a.m. :doh:)!

And besides, like most of you had said, if I just act cool about it, it should be fine. I'm typically the person that the second I get into the screening line, I'm taking my shoes & belt off, and my laptop (if I take it) out of the bag. Even if the line is obnoxiously long, I'm still ready the second I get in the line. I hate to hold people up.

cindyln
05-21-2007, 04:48 PM
I was on 4 flights this past week and I had DPNs and blunt pointed sissors with me. Nothing was said,no problems

dink
05-21-2007, 04:55 PM
And just to clear things up, you'd just leave it in the carry-on bag? I won't be checking my luggage because I'll only be gone a weekend. So, I'll have my suit case & then purse as my 2 items to carry-on.

I know I've got to do the plastic bag for my eye drops and liquid make-up, but you guys didn't do anything special for the needles right? Just left them in your carry-on wherever you put them?

dink
05-21-2007, 05:04 PM
Could anyone recommend a nice easy and simple project (newbie here....) for an airplane ride??

dj
05-21-2007, 05:05 PM
I had my project in a gallon zip-lock bag in my carry-on. Easy to see in case of inspection, and prevented damage from the other things in my bag.:rollseyes:

Knitting_Guy
05-21-2007, 05:07 PM
Could anyone recommend a nice easy and simple project (newbie here....) for an airplane ride??


Start a sock. The top is easy as it's just 2x2 ribbing. That will keep you busy on the flight and you can tackle the heel later. Socks are small so they don't take up much room and aren't a hassle to handle in a small space.

Lady Violet
05-21-2007, 05:37 PM
i flew to texas the last week of april. i took one pair of straight bamboos, a pair of scissors that you use to cut baby fingernails, and a couple balls of kitchen cotton. whenever i was in the airport i just left them in my carry-on bag until i got on the plane. i left them in my bag when i went through security, and i didn't have any problems.
for a simple project to work on on a plane i would suggest a washcloth. i started one on the way there and finished it on the way back. once you know what you're doing, you don't really have to think about it. you can even knit while you're looking out the window. this (http://www.jimsyldesign.com/~dishbout/kpatterns/grfavorite.html) is the one i worked on. i basically just wanted to be productive on my flight. usually i just look at a few pages in a magazine and then stare out the window or at the back of the seat in front of me. the dishcloth gave my hands something to do.

dink
05-21-2007, 06:27 PM
i basically just wanted to be productive on my flight. usually i just look at a few pages in a magazine and then stare out the window or at the back of the seat in front of me. the dishcloth gave my hands something to do.

That's what I do for about 4 1/2 hours on top of the 1-2 hours sitting people watching/sitting we all get to do while waiting to board. I swaer, nothing can be more boring than flying and waiting to fly, especially alone. Nothing can be worse. Especially if you have to leave and use the rest room, trust your bag to the strangers around you to hold your place in line (on Southwest at least). Man the thrills!

I actually just made that discloth a few weeks ago! :)

Vendie
05-21-2007, 06:40 PM
I love socks for on-the-plane projects. Actually, socks are my go-to project for any kind of traveling.

dink
05-21-2007, 07:35 PM
I think once I know how to knit socks, I'd do the same. I think though I'd need online assistance, or someone with me along the way. So as fun as that would be, I'd be a little afraid! :shock:

I could start another bag or something...simple, mindless garter stitches...ahhh yes. :heart::lol:

zkimom
05-21-2007, 07:45 PM
I don't care what the TSA regs say. I wouldn't even attempt to take my knitting on the plane. I know some of you have been able to but the key point in the TSA regs is that it is up to the person who is doing the screening and if they say your needles look dangerous, you don't take them on the plane.

You could argue that it's in the TSA regs all you want but if the person doing the screening thinks you will try to strangle a flight attendant with your Denises cause they won't bring you more champagne or that you will be in the bathroom frantically trying to sharpen your dpns so you can take down the pilot, then there isn't anything you can do to make them think otherwise.

After my last flying experience, trying to convince a flight attendant that my husband's bag was regulation size and that he's taken it all over the world with no problem, she just wouldn't back down and was ready to kick us off the plane to prove her point. It took the pilot's intervention to let my husband put his bag in the overhead and show the Wicked Witch of Air France that it fit just fine.

I just don't think it's worth it -- I think it was Ingrid who mentioned that even though they tell you to bring an envelope along so you can mail your knitting back to your home address, there is no place to do so.

That's just my 02.

Best,
Susan

And by the way, I'm thinking of changing my screen name to "Running with Needles."

Debbie
05-21-2007, 08:31 PM
I pack my Options and work on an easy project using bamboo circs or straights during the flight.

DreamWeaver
05-21-2007, 09:25 PM
Hmm... this is an interesting topic. I've always brought my knitting on the airplane and I've never had any trouble. Then again, as zikmom said, it really depends on the person screening your bag :thinking: I think you should go with it, but be sure not to act really nervous or shifty. That would make them suspicious.

Julie
05-21-2007, 10:17 PM
I've never been questioned about my needles on any flight I've taken over the past few years...but I do always pack a self-addressed padded envelope in my carry-on bag, just in case. :D

madametj
05-21-2007, 11:35 PM
Could anyone recommend a nice easy and simple project (newbie here....) for an airplane ride??

hmm, lets see, headband, baby hat, iPod cozy, dishcloth, wristband, there's lots u could do

raederle
05-22-2007, 03:37 AM
Because the Yarn Harlot's blog post on being asked to put away her knitting on a plane during her book tour freaked me out, I got two pencils, wrapped hair elastics on the ends of each, and found one skein of a fingering weight, variegated mohair in shades of gray to knit with (so the pencil graphite wouldn't mess with the yarn). I brought it on the plane in my purse as "emergency knitting" in case I had a moment to knit when my 18 month old lapsit child was sleeping. While I didn't actually get to knit on the planes, I did knit in the waiting areas.
#2 pencils are a little bigger than 10.5 I think. So, using the mohair is giving me a lace effect, and I'm just doing a garter stitch scarf with it. (But I think I cast on too many stitches -30- so I may untangle the yarn back and start over with fewer and an actual lace pattern for a skinny scarf, ie Branching Out or the Last Minute Knitted Gifts lace scarf.)
I got a new digital camera and haven't uploaded the software yet, or I would post a picture.
My reasoning? They can ask you to put away your needles due to turbulence, or somebody can powertrip and see them as a security risk, but I'd really like to see them ask everyone on the plane to put away their pens and pencils. Pencils should absolutely make it through security, no problem. And mine were wicked sharp.
If they confiscated them, all that would happen is I would lose a few pencils, and look daggers at them while I finger knit with the yarn.
One solution from someone who suffers from TSA paranoia (Remember, if they are really out to get you, you aren't paranoid.)

brownishcoat
05-22-2007, 09:39 AM
My friend Melissa (lissalue) is flying to visit me this weekend. I mailed her a set of Boye interchangeable tips in size 7, 3 different cord lengths and the end caps (to make the cord into a stitch holder). I told her to take the tips off while boarding. If the needle tips get confiscated, her knitting stays intact and I'm only out the $2.99 I paid for those needle tips.

But she's flying within the US, so I don't think it's going to be a problem. :shrug:

Doublereeder2
05-22-2007, 09:46 AM
I fly about every other month and have had no problems in the US. I usually fly with bamboo or Pony Pearl dpns though I have gone with Addi circs in my socks before with no issues.

My favorite travel project is socks. They are the perfectly portable size and easily fit in my oboe bag.

lissalue
05-22-2007, 09:51 AM
My friend Melissa (lissalue) is flying to visit me this weekend. I mailed her a set of Boye interchangeable tips in size 7, 3 different cord lengths and the end caps (to make the cord into a stitch holder). I told her to take the tips off while boarding. If the needle tips get confiscated, her knitting stays intact and I'm only out the $2.99 I paid for those needle tips.

But she's flying within the US, so I don't think it's going to be a problem. :shrug:
aww, you talked about me :aww:

yes, i am flying to texas this weekend,a nd the only thing that worries me is my needles being perceived as a "threat" and being taken. well, that and possible body cavity searches :teehee:.

i was wondering, how far can the person who takes you to the airport go with you? is there another security checkpoint after you have to leave them, cause if my DH can go all the way to the checkpoint with me, can't i give him the needles if i can't take them with me? :shrug: i am just curious as this is only my second time flying, and the first was about 14 years ago, i have no clue what to expect.:help:

brownishcoat
05-22-2007, 09:54 AM
I don't think they can get very far. I've heard that only people with a boarding pass/ticket can get through the security checkpoints (plus it was on Brothers & Sisters this week).

lissalue
05-22-2007, 09:56 AM
I don't think they can get very far. I've heard that only people with a boarding pass/ticket can get through the security checkpoints (plus it was on Brothers & Sisters this week).

i don't want him to go through, just to stand on the othre side to take anything i can't have :shifty: but if there is more than one security thingie then it doesn't metter cause i am sure they will wait until the last one to take my stuff so i have no one to give it to.:teehee:

suzeeq
05-22-2007, 10:35 AM
It depends how the airport check point is set up. Some places there's space for nontravelers to be next to you, but usually there's a line where they check your ticket, then another area a bit further where you put things on the belt and they check it. A person who's not traveling would be able to be near that 2nd checking area. Just leave your stuff in the carry on; I've flown a few times in the last 2 years and no one even questioned the needles. I did have a pair of nail scissors confiscated; I thought I had put them in my checked luggage. That was before they relaxed the regs on scissor (the blades were only 2" long). Now they're looking for liquids.

sue

dink
05-22-2007, 11:54 AM
My reasoning? They can ask you to put away your needles due to turbulence, or somebody can powertrip and see them as a security risk, but I'd really like to see them ask everyone on the plane to put away their pens and pencils. Pencils should absolutely make it through security, no problem. And mine were wicked sharp.
If they confiscated them, all that would happen is I would lose a few pencils, and look daggers at them while I finger knit with the yarn.

That is exactly what my boyfriend said. You can just as easily do damage to someone with a pen/sharp pencil as you could a knitting needle. Probably more so with the pen if the knitting needle isn't even that sharp!

I'm paranoid, but I think I'm just going to take some cheap wooden DPNs and work on my booga i-cord. And besides, I walk into the security line confident. The more paranoid I look, I'm sure they'll look more at me and question my knitting.

PaperGirl
05-22-2007, 11:59 AM
Here in the Waco airport, I can sit with hubby till his plane leaves. They have one BIG room, with a smaller room on the edge that you get in after security check..But you dont go through security till the plane is ready to board.

*edit to say* I brought my knitting in there too, and knitted till he left. I havent ever tried to bring knitting on a place yet though.

In Houston, its pretty much drop off at the check in, cause you hit security almost as soon as you walk in.

In Detroit, my friend was able to go right up to security with me and watch me leave.

And in Vegas..crap...I cant remember how it was in Vegas.

KathyinCali
05-22-2007, 12:12 PM
Prepare for the worst - Put in a lifeline, bring needles you are willing to lose, pack the nicer ones in checked baggage, and...Hope for the best... My $.02:hug:

Carrie218
05-22-2007, 01:00 PM
I travel extensively -- out of the country (Central America) every six weeks or so and within the country every two or three weeks.

I ALWAYS travel with knitting and have not had any problem. But I am traveling with a project that is on the needles and it is obvious I am working on it. I have never traveled with empty needles and I've never bought tips for them.

dink
05-22-2007, 01:19 PM
I'm definately following your advice Kathy and putting in a lifeline if I even decide to finnish up my Booga bag (I'm just going to put the end caps on it). And I'm going to buy some wooden DPNs (don't have any) to work on the i-cord. They can take the needles---just don't take my yarn! :oo: :cry:

And good idea about having something already on the needles to show I'm working on it Carrie. Would look a little less suspicious than just two empty needles.

Jan in CA
05-22-2007, 01:42 PM
I've never had problems, but your plan to bring DPNs is a good idea. Also if you are flying out of the local airport in our area (like how I worded it that time :lol:) they have a "checkpoint kiosk" so you can mail something home if you want to.

http://www.checkpointmailers.com/airportlist.php

When I flew out of a fairly close, but less convenient airport :teehee: the first time I was knitting I brought my own self addressed stamped envelope and they told me they didn't even have a mailbox at that time so it wouldn't have done me any good. Fortunately nothing happened.

bobi1218
05-22-2007, 02:49 PM
Interesting thread...We're flying to Phoenix on Friday, and DH was asking if I was planning on bringing my knitting on the plane. I wasn't, since we're flying with our 3yo and our 1yo, so I don't think I'll get to knit much anyway :) That 5 hour flight is going to be mighty boring without knitting, though.

zip
05-22-2007, 04:19 PM
I've never had problems, but your plan to bring DPNs is a good idea. Also if you are flying out of the local airport in our area (like how I worded it that time :lol:) they have a "checkpoint kiosk" so you can mail something home if you want to.

http://www.checkpointmailers.com/airportlist.php

When I flew out of a fairly close, but less convenient airport :teehee: the first time I was knitting I brought my own self addressed stamped envelope and they told me they didn't even have a mailbox at that time so it wouldn't have done me any good. Fortunately nothing happened.

Hey, Jan. GMTA. I posted a link to that site on the first page of this thread. ;)

I wonder if Checkpoint Mailers is the same company that I saw on 60 Minutes (or some such show) when it was a new venture a few years ago. The one reported upon was founded by two women, who actually scoped out a security checkpoint and mailed any item for $7.

dink
05-22-2007, 05:11 PM
I've never had problems, but your plan to bring DPNs is a good idea. Also if you are flying out of the local airport in our area (like how I worded it that time :lol:) they have a "checkpoint kiosk" so you can mail something home if you want to.

http://www.checkpointmailers.com/airportlist.php

When I flew out of a fairly close, but less convenient airport :teehee: the first time I was knitting I brought my own self addressed stamped envelope and they told me they didn't even have a mailbox at that time so it wouldn't have done me any good. Fortunately nothing happened.

Nice wording ;) I did see that they had that, and I'm thinking I might do it just in case. I'm still debating about bringing my Options, but I'll probably do it but have the end caps already on (just in case I can't take them, I don't have to mail the work back too). Worth a shot. But, I'll give the wooden DPNs a definate yes....only a few dollars and it's not like I'll have to order & wait for another pair to come in.

With the checkpoint mailers though, anyone know if they are just a mailbox? Or do I have to use specific envelopes, etc. provided by checkpoint?

KathyinCali
05-22-2007, 05:22 PM
I'm giggling following this thread because it shows just how addicted we are to our knitting so as not to pe parted from it if at all possible.:roflhard:

Jeremy
05-22-2007, 05:29 PM
I just flew on Southwest today with small pointy circs and no problems. There was a lady knitting across the aisle too. Go for it.:shifty:

dink
05-22-2007, 06:03 PM
I just flew on Southwest today with small pointy circs and no problems. There was a lady knitting across the aisle too. Go for it.:shifty:

I figure, might as well try it. Long flight, and I know the airport is going to be packed early morning Saturday. So---worth a shot, could be good, could be bad. I'll find out! :shifty:

Jan in CA
05-22-2007, 06:39 PM
This tells you how checkpoint mailers works.
http://www.checkpointmailers.com/hiw.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------
Send Your Possessions Safely Home.

CheckPoint Mailers has already sent many thousands of special items safely home. Here's how it works:

At a CheckPoint Mailers site, pick up one of our 6"x9" plastic pouches.
Complete the payment and shipping form attached.
Enclose your item and completed form in the pouch and drop it in our box. We'll pick up your item, process it for proper shipping in a bubble-wrapped and padded package, and send it on its way. It's that easy. And, we're open 24 hours, every day.
--------------------------------------------------------------

dink
05-22-2007, 07:25 PM
This tells you how checkpoint mailers works.
http://www.checkpointmailers.com/hiw.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------
Send Your Possessions Safely Home.

CheckPoint Mailers has already sent many thousands of special items safely home. Here's how it works:

At a CheckPoint Mailers site, pick up one of our 6"x9" plastic pouches.
Complete the payment and shipping form attached.
Enclose your item and completed form in the pouch and drop it in our box. We'll pick up your item, process it for proper shipping in a bubble-wrapped and padded package, and send it on its way. It's that easy. And, we're open 24 hours, every day.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Watch, they charge some insane amount of money to mail it. Not the standard $0.41 for something small/letter like.

zip
05-23-2007, 09:40 AM
Watch, they charge some insane amount of money to mail it. Not the standard $0.41 for something small/letter like.

It should absolutely cost more than mailing a letter. They're providing an emergency service, plus shipping materials.

dink
05-23-2007, 11:29 AM
It should absolutely cost more than mailing a letter. They're providing an emergency service, plus shipping materials.

I wonder if I could just bring my own SASE and then just slip my envelope (I'm hoping I don't have to) right in there... :shifty:

If it costs more to mail than the actual needles, I'll just tell security to keep them, but learn to knit with them! :lol:

Jan in CA
05-23-2007, 02:40 PM
All your questions are answered on that website. :lol:

Fees:
* $8-9 per item mailed within the United States
* $14 per lighter within the United States
* $32 per lighter internationally

JGM
05-23-2007, 05:26 PM
I flew from Detroit to Denver and back in December and then from Detroit to Miami and back in February and took bamboo DPNs with me both times. I was nervous about it, but confident through the security checkpoint...after all, I wasn't planning on doing anything bad with them! I had no problem whatsoever. I was double paranoid because I am a guy, but I was all prepared to pull my projects out (a sock the first time and a mitten the second) to show them that yes, even though I am a guy, I do know how to knit. The only bad thing to come out of it was that I lost a DPN on the plane! :)

Jkelley15
05-23-2007, 05:31 PM
I flew recently and knitted most of the on the 3 1/2 hr flight. I forgot to remove my pair of small scissors that I had just purchased and was scared they would take them but they didn't.
I am surprised they are letting long metal and wood needles on the planes but they are.
So knit away and enjoy your flight.

lucky_alf2
05-23-2007, 06:01 PM
I just got back yesterday from a round-trip (phoenix to vancouver). i took my knitting on board both ways. Noone even questioned me about my metal circs -- altho they are not Options and do have a blunt end. I did thread a lifeline before going just incase they were taken away (I didn't think to have an mail-back envelope on hand). I did take out my little scissors and such figuring I didn't really need them while on the plane.

dink
05-24-2007, 04:54 PM
I bought some bamboo DPNs yesterday to start working on the i-cord. If they take away that...goodness, they might as well take away my pens, because the bamboo DPNs are not sharp at all!

I'll post sometime this weekend (Saturday night) after it's all said and done.

Thanks again everyone for your advice & help, I appreciate it! :muah:

dink
05-26-2007, 10:47 PM
Well, I made it through, no problems what so ever. Then again, my needles were not even pointy being wooden DPNs. But, it was nice knitting on the plane, definitely makes time go quicker! :)