Knitting needles on aircraft

Hi guys. I'm planning a trip to the UK and New York in about three months time and my trave agent is telling me that I can not take knitting needles of any sort (metal/bamboo/wooden) on any aircraft. Have any of you had any recent experience of being able to take needles and knit on aircraft? If so can you please let me know the airline concerned. With thanks.


Crafty Andy's picture

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I wpuld ask the Airline Directly. When I went to England last year I took a plastic crochet hook no problems. I have seen people with kniting needles, I will give you the direct link to the US place so that you can read it.

I will definitely be prepared to take a plastic set and some yarn along with it. I undersd about the weapon issue but my hands are a weapons, a pencil is a weapon, a fork is a weapon , crazy that they think about that, but it is the days. Learn to crochet and take a plastic crochet hook . Definitely Check with your airline.

USA TSA Permitted- not permitted items n plane link

YugiDean's picture

I flew out to Atlanta, Georgia, back in September of 2006, and I took several pairs of my bamboo knitting needles with me. All of my needles were with me on the plane, and I knitted at the terminals and on the planes. When I went through security, they didn't even ask me about them or ask to see them.

I agree with the previous the airline directly and see what their guidelines are. I really expected my knitting needles to be forbidden, but i had no problems at all! Good luck!

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright

drmel94's picture

I've not had trouble inside the US, but I only do socks on short wooden dpn's when traveling these days. As Arron pointed out, though, travel regs in Oz are MUCH more restrictive. I know folks Down Under who have reported sneaking socks on wooden needles along in their pocket, but it's not worth risking a prized project. Flights from Europe, I believe, are also more restrictive than flights originating in the US.

Never mind that one could potentially do as much or more damage with similarly shaped writing implements. At least they're keeping the world safe from us crazy knittorists.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

YugiDean's picture

Oh yeah. I believe the airline I used was Southwest.

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright

rooboy2000's picture

Hi I'm an International flight attendant with QANTAS, as a knitter it is my sad news to tell you that knitting on our aircraft is strictly forbidden. If your needles make it through secuirity, They will not be confiscated but MUST remain in there stowage this is to comply with strict Australian regulations which calssify them as a weapon. We understand You may not use these as a weapon however another passengers could snatch them from you and use them to gain control. PLEASE DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER. I understand that there are many things on aircraft that could be used as weapons however the australian govt and us as cabin crew must be seen as doing our part to ensure that the travelling public arrive safely. It's a very different world these days. best wishes if you find a airline that allows you to knit on board i'd be interested to know. Arron

KilgoreTrout's picture

I fly within Europe and overseas often with my needles and it has never been a problem at all. Definetely check before hand, but my guess is it won't be a problem...

If wishes and buts were clusters and nutes we'd all have a bowl of granola.

Can you give me the names of the airlines you used? I regularly fly around Europe and into and out of the UK, but I have never been able to take my knitting into the cabin.

As long as your needles are not metal you will be ok. However you are subject to the whims and mirth of the examiner. What I do is to pack all my weapons in my checked baggage. I have a bamboo circular needle that I take on board with a stupid project on it so I'll have something to fiddle with in the airport and on the plane. If one of the TSA decide to be difficult, all I've lost is some cheap yarn and about 7 bucks worth of needles. But, no problem: I ALWAYS have a small drop spindle along and some silk or cotton, just in case!

I don't worry about it so much when flying to Europe as I always leave the US in the evening, order a cocktail, some wine with dinner, pop 2 Excedrin PMs and go to sleep and wake refreshed in the morning landing in Zurich.
Anyway, you have some long legs to fly so plan a really big-assed scarf or Willy-Warmer. =^D
~Mike in Tampa

I haven't flown anyplace since I took up knitting, so I'm certainly not in a position to really know. I've only been told that as long as your knitting needles are made of either wood, bamboo, or plastic, you should be all right. As far as protecting a prized object you're working on, I'd replace the needles beforehand with a cheap plastic pair before you get to the terminal. If worse comes to worse, you can simply pull the needles out and tie some dental floss through the stitches to keep the item in some kind of shape until you can attend to it further at a later time. Sounds silly I know, but I'd rather try that than just give up and frog a sock that's nearly finished. I'm still struggling with knitting socks, so I'd definitely try to salvage my work if it could be done. Like the rest of the guys have said though, asking the airline directly is always best. Hope everything works out for you.

atravelingknitter's picture

as a us airways flight attendent I can tell you there is no problem in the us canada and mexico, TSA has approved needles. I still recomend wood or bamboo. I never leave home without a project and i am constantly checking out my passengers projects

A Traveling knitter

rjcb3's picture

I don't know about crossing international borders, but, at least in the States, I would just go to the TSA and verify everything there...

...forgive my direct-ness, but, the travel agent should do the homework -- it's as easy as going to the website...

...and you'll find that knitting needles are allowed in both checked-in luggage and carryon!

I was duped into believing that, too...when I was flying to DC laying over at JFK -- was told that I couldn't bring any needles or crafting materials -- and, of course, it being only a two-day trip, I just brought a carry-on.

I was told that because it was DC and laying over in NYC that stepped up security would find my needles and yarn and such in the bin never to see them again. It SOUNDED logical -- being both places, etc.

Come to find out that right there IN THE @#$%^&* JFK AIRPORT they were selling knitting kits, complete with the needles, scissors, yarn, the whole kit and kaboodle. I was fuming!


Kiwi James's picture

Thanks for all your helpful comments guys. I think I'll take a punt and take one of my smaller Christmas knitting projects with me. The complication I have is that when I check my luggage in at the start of my journey I don't see it again until I get to London even though I'll by on three different airlines covering four different flights. So I can't access my luggage to either put my knitting back in it for airlines that won't allow it as carry on or take the knitting out for airlines that do. I guess I'll just have to be subversive, smile a lot and try and look as innocent as possible. I forgot to mention the reason why I'm heading off to the UK... I've managed to score a place on a two day knitting workshop with Kaffe Fassett at the Rowan yarn mill in Holmfirth. I'm started to get very excited about the trip!

Oh, you lucky person - you are heading off to a most beautiful part of the world. I used to live in Leeds, Yorkshire and I used to travel to Holmfirth (about 40 miles) to the Rowan shop when Rowan first started up and they didn't have many outlets. This was at the beginning of the 80s. I also had a tutorial with Kaffe Fassett and I was just awestruck. His approach to knitting was liberating and his colour combinations fantastic.

I hope you have a wonderful time. I am truly envious.