Knitting on International flights?

2manyhobbies's picture

I have a vacation coming up where I'll be 12 hours on an international flight (Egypt Air), and I'm wondering if I can bring my knitting? Does anyone have any information or experiences? Does it matter if you're carrying plastic or metal needles?
Thank you!

OKknitguy's picture

I agree with all that was

I agree with all that was said. I have never had problems with denise plastic needles or bamboo. Taking along the needle with long yarn makes sense just to save what you have. I have also found that a small container of dental floss works great for cutting rather than scissors. I keep the tiny floss sample that I get in my goodie bag from the dentist's office. I just pull out all the floss and throw it in my carryon. Never had a problem with it and it works great to cut yarn with.

michaelpthompson's picture

Just saw an interesting

Just saw an interesting article from a knitter who runs yarn through the work to hold it, and puts her addi turbo circs into her collapsible umbrella. The metal needle parts blend right into the umbrella parts and are never noticed on the x-ray. If she is ever asked about it, she plans to tell the inspector it's to protect them from damage, but so far, nobody has noticed. She also uses plastic straight needles, which don't really show up much on the x-ray.

I found the article from a link by Alice Bell in a comment on an article mentioned by MWK member Daniel Schultz on the relationship of science and knitting.

BuduR's picture

O.o OMG you're a clever

O.o OMG you're a clever one! Now I feel really stupid for not thinking of that. Can I sit next to you at lunch?

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

Mnjack's picture

I really think it all

I really think it all depends on the agent that you get. I was coming back from Guatemala and had my knitting taken from me. That is the only time that has happened. I just came back from Provence, through Amsterdam and had no problem at all. I do use bamboo needles, which I understand do not set off the "alarms". I expected Amsterdam would be the big problem, after the last bit of trouble with a passenger exiting to the US from there.
Take along a yarn needle with a piece of yarn in it, long enough to hold your work. If they say you can not take the needles on board, then at least you can save your work by stringing it on the extra yarn.
Have a good trip. I always get a lot done on flights, hope you do too.

MitchPR08's picture

When I came back from

When I came back from Germany I didnt even try bringing all my knitting with me, I put it in my checked luggage and I was pulled out of the line anyway, searched individually and they pretty much raped my carry on luggage (my laptop bag and backpack) and they even took my computer somewhere for 15 minutes before they brought it back to me. Coach class on Lufthansa sucks, so I just popped an Ambien on the plane just before take off and woke up 20 minutes before landing. It was a wonderful flight lol

Crafty Andy's picture

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You also have to be aware of the regulations of the country you are coming out of to the US, those regulations are different. I never take metal in the airplane, but I see people that do, I take my bamboo or plastic needles or crochet hooks and never had a problem.

Buck Strong's picture

I've never had a problem on

I've never had a problem on international flights with my needles. TSA website says they are okay.

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WillyG's picture

I believe international

I believe international flights vary by country, so like was mentioned, check with TSA.

steve kadel's picture

i have traveled

i have traveled internationally with my needles (addi - metal) and have never been stopped. also, the regulation is you can even bring round ended scissors (the safety kind that kids use in art class)

i picked a terrible day to give up sniffing glue

2manyhobbies's picture

thanks for the info! i may

thanks for the info! i may break out the Denise circulars for the trip - they look pretty nonlethal

MWK - Houston's picture

I always carry plastic

I always carry plastic circular needles - I have only had one incident where they took the needles. The benefit of using circulars was I was able to remove the needles and keep my work on the cord. I have also put the working project in one bag and put the needles in with my business stuff - pens etc. Definitely no scizzors - someone on this site metioned using nail clippers to cut the yarn and I have never had a problem with that either.

It's really up to the agents at the gate, but with plastic I have been pretty lucky. You can also print out a page from the TSA guidelines that says knitting needles are ok, but that doesn't work for international flights.

Hope that helps.

michaelpthompson's picture

That's really the nub of the

That's really the nub of the difficulty, inconsistency. The TSA guidelines specifically ALLOW knitting needles, but everything is really up to the gate inspector. They seem to have an incredible amount of leeway in interpreting the rules. So if one of them has a bad day, your needles could be confiscated, no matter what the guidelines say. Printing out the page could be helpful, if you appeal in a reasonable manner, but no guarantees.

Plus, as pointed out, the TSA guidelines are only valid for flights originating in the U.S. Coming back may be another matter entirely. Flying out of Glasgow one time, we were told by the attendant at baggage check that our umbrellas were perfectly ok to take on the plane, only to be stopped at the security checkpoint and told just the opposite. Had to run back down and check the umbrellas as oversize baggage.

BuduR's picture

I think that's the thing

I think that's the thing that I find most frustrating with the TSA. That it is left up to the agent, there's not a lot of clear cut guidelines. Most say that I don't look like the type to knit, so both times I tried to take my knitting they took my needles (Luckily my roomie waits for me to get through the check point and they let me hand them over to him) I'm not sure what the "knitting type" looks like though.

Of course I set off the metal detector every time I go through it at Detroit Metro AND on returning to the states I'm always pulled out of the line. I know they say that they don't do racial profiling, but on my return trip, the only people pulled out of the line were dark haired and dark skinned. I produced my American passport and they didn't waste another second on me, but the turkish women right behind me was delayed.

Now when I fly I just take my x-stitch projects with me, not as enjoyable for me to work on, but it's something. I carry my 3" Dovos with extremely sharp points and not once have they questioned it.

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

2manyhobbies's picture

great idea - i'll make sure

great idea - i'll make sure to take plastic circulars like you suggest. i'm happy to hear that you've not had many problems - i'm not sure i could spend 12 hours sanely on an airplane with nothing to knit.