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Topic: Knitting needles on airplanes?  (Read 94987 times)
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« Reply #420 on: March 20, 2007 06:46:00 AM »

There is a big thread on this issue here:

You can see that craftsters have had all different kinds of experiences: from being allowed to fly with pointy metal objects, to having had innocent-looking things taken away from them.

What is frustrating, as was pointed out here already, is that the final decision is up to the individual screener's discretion regardless of what the list of acceptable carry-on objects says. So there's always an element of doubt... I've been allowed to fly with needles when they were on the list, and obviously lots of people have not been allowed to fly with needles when they were not on the list.

Although, I do think that disallowing a crochet hook is surprising... unless you're using a teeny pointy metal one, they're usually pretty blunt!  A pen is sharper than that, can you imagine if they started taking away pens?? 

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« Reply #421 on: March 20, 2007 07:20:57 AM »

I agree, in my experience airlines ARE extremely dumb.

I mean, sweet heavens, Im one of those people that prior to 9/11 (when they started personally searching almost everyone), theyd ALWAYS pull me aside.  mind you, I was a teenager back then, white, blonde hair, blue eyes, and the most dangerous thing i carried was my discman.

THEN after 9/11, the next time I flew-I kid you not-after all this "heightened security", I left ALL my ID, money, everything in my sisters car and they let me board-at BWI, no less, to fly to DFW.  with no nothing to even verify who I was except tell them my name was in their computer.


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« Reply #422 on: March 20, 2007 07:26:15 AM »

They DO get weird about pens.  Last time I flew my crochet hooks and titanium-bladed scissors (very very sharp and pointy, but darn it, the blades were less than 4 inches!) passed inspection, but they very nearly confiscated my beloved Scheaffer fountain pen.  Goodness knows why... maybe it's the liquid ink thing.  

What really boggled my mind was that, after determining that my glucose meter wasn't dangerous, my screener wanted me to remove the sharp from my lancet.    So she was OK with scissors that can cut straight to the bone, but that lancet...  you could pin-prick someone to death with that...

crud, I hate flying.  So uncivilized.
« Reply #423 on: March 20, 2007 08:34:58 AM »

unfortunately it doesn't work that way. and they aren't wrong. The needles are allowed according to TSA/FAA rules, that doesn't mean anything. Really. The only things that matter on the TSA list are what is NOT allowed.

After that, it is up to every individual airline and worker to decide. It even states this in the TSA guidelines.

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« Reply #424 on: March 20, 2007 11:23:55 AM »

I'll be flying tomorrow and plan to take some Denise needles with me--I've never had a problem getting them through security and I've flown quite a bit recently.  I always stick them in my carry-on bag, send it through the screening machine, and then take them out once I'm at the gate or on the plane.  But I'm just waiting for the day when I'll be asked to hand them over because I have the bad luck to get a screener who dislikes the look of them...

I'm not sure if this link is already in this thread somewhere, but for U.S. flights, here's a link to a TSA page that specifically addresses knitting needles (and it does state explicitly that the final decision on whether you can take needles on board is up to airport security):

« Reply #425 on: March 20, 2007 09:53:04 PM »

As far as I'm concerned, TSA is irrelevant, even on flights involved with the U.S., if the airline has a policy that x is allowed. If then a screener tries to take x off me when going on that flight, I will point out the airline's policy to the screener and request him/her to confirm it with a supervisor. It's the airline's decision, not the airport's. If the airline has a website telling people we may carry knitting needles on board it's flights, it is unfair to then turnabout. I'm not even sure what FAA and TSA have authority over beside U.S. flights. TSA applies to some flights, but people need to understand that it doesn't own and control the world. It's TSA that doesn't mean anything, really. It is meaningless to say  'we don't specifically rule out needles, but anyone else may'. This gives zero new information about the ruling-out of needles.
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« Reply #426 on: March 21, 2007 06:06:51 AM »

I'm not sure if this link is already in this thread somewhere, but for U.S. flights, here's a link to a TSA page that specifically addresses knitting needles (and it does state explicitly that the final decision on whether you can take needles on board is up to airport security):


Interesting info.  The page also covers needlepoint, and says that everything you'd need to do needlepoint is allowed except for "circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside".  When I carry needlepoint / cross stitch projects onto a plane, I carry nail clippers (which are allowed) to trim my threads.

« Reply #427 on: March 21, 2007 07:04:23 AM »

No one, least of all me, is suggesting that TSA owns the world, but the reality is that in the U.S. they play the role of gatekeeper at airports and you have to pass through them to get to your plane.  Therefore if you are flying from a U.S. airport to somewhere else (even if that somewhere else is outside the U.S. on a non-U.S. airline), it is useful to be aware of their stated policies, whether or not those policies make sense.  And in this pass-the-buck age, airlines are perfectly willing to go along with TSA policies, rendering their own policies moot.  Take the whole poorly handled issue of liquids--airlines generally allow you to bring a bottle of water onboard, but you can't get that water through security and no airline supervisor is going to support your right to bring it through security.  I could go on and on about the farce that is airline security these days, but I've already veered off topic here and have to go put my own needles through security shortly.  I think Gwydion said it best:

crud, I hate flying.  So uncivilized.
« Reply #428 on: March 21, 2007 03:14:45 PM »

Since TSA policy approves needles, then I'm quite happy for airlines to go along! What I'm saying is, if the airline approves needles on their flights (as TSA permits also) then it's not fair for them to turn around. And we're talking about flying, not flying in the U.S. I wouldn't care to do that, let alone discuss U.S. rules. I am surprised that you are now permitted small scissors, but not the circular thread-cutters.


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« Reply #429 on: March 22, 2007 02:39:13 AM »

The circular thread cutters, especially those made for yarn, can cut through some wires, making it iffy in the minds of the TSA. Want to hijack a plane? Wire cutters apparently come in handy. *shrugs*
And knitting needles and crochet hooks can be used as a weapon. Hell, the can of soda most flights give up in the air? My roommates learned how to turn that into a deadly weapon in bootcamp. TSA personnel can smell fear, and if you're acting shifty when they check your bag with your hooks/needles, they will probably be more apt to confiscate them. They have no proof that you made your WIP, or that you can knit/crochet. And, unless they are crafty, if they ask you to demonstrate, you could totally fake it, and they would probably not know the difference.
Just act calm, collected, and don't get all "OMG, they're going to throw away my babies!"  It'll just make them more likely to want to toss em, than let you take them with you on the plane.

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