Knitting on a plane

It's holiday time, but can you knit on the plane...?

I recently read this tip in Lion Brand's newsletter:

When traveling by airplane, I carry a printed copy of the rules that say that you're allowed to carry knitting needles in my carry-on. I have used it to get my knitting on board many an airplane! You can get this information from
- Cynthia G.
That tip is American, but there is much debate about this subject wherever you are in the world including here in the UK, see these debates on Folksy and UK Yahoo answers:

CAA provides a 'what can I carry' list - as usual it refers to knives, scissors and other sharp items, but not specifically knitting needles:

The answer seems to depends on the airport.

Stanstead / Heathrow / Glasgow / Edinborough / Aberdeed / Southampton (BAA airports) - YES! I had to search for it, but there is an FAQ on this page which tells you unambiguously that "Knitting needles are allowed":^Stansted^General^Airport+information^Stansted+security^Security+FAQs#7

Luton doesn't specifically mention them on its site, but they seem to be a little more strict than others (besides the usual "Pointed or bladed articles" they ban scissors from hand luggage with blades more than 3" rather than the more usual 6") so I guess not.

Manchester is a NO! - they're specifically banned from hand luggage. In fact they're so worried about our needles that they regard it as an offence to carry them on board:

For other airports - check your airport's website.

Good advice is to put them in your check-in baggage if in doubt, or to have an SAE with you so that you can thread your work onto scrap yarn and post your needles back to yourself if it comes to that.

Spinning might be a good alternative. The worst story that I've heard of is dropping the spindle and having to rescue it from under a seat several rows forward!


jombolom said...

I flew to and from Manchester this week and, not wanting to risk anything, I put my circular needles in my case and checked it in. I wasn't too bothered as my flight was only 3 hours and as I'd already been awake for 36 hours, I didn't think I'd be in a fit state to knit on the plane (long haul might have been a bit more difficult to tolerate). The irony is, I didn't do ANY knitting whilst I was away; it was way too hot to concentrate! Ha!

Sarah said...

Wales is nice at this time of year. They allow most things across the border and have fresh wool supplies aplenty.

picperfic said...

thanks for the info, I can't access the links though :(

peahen said...

not sure why my links had gone screwy, but fixed now.

Emma said...

I fly from Manchester every week with my acrylic Knit Pros in my hand luggage and I have never been stopped - had a few close calls, but even knit in the lounge, at the gate, on the aircraft ...