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Fountain Pens And Security


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Has anyone had an issue with carrying a fountain pen through airport security?

 

I haven't bothered trying, I don't want to lose an expensive pen, let alone my favourite writing instrument because someone in security decides that my metal pen constitutes a dangerous weapon on par with knitting needles!

 

Also, has anyone had an issue coming back into the country and being accused of trying to smuggle a high end fountain pen in without paying duties? I do know a couple of people who faced that with their camera and now carry around a little green card with the serial number on it, stamped by customs officials, that proves the camera/lens was bought in Canada.

 

Maybe I'm being excessively cautious, but I don't' want to risk it.

 

I have to admit, though, that when I'm sitting in a meeting taking notes I miss my pen.

Quid pro quo, but Vigilo vestri tergum

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I didn't have a pen with me when I went through my local airport, but I've had one the last 3 times I've been to MEPS and they didn't give me any trouble.

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I enjoy sketching with my pens while waiting for my flight. I have a Noodler's pen I use for sketching and tuck it in my carry on when going through security. I've never had any problem. I've had my other pens i use for correspondence tucked in my carry one (Pelikan M630 and Moore 92) and they never resulted in any problems. That doesn't mean that on a bad day a security person might decide you have a dangerous weapon. Remember the pen is mightier than the sword.

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One should get a custom 'stamp' or piece of paper before taking any high end product out of the country.

 

Once a month on one of the say 7-10 top channels in Germany they have a show on Customs, showing the idiots being caught smuggling...and going through live as an international smuggler of cheap booze. Stupid undeclared i-Pods....suddenly very expensive with the normal tax and the big fine. Can't bring in certain food products...and all those counterfeit name brand cloths.....confiscated...and a huge fine.

 

Alcohol tax is cheap....if you bought the good stuff a $4-5.00 more a bottle is cheap. Stupid to buy the cheap booze, it taxes the same if Seagram 7 or 21 year old Royal Salute.

 

Knowing when I went to the US a couple of years ago for a month, I'd be loading up on dirt Cheap Weaver's, jeans ($17-22 not €50-90.. ), and shirts ($17-20 ...not €50-70 ) and all sorts of other cloths...and anything else including bottles of the finest aged Bourbons, $35-50 on sale, I kept every receipt.

Marking which items I returned to Germany with. Went there with an big empty suitcase, bought a big cheap suitcase...paid the extra at the airport...still cheap...for what I had....7 years worth of clothes. The customs man was real happy, at making his job so easy...I slid on a bottle of booze and a couple of other stuff, like my Noodlers inks. :)

 

I actually had to ring on a bell to get some one to show up at items to declare section....a sneaky way to get idiots to by pass it...in hopes of not getting caught.

I was allowed to have some €360 free, paying a normal 20% tax I'd paid on any product bought in Germany. For over €1000 in goods I paid some €60-80.

 

Contact your customs, so they know you are taking expensive goods out, and returning with them....so much easier than having to pay a fine, go home dig out the receipt for your Rolex or Pelikan 1000 and 800's or other expensive pens...then going to customs yet again...to get back your money and become a non-smuggler.

It's not paranoia....they are out to get you....you smuggler you.... :angry:

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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I think the only thing they can really complain about is the ink inside, since technically you're supposed to put liquids in a plastic ziplock bag. But to comply with regulation, the container can't be more than 30 mL (I think), and no pen I know holds that much. Just dump the pen in the ziplock bag with you other liquids and it should comply with flight regulations.

 

For reference though, I've never had a problem. I don't travel too frequently, but when I do, I usually have 9 pens on me. I think when I go to Iceland in a few weeks, I'll only take three and a few sample vials.

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This has come up a few times before, and I can't remember anyone having particular trouble. The main worry is that the TSA front-liners are so very whimsical that a decision that you've got ill-smelling deodorant or your hair is parted on the wrong side can lead to confiscation of something. Having an FP grabbed is probably a little more likely than the same pen being destroyed by meteor strike and about as likely as it coming to harm because it's mashed between you and a seatbelt during an auto collision; it might happen, but you probably shouldn't plan your day around it.

Ravensmarch Pens & Books
It's mainly pens, just now....

Oh, good heavens. He's got a blog now, too.

 

fpn_1465330536__hwabutton.jpg

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I work in airport security at Stockholm Arlanda airport, and I am the only person here who cares about your fountain pen ;)

And no, we're not going to complain about the pen not being in the ziplock bag, because if we were that fastidious the line would grind to a halt and it would take hours to get to your flight...in the security checkpoint I work in you have to pass by six signs and a video telling you about the liquid restrictions and still people act clueless when it's their turn. Working here is a good way to feed your misanthropy ;)

 

Btw, if you don't come back to claim the pen you accidentally left behind it is very likely that it will get thrown in the trash at the end of the day as "it's just a pen". If it looks nice someone may save it from the trash to use for himself, although that is grounds for getting fired.

 

The limit on liquids is that each container may not be larger than 100ml (about 3.4 fl oz).

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No problems carrying fountain pens or fountain pens filled with ink. I've flown at least 20 times including from the US to or through China, Canada, England, France, Belgium & Italy. I was once asked what I had in my carry on when my carry on bag was scanned (something looked metal & pointy). I said, "Inked fountain pen." They just waived me through without even opening the bag. Of course when I carry pens I typically bring them in a sealed sandwich bag and any bottles of ink, also sandwich bagged with a paper towel in the baggie just in case of leaks, are always carried in my check on luggage and never with my carry on. Not even a question at customs, but then the fountain pens are never in original boxes when I travel and I never carry more than three or four.

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I used to fly twice a week (domestically,) and always had 3 pens in my pocket and another 3 in a pen case in my laptop bag.

Out of approximately 100 flights, I was only asked about them twice. One time was a serious, "what are those," but the other was a TSA agent who know about FPs and want to chat.

 

greg

Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

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Last year at Toronto's Pearson, I was asked not about my one Sailor in its leather case & a pack of carts, but about the small Pelican hard case that held them. Through the airport security in Vienna, nobody blinked.

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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just dont leave a pack of gum on your back right pocket. sets all kind of alarms on the nudie scanners.... not that i actually did that i did that at FSD or anything like that.

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There are other threads here on FPN with many more stories. My only stoppage out of dozens of flights the prior 13 years was in the OP's home country from the U.S.! Vancouver entry folks wanted to take out and take apart my pens. I had to explain threaded and snap caps and REALLY resist reaching over the counter to "help" him with the examination. "Why was I carrying so many?" Ummm, I try different ones and, during my conference, intended to get into Vancouver's many pen stores to buy and swap. I think he was afraid they were truly high end jewelry, and perhaps I intended to sell them in the country without declaring the profits. Or something.....Not really sure. All the other airports, nada.

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About customs, I haven't traveled out of the US in a long time, since last century in fact, and I wasn't carrying fountain pens then. I wonder, just on a common sense basis, whether customs might be more likely to suspect you of smuggling if you were bringing a case that held 10 pens rather than pen slip with one or two. Of course, some people do like to carry a big selection of pens, but it would probably seem odd to a non-enthusiast. None of my pens are worth an enormous amount, but some of my vintage ones with gold nibs might look luxurious. I doubt if an inspector would be able to tell a $100 pen from a $1000 one without some research. BoBo's suggestion of getting it certified before you leave seems sensible, but also an intrusive hassle for a citizen who just wants to keep his stuff with him. Don't know how that works in the US. I might also be able to dig up copies of the receipts for the pens I was taking with me.

 

Hadn't really worried, on domestic flights, about one being confiscated as a potential weapon. I've carried various models of fountain pen, not sure that I can remember all of them, but a couple must have had fairly vicious looking nibs. The TSA has not even taken of them out of my bag. I'm not saying it couldn't happen if there were an unusually high degree of vigilance. An agent is probably not going to get in trouble for being too cautious.

 

I've wondered about bottles of ink. I've carried a vial, hand labeled by me, and not had it be an issue, but that might have been the particular inspector.

"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

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Getting a customs stamped list prior to departure is a VERY OLD procedure. I remember reading that recommendation back in the 1970s for cameras. Especially if you carry a significant amount of stuff, like I did. What was a normal kit for me was a very abnormal kit for the average person who only carried a body with the attached lens. Today, I can't carry that amount of gear. Comes from getting old and injuring my back.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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