This time of year many of us will be traveling for the holidays. It's a stressful time and we need our knitting needles and crochet hooks now more than ever. The time you spend at airports waiting for your flight and on the plane won't be wasted if you've got your yarn with you to make gifts or to simply enjoy the meditative feeling you get when you knit or crochet. One thing you don't need is to worry about whether you can take the tools you need a plane. Here are some frequently asked questions on the subject so you can be in the know about what you are permitted to take on the plane.
Are knitting needles and crochet hooks allowed in carry-on luggage?
On domestic flights in the US, knitting needles and crochet hooks are permitted by the TSA in carry-on luggage. The TSA suggests that you carry wooden or plastic needles over metal. Circular knitting needles are preferred over straight. Each country is different, though. If you are travelling internationally be sure to check the guidelines of your airline and security agencies abroad. You may be allowed to fly into a country with knitting needles in your carry-on but be required to check them on your return flight.
What about scissors?
Scissors with blades shorter than four inches are permitted in carry-on luggage on domestic flights. Although they may seem innocuous, thread cutter pendants like these are prohibited by the TSA and should be kept in checked luggage. Nail clippers are a good, travel-sized alternative for cutting yarn and are permitted in carry-ons. If you have questions about other items, the TSA has made a handy search tool.
It’s always handy to carry a print-out of the TSA policies but keep in mind, screeners can confiscate any items they do not feel are safe regardless of these guidelines. If you're able to confirm ahead of your trip that the airport has mail facilities or a service such as Airport Mailers, you may be able to send prohibited items home instead of losing them for good. You may want to carry a padded, self-addressed, stamped envelope just in case you are not permitted to bring your needles or scissors on board. It's best to leave supplies that are costly to replace or hold sentimental value at home in case you have to part with them. Carry dental floss in your carry-on. You can use the blade to cut yarn and the floss is great for holding stitches in a pinch if you're asked to surrender your needles.
While it can be frustrating, remember that this season can be stressful for everyone. It’s helpful to have a back up plan and always be courteous!
What's your experience been? Have you ever had trouble with your knitting or crochet at the airport?