How To Enjoy Your Favourite Craft Activity Onboard
Have you got a flight booked but are wondering whether you’ll be able to put those cabin hours to good use? Find out how to take your knitting needles onboard.
21 million Brits are scared of flying, with engine failure cited as the biggest source of anxiety. Those who choose to board a plane may carry out pre-flight rituals such as selecting seats which are considered the safest, and some visit the doctor to be prescribed medication such as diazepam to calm their anxiety. However, a simple way for craft enthusiasts to stay calm onboard an aircraft, is to be able to continue with their knitting or crocheting projects. Research carried out by Knit for Peace has revealed that knitting is incredibly soothing; it lowers the heart rate by about 11 beats per minute, and induces a relaxed state similar to the experience of yoga.
Knitting and other mindfulness-promoting activities such as crocheting, are ideal activities to carry out onboard, but the question is – are they allowed? This article explores the different regulations regarding packing your knitting needles, scissors and other implements in your luggage and the variations across countries.
Rules In The UK
Unfortunately, the rules for carrying knitting needles and the like in your luggage are somewhat complex when travelling out of UK airports. The official government guidelines state that knitting needles, sewing needles and scissors with blades of less than 6cm are permitted in both your hand and hold luggage. However, the reality is that some airlines and airports will reject these items when they pass through the security scanners. Therefore, it’s wise to check with your specific airline and departure airport in advance. For example, Jet 2 mentions in their terms and conditions that knitting needles are prohibited. On the other hand, airports such as Heathrow are extremely clear that you are allowed to take them inside the cabin with you.
As the rules are somewhat unclear, the best course of action would be to check and doublecheck the guidance before you travel. It would be wise to use wooden or circular knitting needles, as these are less sharp than the metal variety, and it would be preferable to take a knitting project that you’ve already started, so that it’s easy to demonstrate what the needles are meant for.
Rules In North America
Travelling within the US is much easier than the UK, as all airlines and airports are governed by the Transportation Security Administration who clearly state that knitting needles are permitted in both hold and carry-on baggage, as does the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. However, taking along scissors to cut your yarn is a bit more of a problem. Although the regulations state that scissors with blades of less than 4 inches are permitted, the reality is that most get confiscated during security checks. Nail clippers make a great alternative. Remember that if you’re flying outside of the USA/Canada, then you’ll need to check the individual rules for the country that you’re flying into.
Rules In Australia
The Australian system is much like the UK, in that it’s quite ambivalent. At the moment, the guidance to passengers is that knitting and crochet needles ‘may’ be accepted and it is down to the discretion of the security officer that comes across them. Airports in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are thought to be largely accepting of these items, but you’d be best to check and also to take wooden needles just in case.
Taking your knitting needles on your flight is a fantastic way to unwind and to while away the hours in the airport if there are any delays. But remember not to pack your favourite kit on the offchance that it is confiscated. A final tip is to take a self-addressed envelope with a stamp on it, in case you run into any difficulties and need to post your equipment back home.