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View Full Version : Can I bring needles on a plane??


iknitter
10-14-2007, 06:45 PM
I haven't tried brining needles with me for a while so I was wondering if anyone has tried recently? I'd really hate to miss all that knitting time on the plane, but I also don't want to have good needles taken away by security....

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
10-14-2007, 06:52 PM
best thing to do: call the airline.

brittyknits
10-14-2007, 07:01 PM
My experience has been that no matter what the airline-- or even the airport!-- tells you, that you are at the mercy of whomever happens to be manning the security check point at that moment. The TSA says that they are allowed, but some security people won't let you through with them, and then you're stuck and probably have to throw them away. So I say, unless they're cheap-you-don't-care needles, don't try it. I know how horrible it is to be on long flights without knitting :knitting:! But I think better safe than sorry on this one.

DonnaS
10-14-2007, 07:11 PM
Take a postage paid envelope with you addressed to your home (or your destination). Then if they don't allow them you can drop them in the nearest post box and not loose them :)

I flew from Birmingham, AL to Yakima, WA the first week in September and nobody questioned them. I just had them packed in my carry on baggage and not a word was said.. much to the chagrin of the guy sitting next to me who got his toothepaste taken away at security :rofl:

Jens
10-14-2007, 07:12 PM
Some types of needles are allowed but if the security feels like it could be a weapon they can be taken away. The airline suggests taking a self addressed envolpe so you can mail them back to yourself if need be. I think wood needles are less likely to cause a problem. GL
Jen

Jens
10-14-2007, 07:13 PM
Take a postage paid envelope with you addressed to your home (or your destination). Then if they don't allow them you can drop them in the nearest post box and not loose them :)

I flew from Birmingham, AL to Yakima, WA the first week in September and nobody questioned them. I just had them packed in my carry on baggage and not a word was said.. much to the chagrin of the guy sitting next to me who got his toothepaste taken away at security :rofl:

Must have posted about the same time ;)
Sorry for the repeat

iknitter
10-14-2007, 07:20 PM
thanks for the tips, i think I'll just staff my project in my checked bag and read instead :cry:

raederle
10-14-2007, 07:32 PM
facing this dilemma myself back in may, i chose to cast on a simple lace scarf project with some laceweight yarn on a pair of pencils. put some cap erasers on the ends, and the stitches won't fall off. i chose a really nice gray black variegated yarn, so as not to worry about the graphite marking up my yarn. it's working out very nicely! i put the project in a pencil bag, and now i pull it out whenever i'm in line at the grocery store or the bank, since i didn't finish it on the plane.

once you get past the security knuckleheads, you have to face those flight attendants who are morons. (i'm positive all the security folks are knuckleheads, but many flight attendants aren't morons, and knit themselves.) they may tell you to put your work away inflight "because you could stab yourself during turbulence." and THAT'S the reason for the pencils. i'd've acquiesced quietly had i gotten that request, as long as every other person on the plane ALSO had to put their writing implements away.

flying nowadays is inhuman. knitting distracts from your realization of this. good luck.

bravobabe
10-14-2007, 07:50 PM
Before you give up on knitting on a plane, I want you to know I've flown several times with my knitting and not once was I ever stopped or questioned because of my needles. And this is even out of the GESTAPO like Miami airport, where I had to check my carryon bag, because I was over by 50ml for some very pricey Vera Wang lotion.

The TSA says needles are ok, but yes you are always at the mercy of some potentially over zealous agent. My best suggestion is to take wooden ones, include them with some balls of yarn and your project so they know what they are and they will be used for.

The postage paid envelope, and a friend to see you off until you've cleared the checkpoint is always a good idea. Please do not give up.

lucky_alf2
10-14-2007, 09:05 PM
I've flown several times over the years (and recently too) and nobody has ever batted an eyelash at my knitting -- security, flight attendants, no one. I checked the TSA website last time and knitting needles didn't fit the "weapon" description, but of course it's not like you are going to argue with the security officer if they decide they want to seize your needles.......So, the last time I flew, I did run a lifeline just in case they decided to take my needles -- my needles are cheapo ones, so I didn't bother with the envelope -- figured I would just get new ones if I needed (maybe nicer ones too ;)). I'd say, go for it!

misha rf
10-14-2007, 09:14 PM
I've flown a few times since I learned to knit, and have had no problems w/having my needles on the plane. The first time, I had my long metal size 10s. But the last few times I've used wooden or my Denises (only brought the one I was using). (The smaller needles seem kinder to my seatmates. :rofl:) I didn't have any issues with security or flight attendants, although I did have my husband wait as I went through security, just to be safe. I did pack my DPNs in my suitcase for my most recent return flight, b/c I know from experience that the security at MCI can be quirky.

cheley
10-14-2007, 09:17 PM
Yep, you are at the "mercy" of security...Went to Venice last year no problem...I took small plastic circs and got thru all security..This year (May) went to San Fran..no problem, but I was cautious, took SASE with me just in case..but I would suggest taking them in your carry on instead of reading... make flying more enjoyable... Also, start a project that can be easily stopped....wouldn't take a major "thing"

mwhite
10-14-2007, 09:55 PM
The TSA site is updated at least every 24 to 36 hours. Check their site at least 1 day before your flight. I traveled last September and it was okay to have needles and small scissors, too.

Eekee
10-14-2007, 10:37 PM
I flew American Airlines to WI twice in the past month. In the total of 8 flights I was on, no one batted an eye at my wooden DPNs and sock. I only got one comment from a flight attendant and that was on the very last flight. The guy asked what I was making. He spent a few minutes watching me, very interested, but not at all threatened. I even had a tiny needle in my bag.

I was very upset though. Security confiscated my tiny sample bottle of hand lotion that I took everywhere with me! Never mind the sharp objects, by golly, that lotion stuff could HURT someone! :lol:

meearnol
10-14-2007, 10:46 PM
I also say go for it. I traveled to Hawaii in July, and it was a total of 6 flights and 4 security checkpoints to get me there and back. I had my knitting on every single one, and no one said a thing. I had wooden dpns, but there was another woman on one of the flights making a sweater on metal straights. Take a walk on the wild side, and take your knitting!

iknitter
10-14-2007, 11:14 PM
wow..pencils! good idea, there's no way to outlaw them on a plane without everyone going psycho. what would you do with the airmall magazine sudoku puzlle then?? thanks for planting the seed...

Jen17
10-15-2007, 08:52 AM
I flew American Airlines to WI twice in the past month. In the total of 8 flights I was on, no one batted an eye at my wooden DPNs and sock. I only got one comment from a flight attendant and that was on the very last flight. The guy asked what I was making. He spent a few minutes watching me, very interested, but not at all threatened. I even had a tiny needle in my bag.

I was very upset though. Security confiscated my tiny sample bottle of hand lotion that I took everywhere with me! Never mind the sharp objects, by golly, that lotion stuff could HURT someone! :lol:

I know that just cracks me up! They were taking the lotion and toothpaste away 6 months ago or so when I was flying from RI to CA, but they never blinked an eye at the knitting needles I had! Granted, they were circular, but they can still do alot more damage than shampoo!:roll:
I have flown about 14 flights since 9/11 and have knitted every time without a problem, but I do only take circular needles and only a simple pattern, nothing that would break my heart if they took it away!

Jen

zkimom
10-15-2007, 09:53 AM
I agree that you take your needles at your own risk.

Someone posted here not too long ago about having their knitting taken at the airport and I think Jan posted once about having a SASE with her but realizing that there is no place to post it from.

You are at the mercy of the Airport Security and they rarely whip out their copy of FAA regs to see if you are right that needles aren't a threat.

mwhite
10-15-2007, 10:19 AM
I agree that you take your needles at your own risk.

Someone posted here not too long ago about having their knitting taken at the airport and I think Jan posted once about having a SASE with her but realizing that there is no place to post it from.

You are at the mercy of the Airport Security and they rarely whip out their copy of FAA regs to see if you are right that needles aren't a threat.

This is why it's important to check the TSA site within 24 hours of your departure and take a copy with you! You are right, they don't always keep up to date on the security details. Mary

cara
10-15-2007, 10:34 AM
I just flew from Portland Maine to Philly then to Zurich then to Barcelona and back and they didn't even open my knitting bag.

I had the bryspun needles and a small crochet hook and a darning needle. I left my scissors etc in my checked bags.

I think you will be fine with either plastic or wooden needles. I did not risk it with my nice metal addis! :)

Sanibelle
10-15-2007, 11:31 AM
I just flew from NYC to Amsterday and then from Rome back to NY. I had no problems with my needles - but they were bamboo and I think the TSA site says no metal needles - or at least it did a few months ago.

KT120
10-15-2007, 04:10 PM
From someone who just returned two weeks ago from an international flight and had no issues I say bring your knitting. I don't ever have much time of uninterupted knitting time so I was not giving that up. I flew with my circular Addi's and no one blinked an eye or questioned me. I do think if you have some knitting on the actual needles already (i just had 3 rows) they will be more understanding.

I do agree however to check TSA rules right before departure. But as of right now, knitting is allowed.