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Flying With Fountain Pens



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There are many videos online talking about the issues about flying with fountain pens.

 

To keep it short, simply do the following step.

 

1. If possible, empty and clean the pen before flying.

 

2. If 1 is not possible, make sure you fill as much ink as possible before the flight, making sure there is no/little air left in the pen. If you are using a converter, this could be easy, if you are using a cartridge, this could mean that you need to change a new cartridge.

 

3. Based on 2, make sure you put your pen in a upright position (nib to the sky).

 

4. If you need to use the pen during the flight, make sure you do it after the flight goes to 10,000 feet above, so that the cabin pressure won't be always changing(this one is my personal advice).

Edited by Innocentius
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There are many videos online talking about the issues about flying with fountain pens.

 

To keep it short, simply do the following step.

 

1. If possible, empty and clean the pen before flying.

 

2. If 1 is not possible, make sure you fill as much ink as possible before the flight, making sure there is no/little air left in the pen. If you are using a converter, this could be easy, if you are using a cartridge, this could mean that you need to change a new cartridge.

 

3. Based on 2, make sure you put your pen in a upright position (nib to the sky).

 

4. If you need to use the pen during the flight, make sure you do it after the flight goes to 10,000 feet above, so that the cabin pressure won't be always changing(this one is my personal advice).

Thank you.

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Lots of articles and discussions on this exact issue. Many will advise to empty the pens before flight. This creates the challenge of bringing ink in an environment of only carrying the correct fl oz/ml of fluids through security. Others will say only fly with pens full. This is good advice because you will have full pens and limit the air within the body of the pen.

 

If you choose to carry a pen that's neither full nor empty, you can. As the aircraft climbs, any air pocket in the body of the pen will have higher pressure air than what will be present in the cabin. As a result, the air will make it way out through the path of least resistance--through your ink if you don't have it pointed nib up.

 

Fly with your pen nib up until level off. Use as you please.

 

Buzz

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As per the above. Full, nib up. With the added security of a shut-off valve on the Conid and Koloro. I'll probably get the upcoming Penbbs 456 vacuum filler as well.

 

edit: To add - maximum ink capacity, which may obviate the need for additional ink.

Edited by Karmachanic

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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+1 to all the above

 

I've been travelling for years with pens that weren't either full either (always) completely full (I am just too lazy to be bothered with checking ink levels), and never had a serious leak, just very ocasional droplets of ink on the nib. Just bring a kleenex and, if you see that, maybe try to clean the inside of the cap too, although there'd be probably no need at all.

 

I always try to travel with them upwards but sometimes this is not possible and they travel horizontally or god-knows-how. No catastrophe ever happened.

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I have travelled a lot with inked pens both in my pocket as well in my hand baggage and have never encountered incidents of my them leaking. Good luck perhaps.

Khan M. Ilyas

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+1 again to all of the above.

 

I have taken fountain pens on many commercial flights as well as on my own flying time. As long as the cabin is pressurized (commercial aircraft all are at around 8000 feet) and you store your pens nib up, full or empty, and keep them in ziploc bags with a paper towel or two ready just in case, you should be good.

 

The ONLY leak I ever had was a TWSBI Vac Mini that had cracks around the section threads. Not the aircraft's fault.

 

Good luck!

Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I found out long ago.

~C.S. Lewis

--------------

Current Rotation:

Edison Menlo <m italic>, Lamy 2000 <EF>, Wing Sung 601 <F>

Pilot VP <F>, Pilot Metropolitan <F>, Pilot Penmanship <EF>

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I dont pay attention to how full my pens are before a flight, as long as they fly nib up Im fine. My most recent flight I even took the added step of using a shutoff valve in a Pilot 823. This worked great until mid flight while working I needed to open the valve and forgot to do so with the nib up. Fortunately the pen was sideways and partially empty so there wasnt a big mess. The other pen I had on me also had a valve and I made sure the nib was straight up before opening.

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The only pen I've ever had that made a mess in flight was a Kaweco Sport, and maybe it would have been okay had I not tried to use it to fill out my customs declaration.

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Keep really low.

 

This is probably the first use of a fountain pen in an airplane. It seems to have happened right about the same day as the first airmail delivery. This was published Sept. 30, 1911. Ovington made the very first airmail flight ever (in a plane) only a week before, Sept. 23.

 

fpn_1538353870__1911_first_fountain_pen_

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

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inkstainedruth

One other piece of advice which nobody has mentioned: don't have a pen in your pocket or clipped to your neckline when you go through the TSA screening. Almost lost my Dark Lilac Safari that way a couple of summers ago when flying to the Pacific Northwest for a family wedding. Had been writing something just before so I clipped the pen to my shirt. Had to take it off before going through x-ray and the bin it was in had another bin put on top of it before I got through the screening.... :angry:

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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We see the topic about three times every year, so lots of research you can do.

 

I maintain a that a fountain leaks or it doesn’t. There’s nothing you can really do, except emptying the pen, that absolutely totally guarantees it will not leak. This is a binary event, regardless of what anyone claims works for them, using their pens, on their flights. Might work for you. Might not.

 

My pens leak about one in five flights.

 

Do not carry your pens. You will live without them for a few hours. Use a nice felt tip or a nice mechanical pencil if you must write during the flight. Put your pens in ziplocks. Put them in checked baggage. Be prepared to clean up a small mess when you unpack.

 

Or maybe none of them leaked.

 

This time.

I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

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BaronWulfraed

Back when I was employed, and making two or three TDY trips a year (due to the way the airlines work, that meant 3 or 4 flights per round-trip) I believe I'd only had three "leaks" occur over a 15 year period. I seem to recall them occurring during bouts when I'd zombied out and slouched sideways in my seat. Only one leaked enough to get out of the cap (the others were caught over the tray when taking the caps off).

 

I've always favored the "full or empty" travel mode -- so my return trips often had me swapping in a cartridge rather than use a half-full converter.

 

A full pen with just a small air bubble should not expand more than what can be held by the fins in the feed (which might be an admission that pens with small, smooth, feeds may not qualify); conversely, an empty pen (no more than a small drop) doesn't have enough ink to over-flood the fins of the feed.

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We see the topic about three times every year, so lots of research you can do.

 

I maintain a that a fountain leaks or it doesn’t. There’s nothing you can really do, except emptying the pen, that absolutely totally guarantees it will not leak. This is a binary event, regardless of what anyone claims works for them, using their pens, on their flights. Might work for you. Might not.

 

My pens leak about one in five flights.

 

Do not carry your pens. You will live without them for a few hours. Use a nice felt tip or a nice mechanical pencil if you must write during the flight. Put your pens in ziplocks. Put them in checked baggage. Be prepared to clean up a small mess when you unpack.

 

Or maybe none of them leaked.

 

This time.

Thank you - I did try searching "flying," "fly," "airline," "altitude," and some other terms that occurred to me at the time. Those terms generated many responses - sometimes 31 pages - that appeared to me to have embedded responses, or "What is the best pen for airlines." I was unable to locate a title devoted to what to do to prepare in general. Perhaps I should have been more patient and searched those longer threads.

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I've never taken any special precautions, and never had a problem. Here's my Platinum Preppy eyedropper, at the airport bar:

 

602984_10201047247776579_1202123418_n.jp

Paige Paigen

Gemma Seymour, Founder & Designer

Paige Paigen

Custom Personal Organiser Products

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Honeybadgers

I won't fly with an inked pen unless that pen has a shutoff valve, so that limits me to japanese eyedroppers, my VAC700R, my VAC mini, and my Visconti Homo Sapiens in that regard.

 

Otherwise, just keep an ink sample vial for travel or a visconti traveling inkwell or a TWSBI traveling inkwell. Or get a noodlers ahab and some 308 refillable cartridges that can be removed and re-capped and left in the barrel before flight.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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Have carried a lot of pens (always in my shirt pocket). The Carene has leaked both times I carried it. None of the others leaked.

A lifelong FP user...

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