Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Fountain Pens and the TSA

  1. #1
    Senior Member DrChumley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Renton, Washington, USA
    Posts
    173
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 365 Times in 82 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Fountain Pens and the TSA

    So, I'm going to be doing some traveling in the not-to-distant future, and I'm visiting with some folks who are becoming big Fountain Pen fans, so I wanted to take my collection. I have one of those Monteverde 48-pen wallets, and was planning to load all of my pens into that and carry it on the plane with me.

    Has anyone ever had issues with the TSA allowing them to take their fountain pens on the plane? Particularly so many fountain pens at once. I have this horrible recurring nightmare where I get to the airport, go through the TSA screening checkpoint, and they tell me I can't take my fountain pens with me because they can be used as weapons or something stupid like that. And I have to make the choice between missing my flight or getting rid of thousands of dollars of fountain pens. And I don't really want to put them in my suitcase, since I know how those things are beat up in transit.

    I know I tend toward the hysterical and melodramatic anyway, but has anyone ever had issues with bringing their pens on board the plane?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lafayette, LA
    Posts
    2,031
    Thanks
    4,559
    Thanked 1,310 Times in 799 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I can't imagine why you would have any problems; each holds only a miniscule amount of liquid. And if you can bring knitting needles and crochet hooks on a plane (which you can, by the way), I don't know why TSA would object to fountain pens. But you can call them, I think.
    Lady Onogaro

    "Be yourself--everybody else is already taken." --Oscar Wilde

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    By the long tidal river.
    Posts
    571
    Thanks
    779
    Thanked 584 Times in 284 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    Short answer, no problems, although I doubt if I've ever traveled with more that three fountain pens, plus a couple of rollerballs and mechanical pencils. I have imagined that the TSA might think a nib looked like a weapon, but perhaps I am more paranoid than they are, as it has never come up. They usually ask for your confirmation when examining items more closely, so you can tell them not to pull the caps off but to unscrew them. And having said that, I don't think they have ever looked closely at my pens, and a couple of them are usually clickable Pilot Vanishing Points anyway. As for fountain pens holding liquid, I doubt if they even know, but I generally have a couple of empty ziplock bags with me that I could use. Sometimes I put the pens in them anyway in case of leaking due to pressure changes.

    I would think that any reasonable person, seeing forty-eight "fancy" pens in a high quality case would believe that you're a collector who doesn't want to trust his valuable collection to the baggage handlers, if you're on a domestic flight. If it were an international flight, perhaps customs might become suspicious.
    "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
    Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silverbreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    CT, USA
    Posts
    1,088
    Thanks
    251
    Thanked 490 Times in 309 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    Domestic flight?

    Yeah if they ask call yourself a collector. I would have most of them uninked too. But I am guessing that was a given with 48 pens anyhow
    Tom
    @silverbreeze
    ---
    Forgive any ignorance on my part.
    Any stupidity is my brain not being malleable enough to understand
    ===
    Open to anyone writing me. Will do my best to reply quickly

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4,343
    Thanks
    4,578
    Thanked 6,583 Times in 2,427 Posts
    Rep Power
    13

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I know a number of the sellers at pen shows carry large collections of pens, always in carry-on luggage. It shouldn't be a problem.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    The Nibsmith dannzeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    IOWA -- Go HAWKEYES!!
    Posts
    1,245
    Thanks
    524
    Thanked 1,823 Times in 439 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I've flown a few times in the past year with as many as 30-40 pens and never had an issue. They were more concerned about the bottle of ink in my bag than they were the pens.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tracy Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    1,913
    Thanks
    3,634
    Thanked 1,568 Times in 668 Posts
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I have had my pens scrutinized and rescanned and examined. Metal tubes with liquid and a rod in the center have not engendered happiness with TSA. But they can't tell you that they violate anything so be patient. My trip to DC last month I had 2 cases and about 26 pens. In the end no issues, but they were scanned twice in DC. I wouldn't worry too much at all about them. Never check them in luggage, you will never see them again. I treat them like jewelry.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DrChumley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Renton, Washington, USA
    Posts
    173
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 365 Times in 82 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    Thanks, all. That's tremendously reassuring. They'll all be uninked, so the whole "liquid" thing shouldn't be an issue, and any bottles of ink I'm bringing will be put in 3 zip-top bags, bubble, wrapped, and boxed before being put into my checked luggage. (Either that, or I'll just ship it there ahead of me, which is probably a better idea.)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Silverbreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    CT, USA
    Posts
    1,088
    Thanks
    251
    Thanked 490 Times in 309 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    If you can afford it ship the ink well padded
    Tom
    @silverbreeze
    ---
    Forgive any ignorance on my part.
    Any stupidity is my brain not being malleable enough to understand
    ===
    Open to anyone writing me. Will do my best to reply quickly

  10. #10
    Senior Member Robert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    528
    Thanks
    653
    Thanked 271 Times in 196 Posts
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    Make sure you wear your official FPG pin, and everything will be cool. (Of course, you'll have to remove it before passing thru the scanner/metal detector.)

  11. #11
    Senior Member tandaina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,936
    Thanks
    361
    Thanked 2,039 Times in 788 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    Nope. Even carried a Visconti portable inkwell full of ink, in my carry on and they didn't care.

    I travel a lot and have never had them so much as blink.
    Last edited by tandaina; June 8th, 2014 at 05:25 PM.
    ---
    Current pen rotation: way too many!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Runnin_Ute's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sandy, UT
    Posts
    368
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 172 Times in 101 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I carried 10-12 with me on a trip from Salt Lake City to Denver in March, all inked. Not a word was said.
    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 10 Times in 8 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I would put the pencase in a Ziploc bag inside your carry on.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jeph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,617
    Thanks
    2,020
    Thanked 754 Times in 432 Posts
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I have travelled with up to a dozen (mostly all inked) on international flights and they never looked twice. I admit that I had a grea deal of angst leading up to that though.
    What I told myself was that with them being in a nice case all I had to do was take one out and write with it and all would be well.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    On every flight I have four pens in a zippered folio . They are always carried onto the plane and never given a second glance by the TSA
    or European authorities.
    Enjoy showing your beauties!

  16. #16
    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Posts
    1,559
    Thanks
    106
    Thanked 1,058 Times in 451 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    I think they'd have more problems if you were bringing on large bottles of inks than with the pens themselves.

    Also if you're just a user who has 2 maybe 3 pens on you inked, I don't see it as a problem either even with maybe a small box of cartridges, or a couple 3 to 5ml sample vials. (though if you have syringes and other stuff, that might be a little odd).

    I think the only time I had a chat with TSA was when I was bringing about 5 cameras and such thru security on a trip to New Orleans (before Katrina), and two in particular they were interested in because they couldn't xray it at all (I made sure that I didn't have any film in the cameras, and my rolls were handed off for hand inspection instead of going thru the xray, though generally anything under ISO 800 survives security xray fine, but not checked baggage).

    The two in particular were two older rangefinder style cameras both made of heavy metals, a Canon P from 1958 with a heavy brass encased lens, and a mid-40s Univex Mercury II (half frame camera), which I had to show them how to get them opened and show that they worked etc.

    They of course did a similar thing with my laptop just to make sure it turned on. (apparently if it turns on, then not enough of the components could have been replaced or something, but it's not that hard now days to save some space in the HDD slot with a compactflash or SD card, or to reduce the battery capacity so not sure what exactly that proves).

    Here is their website, with the Liquid Rules.

    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-carry-ons

    And here is the list of prohibited items.

    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informat...ohibited-items

    When in doubt just check their website or call them.

    tsa_fp.jpg
    Last edited by KBeezie; June 9th, 2014 at 02:17 PM.

  17. #17
    FPG Donor ♕ alc3261's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    506
    Thanks
    103
    Thanked 418 Times in 166 Posts
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Fountain Pens and the TSA

    Quote Originally Posted by tandaina View Post
    Nope. Even carried a Visconti portable inkwell full of ink, in my carry on and they didn't care.

    I travel a lot and have never had them so much as blink.
    I did that too, again no issue. I was glad they didn't make me drink it!!

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •