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View Full Version : Airlines vs knitting needles?


4boymama
12-10-2009, 09:09 PM
I'm flying with one of my boys next week and would like to take my knitting. As I'm a relatively new knitter, about one year now, I've not ever tried to fly w/ needles. Can anyone tell me what the policy is or have personal experience in this area?

Thanks in advance!
Tiffany

Jan in CA
12-10-2009, 09:49 PM
Here are the TSA guidelines.
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

I've never personally had any problems or heard of anyone having problems domestically. I have heard of people having problems with needles overseas.

4boymama
12-10-2009, 10:14 PM
Thank you Jan. I'm glad to see they are allowed.

outdoordrea
12-10-2009, 11:19 PM
I went flying the week before Thanksgiving and I called the airport to make sure my needles were going to be allowed as carry-on. They were.:cheering:

meowmeowmeow
12-11-2009, 01:29 AM
I know that airlines will not allow circular thread cutters, so if you have one, plan to do without.They're scared of people taking them apart and using the blades *rolls eyes*.

Jan in CA
12-11-2009, 01:35 AM
I know that airlines will not allow circular thread cutters, so if you have one, plan to do without.They're scared of people taking them apart and using the blades *rolls eyes*.

But they're not afraid of people using circular needles as a garrote. Go figure.

globaltraveler
12-11-2009, 05:32 AM
I have heard stories of agents refusing circular needles for exactly that reason, Jan! -- just because something is allowed under TSA guidelines doesn't mean an agent won't yank the needles.

Thought this was an interesting article (http://www.frommers.com/articles/6486.html)!
"Try working for an agency where you have to be transparent, yet at the same time opaque; where customers expect consistency but you need to stay unpredictable; and where the only real measure of success is when nothing happens."

pixiedoodle
12-11-2009, 10:22 AM
I went to Ireland last year and didn't have a problem on either my connecting flight to Boston or on Aer Lingus. I did, however, received quite a few startled looks. I don't know if it was due to my aluminum needles (before I switched to mainly bamboo) or what, but it was amusing.

gotta knit
12-11-2009, 12:43 PM
I've flown a couple times in the past few years, across Canada & to the U.S.
Used plastic straight needles the first time just to be sure, no problem. Then took bamboo circulars another time, which were also fine. But knew it was possible security could have taken them away if they felt like it.

I keep nail clippers on me to cut yarn, which are on the acceptable list. Got my carry-on searched this past year because they showed up on x-ray, but they let me keep them. No problem with having them in there previously?!

Jan in CA
12-11-2009, 02:59 PM
I take ONE set of circulars and round kindergarten scissors. I put the rest of my knitting stuff in my checked bag. I've never had a problem, but I figured if they took my circs I'd only be out one set and I can use the ones in my bag when I get there. Better safe than sorry.

BTW...i know someone who puts her needles in a pencil bag with other pencils figuring that might foil them. It might, but IMO why take changes.

offgridgirl
12-11-2009, 10:51 PM
I haven't done it recently even though they it's okay. I had my little scissors take away cuz they were sharp?? ;( I use bambo needles now!!

sandy57th
12-11-2009, 11:40 PM
Please remember something: God forbid there is ever an attack on a plane again and the attackers use something like a circular cutter disassembled as a weapon. As much as a pain in the butt as not being able to take certain items on a plane, just keep in mind, people with terrible motives may take those very same objects on as well. No one thought about box cutters prior to 8 years ago.

The reason you can't take something such as a circular cutter on, but you can take circulars needles on, is that once you've been cut, in that instant, you're done for, but if someone is choking you with a circular needle, another person can help you and you'll survive. Not pleasant to discuss in a knitting forum, but that's the answer to that question.

No matter what objects the TSA says is allowed, if the agent determines that YOUR object could pose a threat, it will be taken from you, and I would recommend not putting up a fight, as there will be consequences for that. Doesn't matter that 1000 other knitters you know had no problem and that you're flying from NYC to Albany. It the agents want to take them, they will. Period.

There is a kind of DPN needle called Comfort Zone, which are extremely flexible. I have taken them on international flights and showed the agents that they could be bent in half, and was allowed to take them on. You could hit an agent who will refuse to let you take them, but at $7 a set, it's not the end of the world to have them taken from you. If you can use DPNs and knit socks or mittens or gloves, they are the least likely to be taken.

And please-- I'm sure there are knitters on this forum who if they didn't know someone lost on 9/11, know someone who knows someone who did. (It's hard to be on the east coast and not have been somehow touched by that terrible day.) Please be sensitive and avoid the "eye rolls" about how the airlines and TSA are trying to keep us safe.

globaltraveler
12-13-2009, 02:43 PM
Sandy -- Agree (1,000,000)

sandy57th
12-13-2009, 06:44 PM
THANK YOU!!!!!!! And interesting article you provided the link for-- that keeping it inconsistent ironically, really keeps the system working better. Meaning safer for us all.

CivicSista
12-15-2009, 01:16 PM
I also recently flew, to mexico and brought my needles with me on the plane. They were metal ones, but I had no issues going thru security.

yarndolly
12-15-2009, 09:05 PM
Just about anything could be used as a weapon if you were so inclinded. Dental floss could be used as a garrote!

meowmeowmeow
12-15-2009, 09:08 PM
Just about anything could be used as a weapon if you were so inclinded. Dental floss could be used as a garrote!

Quiet before they impose a ban on ALL string! Soon, they'll be making us fly naked... because really,what is clothes but a bunch of garrotes knit or woven together?

sandy57th
12-15-2009, 10:11 PM
Folks, please be sensitive about this issue. These safety measures are a direct result of a very specific series of incidents on one terrible day. It isn't like talking about car accidents. Some of us were more affected by 9/11 than others. Thanks.

Jan in CA
12-15-2009, 11:32 PM
Okay, I don't think anyone is really making light of a serious issue. A little teasing doesn't mean we don't understand. However, the whole point of the topic is whether knitting needle are allowed on planes so let's stick to that. Thanks!

cftwo
12-16-2009, 09:06 AM
I have not had problems taking knitting needles on airplanes. I usually try to bring projects where I don't have to cut anything for quite a while. I have had pointy scissors with short blades (maybe 2" or so) be allowed on, too - but those were also scissors I would not have been devastated to lose.

meowmeowmeow
12-16-2009, 09:32 PM
Does anyone know if you're allowed to bring those tiny eyebrow scissors on the plane? The business end is only about 3/4" long.

globaltraveler
12-17-2009, 07:11 AM
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

Jannette
12-17-2009, 11:59 AM
Thanks for this thread. I"m flying to Spain in March and was wondering what would be allowed.