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Travelling With Fountain Pens?

pens cases travel packing ink ink bottles

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13 replies to this topic

#1 rumbleroar

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 23:43

Hey guys, I'm going to China for a few months this coming year, and I can only take one suitcase and one carryon with me.  I cannot, for obvious reasons, be without my trusty Lamy Safari for this long, and so how best to transport it?  Is it safe to bring it filled onto the plane with me, so I can write during that 12 hour plane ride?  Or will it get ink everywhere? Can I write with it while airborne, or will the air pressure make it go all wonky? Also, how do I travel with ink safely?

How do you guys deal with planes and pens?  Whats the best way to pack them?  Thank you!



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#2 studiohead

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:02

Honestly, in your pocket or in a ziplock bag. As long as you don't use it during take off and landing, you will be fine. Do note that there are more issues about fountain pens in China then actually worrying about bringing a pen up the plane. Fountain Pen ink can be found dirt cheap in China for local brands but getting replacement Lamy nibs can be worrying as I notice lots of OEM Nibs which will fit Lamy pens when doing a search on taobao yesterday. Western Fountain Pens are not cheap in China but local ones are cheap. Look for the Stationary Wholesale centers for good deals on Chinese Pens. (Look up Internet Prices on taobao.com to make sure you are getting a bargain) Departmental Stores and Stationary Stores will try to sell them for RRP or over RRP. 

 

You might want to stock up on a replacement nib just in case you damage the tines. I believe that Goulet is having a sale right now on them just in case if you don't know how to repair them.

 

Inks wise, what I do is keep them in a ziplock bag and drop it into my luggage, (Make sure it doesn't shift around so much so for padding) I travel with 30 plus bottles of inks especially from the US helping the local community organize group buys as we cannot get certain things here locally in Singapore.


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#3 koofle

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:18

I recently went on a flight with pens, and though most of them were uninked out of precaution, I did have a half full cartridge of black in my Pilot 78G F and a converter full of brown in a B nib 78G. No disastrous fountaining happened when I took them out to write with on the plane, though I did store them upright.

I think that's all that matters really, storing them upright. On the return trip I had multiple inked pens with no spillage issues whatsoever in my pen wrap.
I do weekly informal video reviews of pens/papers/inks in the style of my silly written reviews at the <a class='bbc_url' href='http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYpvSpwJuaT0OxsxhzM1e7w'>Inquisitive Quill youtube.</a><p>I am also very active on <a class='bbc_url' href=https://www.instagram.com/inquisitivequill/>instagram.</a>

#4 Newjelan

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:17

I fly a couple of times a month always with 3 or more inked pens in my carryon. I haven't had any problems and I don't store them upright, just in a pencil case in my bag. I don't use often them in flight though.

 

This topic has been covered quite a bit on this site, so clearly there is still plenty of concern.

 

While I'm not saying there isn't ever a problem, I think the disaster stories about fountain pens and planes are based more on the past when the cabin pressure was less reliable.



#5 richardandtracy

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:22

Nib up during altitude changes & there should be no problems with any cartridge/cc pen.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.



#6 linearM

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 13:45

When I am flying I usually have a sketch book and sketch fellow passengers. My sketch pen is a Noodler's and have never had any problem.  I have had aproblem a Parker Duovac, but it was just a matter of wiping the nib and section and inside of the cap after landing and I was good to go.  The Duovac was in my carry-on and the Noodler's was in my pocket.



#7 ethernautrix

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 15:58

I've taken a couple of long trips this year and carried several fountain pens, inked -- two vintage pens leaked into the cap (I wasn't very careful about keeping all pens upright, probably from kicking my backpack in my sleep), but my Nakayas, even partially filled (not full, not empty), were fine. I even used them during the flights with no problem. None of my modern pens leaked.


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#8 de_pen_dent

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 16:14

I fly a lot - at one time, I used to be very fastidious about keeping the pens nib up (would take the pen case out of my carryon and stash in the seat pocket in front).   Now, I just keep one point on my person, nib up in my pocket, and leave the rest in my bag.   I try to keep the bag upright, but that doesnt always happen.    Never had a problem once, except a lever-filler expelled a few drops of ink into the cap once.

 

Just yesterday, I took 2 flights.   10 pens with varying levels of ink.   No problems.


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#9 flyingfox

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 16:28

I think it has more to do with the number of altitude changes the pen goes through, rather than the length of the flight itself.  After all, liquid coffee creamers sometimes leak overtime.  The little plastic container expands in the higher altitude, pushes the seal just a wee bit, and that "wee bit," after enough flights, is enough to break the seal.  Yea, like the proverbial rain drop drawing a hole on a rock, or ant nests destroying the foundation of a building.

 

Having said that, even when I fly more than 5 "legs"/ flights a day (I work as a flight attendant,) I have never had a pen leak.  Not even the "ink in the cap" disaster.  I usually carry one in my bag, in a Ziplock bag.  Try to keep it nib-up, but it sometimes goes horizontal in my bag.  I try to keep it full, but even when they are half-full/ half-empty, still no problem.  I, however, never write with my fountain pen during the flight.  (I am busy working anyway, and I am afraid that a passenger would walk away with it.  Free ballpoints from random hotels are perfect for giving away to fill out customs forms/ crosswords/ whatever.)

 

Incidentally, I usually fly with a Platinum Plaisir or Preppy. 



#10 Dillo

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 03:15

Hi,

 

I've flown several times with pens and haven't really had any problems. They seem to adjust just fine to the air pressure, and I wouldn't worry too much. Have a good trip!

 

Dillon


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#11 Buzz_130

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 10:29

As a frequent traveler travelling to/from the US and out across the Pacific, I've carried modern and vintage pens from Europe, Japan, and the US.  I've flown with them empty, full, and somewhere between.  Cartridge, piston, converter--doesn't matter.  I have a small carrying bag for the five pens I bring with me on every trip, and I simply take this one case out and put them nib up in the seat pocket in front of me.  After level-off, I've written pages of notes, customs forms, and just ideas on lots of paper with no issues or problems.  Descent is not a problem with pressurization and fountain pens.

 

Enjoy your trip--the 12 hour flight will be worth it!

 

Buzz



#12 ArtsNibs

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 19:54

When I am flying I usually have a sketch book and sketch fellow passengers. My sketch pen is a Noodler's and have never had any problem.  I have had aproblem a Parker Duovac, but it was just a matter of wiping the nib and section and inside of the cap after landing and I was good to go.  The Duovac was in my carry-on and the Noodler's was in my pocket.

Do they know you're sketching them? I can't help but think I'd be concerned if someone was drawing me :unsure:  


@arts_nibs

#13 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:38

You will certainly have no problems with a Visconti double reservoir filling system, an Onoto plunger filler or a Conid bulkfiller. These pens have all double reservoirs, a little one used for writing, which you can fill from the second huge reservoir. Even if the first reservoir leaks the amount of ink lost is minimal and you still got a  huge amount of ink left. 



#14 Ted A

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 18:38

I just got back from Italy. I took 2 Kaweco Sports with me. Both had full cartridges on the way over and half full on the way back. Neither leaked on the way over, one leaked a lot on the way back and the other didn't leak at all. I wrote with both in the air, but not while climbing and landing.


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