Thursday, December 26, 2013

Flying with Tools-Knitting Needles on a Plane

Marilyn Monroe Knitting, Yves Montand
Let's Make Love

Scissors on a plane?

Quilters' Cases for Travel, Crafters, Knitting in Public, etc.

Are you a crafter, jewelry designer, beader or a quilter? Maybe you're a woodworker and you travel, what do you to about taking your tools?

Is it best to ship them or bring them on the plane? Where is the latest information?

My friends who knit can't imagine hours at the airport without their knitting needles and latest project! But what are the regulations and how often do they change?

If you're a musician who flies, you've probably heard songs such as Tom Paxton's Thank You Republic Airlines for breaking the neck on my guitar. Where do you look for the current rules about instruments? My husband is a woodworker and luthier. What if he needs to bring a guitar that he made to someone and we're flying?

If traveling by air, you may want to review and even print out and carry a current copy of the TSA Tool Rules

Hand Tools

None of the included hand tools is more than seven inches long and I do not carry scissors. I believe these pages will be updated as rules are changed or will provide links to current regulations. These rules seem to change frequently. Please check the sites for the TSA and your airline if necessary before you travel.

"Wrenches and Pliers (seven inches or less in length)"

"Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed, but blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited."

While I don't see mention of something like wire cutters for jewelry makers who may want to travel with their tools, they would probably fall under the scissors category.

You can find zip cases for beading tools with slots for your pliers and wire cutters, a slip-resistant mat and room for your beads, threads and wire. Be sure to have items such as needles secure such as in a plastic or paper container of their own. When choosing travel cases and supplies for your beads and tools.

Decide when, where and how you plan to use your materials while on the road and at your destination. I did some beading, for instance, while visiting a relative in the hospital in another state.

If you sew, here's one thing I found on a search for travel with sewing needles:

Sharp objects and "Tools (greater than seven inches in length)," when allowed, need to be in your carry on. 

"Scissors with blades smaller than 4 inches, small needles carried for special medical needs and other sharp objects that do not contain a blade may be placed in carry-on baggage.

Any sharp objects placed in carry-on or checked baggage should be properly sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to TSOs and baggage handlers."

A professional case designed for traveling
Includes organizer with inner storage options, shoulder strap
Different sizes and styles can be found.

As a woodworker, luthier, etc. you might visit acquire tools on a trip and need to get them home.

There are separate rules about drills and power tools. We've always checked in advance and on some occasions chosen to ship some items rather than try to bring them on the plane. Always double check all of this information with both your airline and the TSA as it appears to be changed regularly.

Knitting needles on a plane? Eeeek! When last checked, knitting needles were not mentioned on the above list of tools. Here's their rule as of May 2013: Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage.

"Items needed are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage."

"It's important to know that even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane."
-- May 2013

Joan Crawford 1970s knits Canvas Bags
May 1972 Lady's Circle Magazine.
Joan Crawford Displaying her mohair afghan.

Joan Crawford 1970s knits Canvas Bags Magazine Cover
Choose size, style, color of  bags by Jakestuff
Create unique customized canvas tote bags
"Women who love fine needlework are the same friendly and helpful souls the world over, whether they are in sophisticated New York or casual Kansas."
-- excerpt from article, cover image is on bag

A 1980s issue of New York Magazine talks about Alice Maynard's Yarn Shop in New York City.

Musical Instruments

Flying with musical instruments TSA; Find your type of instrument, etc.

"Owners should be present when an instrument is removed from its case for screening. For this reason, musicians are advised to add at least 30 minutes to the airline's recommended arrival window when checking their instrument."
-- excerpt January 2013

Roy Orbison Fastest Guitar Alive
8x10" Photo

Think about other places where your tools may not be allowed: My sister-in-law was called for jury duty and found out that she could not bring her knitting needles into the courthouse while waiting to see if she would be chosen to be on a jury.

"So TSA made a very deliberate and careful study of the amount of time and effort screeners were putting into looking for potential weapons that could be used to get into a cockpit, as opposed to explosive devices.

"And judging the difference in the risk, based on some very concrete steps that had been taken to secure those cockpits and make sure people cannot take over airplanes, the common-sense judgment, backed up by reliable data, was, we ought to shift our focus away from some things like nail scissors or sewing scissors or little screwdrivers, and into areas like increased training and increased focus on possible explosive devices."

Excerpt from Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on DHS Accomplishments and Priorities
Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Related Links: 

Ergonomic Tips for Musicians

Art & Craft Podcasts: Listen while you work... And for those times when your tools aren't allowed?

Left my cell phone or iPad on the Plane: Reuniting with your electronics
And Do these things Before flying with your cameras, tablets, cell phones, etc. 

10 Points about Sewing Ergonomics

Flying with pets, keep pets happy, safe in the airport on the plane, animal relief areas in airports

Knit with Joan Crawford

Flight Delays/Layovers Flying with Kids and Pets 

One Million Lawyers and Other Disasters, Tom Paxton, CD includes Thank You Republic Airlines. Also MP3 versions

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