I’m about to leave on a three-week European trip. (Please don’t hate me.) I am in the middle of my Honeycomb Scarf and desperately want to take it with me. I have always heard that TSA can seize your knitting needles, but it’s never happened to me. Both airlines we’ll be flying list knitting needles as acceptable items for a carry-on bag, but TSA’s website says its agents have “discretion.” So my question is whether any of you MDKers has ever had your knitting needles seized, either in the US or another country. (We’re flying to Spain via London.) If it matters, I’m using metal needles. Thanks!
TSA in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, took my metal needles away from me. Actually, I cut the needles off and gave them up so that I could keep the sweater on the cord, which I tied. This happened despite the airline being okay with knitting needles. It depends upon the country’s rules as well.
I’ve had needles taken in Mexico City as well, did the same with a baby blanket as the woman was trying to pull the circs out!!!
In the US you should not have a problem (though I generally fly with circs which seem less intimidating. They are specifically allowed on the TSA website. In Europe it is sometimes country/airport specific, but you can always ask at check in and put them in your checked bag if necessary. I have been able to fly from the UK and Ireland with needles, not from Germany or Switzerland but that was a while ago.
Definitely ask at check in. (Good call, Stef!) You might also want to pack a self addressed and stamped envelope large enough for your needles as they will often mail them back to you. Maybe put some barber cords in your bag just in case. I am much more likely to give up the needles than I am the yarn. Whatever you do, don’t argue you with them. It’s not worth it.
Nope. Before Covid,i took 4 or 5 domestic and int’l flights a year.
In late 2019, just before the pandemic, I was required to dispose of a set of interchangeable needles by TSA in a small domestic airport in Brazil. The worst part was that they made me throw them in the trash. Thankfully, I was able to save the project on the cord. I had passed successfully through São Paulo international airport and many other airports in South America without issue, before this occurred.
Since the pandemic, I have successfully passed through several European and Asia airports (all international, not domestic) with interchangeable needles in my personal carry-on bag, including re-entry to several different US airports.
Good luck, should you decide to take your project on the plane, and if so perhaps select your least favorite interchangeable needles to bring, in case you are asked to discard them. Also, bring caps for the cord, just in case. I would suggest avoiding long needles, if possible.
I recently flew from Chicago to Germany via Copenhagen and had no difficulties with my carry on knitting project. I did have the forethought to swap out my Signature dp’s for some generic bamboo needles, just in case.
As mentioned by others, Mexico was the only place where I have had problems, fortunately I was able to remove the circular needle and have my friend mail it to me. A decade or so ago I did have problems with small scissors (even though the size was listed as OK) and a sewing needle (which was a surprise).
I’ve flown many times pre covid and during covid into Amsterdam, Munich and Paris, never had any issues at all with my knitting needles.
I just returned from 3 weeks in Europe- i had no issues at all with my knitting, in a small project bag, on any connections. So much great knitting time to be had! I had circular needles and was ready to cut the needles and leave the cord, but no need. I did carry a copy of the pattern so visually they could see what i was knitting if it was an issue. Good Luck!
Hasn’t been a problem for me ever! Have an AMAZING time - very jealous.
Yes, in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport my needles were taken. However, last week I flew through Amsterdam, Dublin, and Boston and did not have a problem. I have flown internationally dozens of times and have only lost one set of wooden dpns (!). Enjoy your trip. The dollar is so strong against the euro it feels like all of Europe is on sale.
I have been lucky travelling to Mexico and all over US with my with my knitting, but I use only wooden Lykke or bamboo needles. I have seen knitters with metal needles face confiscation in Mexico. Check TSA for latest or pack in your checked luggage.
Similar to others, my only problem was flying back from Cozumel, Mexico. Seems to be a theme in Mexican airports. I think they hope you will leave them behind and they can sell them. Instead, I used a little backpack to put them into, and paid a $75. extra baggage fee to send them as checked luggage. Elsewhere, I have found TSA to look closely but not restrict me in any manner. One TSA agent used my bag and needles as a training exercise for a new TSA agent!
I’m currently in France, also here last fall, and May to July this year. No problems flying through Amsterdam, Marseille, Charles de Gaulle, or Stockholm. Have never had needles confiscated anywhere else either, even metal straights in the years after 911, but agree that TSA can be a problem sometimes. Had a 3 oz bottle of lotion confiscated because one salt lake agent insisted it was 4 oz which wasn’t, said so right on the bottom of the bottle. In any case, lots of good advice for maximizing the likelihood that you and your full project wiold project will pass too easily. On the other hand, we foolishly checked a bag this trip and it took 4 days for it to reunite with me. KLM through Amsterdam…. not the 1st time it’s happened though I love the airlines and the airport.
So far, no. I have only traveled with plastic (Denise) interchangeable or bamboo. And I take old blunt tipped school scissors. I try to leave the good stuff at home! Have a great trip!
I have flown dozens of times with my needles and never had any problems. All advice above is good. I would add if you need a tapestry needle, take a plastic one. I also take my spare interchangeable ends in my carry on but you could check them if you check a bag. One more thing - I do not take scissors but use the round yarn cutter from Lion Brand. Once an agent asked me if it was safe!!! I assured her it was. Have a great trip.
It’s so confusing, isn’t it? When traveling I typically use wooden circulars with replaceable tips. Have never had a problem. Good luck. Lois
I’m happy to report that I made it to O’Hare > Heathrow > Barcelona with metal needles in my carry-on bag with no problems at all. I wound my scarf tightly around them, stuck the ends in a ball of yarn and sealed it all in a gallon Ziploc. Next time I’ll be smarter and switch over to wooden needles before my trip. Thanks for all the responses and good advice!
Yesterday I flew from JFK to Amsterdam with 3 knitting projects and their assorted needles: circs, DPNs, metal and wood. No delays or problems!