It’s time to travel! You’ve purchased your plane ticket and your bags are packed. Suddenly you realize you aren’t quite certain the friendly skies will embrace your love of crochet.
And what if they don’t?
You start to panic, after all, you have 12 skeins of yarn and every crochet hook you own tightly packed inside an airline-approved carry-on bag.
So you wonder, what if your hooks don’t make it through the security screening? How about your scissors? And needles? (I mean, what if you suddenly have an urge to weave in the ends of all your WIP’s??? You need that tapestry needle!)
There’s no need to worry because we’ve spent some time on The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website to bring you answers to these questions and more!
*Information provided below is specific to domestic flights inside the United States. As regulations vary from country to county, check with your airline in regards to regulations for international destinations.
1. Plastic or Metal?
When it comes crochet hooks, which are TSA approved? Metal or plastic? This is a frequently asked question in the crochet world. The good news is, according to the TSA’s current guidelines, both metal and plastic crochet hooks are generally approved for carry-on! Having said that, there may be some exceptions based on the size of the crochet hook.
2. Does Hook Size Matter?
Most crochet hooks are good to go in your carry-on. However, if you have smaller, sharp metal crochet hooks, they might present a problem during security screenings. These hooks would be best left at home or packed in your checked luggage.
3. Yes or No to Scissors?
Scissors: Can you carry-on your scissors? The answer is typically yes — but with special instructions: Scissors must be less than 4 inches from the pivot point — even better if they are rounded-tip safety scissors.
There’s always a possibility of these guidelines changing, so it’s best to leave your favorite pair of scissors at home.
Our readers have suggested nail clippers or an empty dental floss container in lieu of scissors. According to the TSA’s website, nail clippers are allowed for carry-on, but some of our readers have reported that their nail clippers have come under close scrutiny at foreign airports.
(And Now a Word about Circular Cutters, Needles and Yarn… Oh My!)
Circular Thread Cutters
Circular thread cutters (such as this Clover Yarn Cutter Pendant) or other types of cutters containing a blade are not allowed in your carry-on bag (or on your person) and will be confiscated at the TSA checkpoint.
These types of cutters must be carefully wrapped and placed in checked baggage only.
Generally, sewing needles are allowed in your carry-on, so if you need to weave in those dreaded ends while you’re on a flight, you should be fine.
You’d think there’d be no problem carrying yarn on the plane! It’s so soft… However, I was flagged at a TSA screening checkpoint in Los Angeles for my yarn. I was required to remove the yarn from my carry-on bag so they could test each skein for explosive residue.
Although this type of screening is not typical, it reminds us of the importance of allowing plenty of time to process through airport security screening checkpoints.
4. Where Do I Pack Them?
If you’re planning on crocheting during flight, it’s best to have your crochet items in a small bag you can stow under the seat in front of you. Although most flights allow access to overhead bins during flight, it can be complicated to fish through your carry-on bag mid-flight, so be sure to have your crochet bag in hand when you board.
If you’re set on bringing along sharp metal hooks and sharp/large scissors or thread cutters, you will need to pack these items in your checked baggage. Just remember sharp items must be securely wrapped as to prevent injury to baggage handlers or inspectors.
As TSA security guidelines can change from time to time, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration What Can I Bring webpage before preparing for your flight. There’s a search function on the page which allows for you to check current guidelines. For TSA’s What Can I Bring webpage, click HERE
Although we have provided you with the current guidelines listed on the TSA’s website, these guidelines are always subject to change. It’s also important to note that even if an object shows as acceptable for carry-on, the final decision rests with the TSA officer as to whether an item is allowed through the security checkpoint.
P.s. We are giving away a set of hooks that are TSA approved!
Safe travels and happy crocheting!