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Fountain Pens in Hand Luggage: Allowed?

Fountain Pens in Hand Luggage: Allowed?

Fountain Pen in Hand Luggage


Is a fountain pen permitted in hand luggage?

You may carry a fountain pen in your hand luggage. Although a fountain pen contains liquid and the tip of the fountain pen is relatively pointed, you will most likely not face any problems at the security checkpoint with it. Practical experience has shown that fountain pens do not necessarily have to be transported in the bag for liquids in hand luggage.


What is the best way to transport your fountain pen in hand luggage?

A fountain pen is likely to leak in an airplane, which can lead to a huge souring. I would, therefore, like to give you three good tips so that such a mess can be avoided.

  • Whenever possible, transport the fountain pen with the nib (cap) upwards. Especially in the plane!
  • A fully loaded fountain pen is more leak-proof in the aircraft than a half-empty fountain pen (with reduced air pressure and too little ink, the air bubble in the tank can expand and the ink is pressed out).
  • If you have a shirt pocket, it is best to attach your fountain pen (for the flight) to it, as this guarantees that the fountain pen will stand upright during the flight.
  • If you do not intend to use your fountain pen during the flight, you just might as well consider carrying the pen empty. If there is no ink in your fountain pen, air travel with the pen – stowed in hand luggage – will be safe.

Also, it should be noted that ‘leakage safety’ also depends to a large extent on the brand chosen and therefore on the quality of the fountain pen. While modern pens are usually suitable for air travels, older pens might leak.

Reports on fountain pens used on air travel can be found in several related online forums.

There you will find reports about fountain pens of different brands, and if your question has not already been answered, it might be a good idea to just open a new thread in one of those forums.

Try one of these forums for best results:

You will find many threads about fountain pens in relation with traveling in these forums. Pen brands such as Pelikan, Lamy, Sheaffer, Montblanc, and Aurora are regularly discussed in these forums.

For some interesting discussions about “Flying with Fountain Pens,” you might want to have a look at this thread here.

Another good thread on the topic can be found here. 

You will see that there are many different opinions on the topic. But most of the fountain pen enthusiasts think that your fountain pen should either be fully loaded or totally empty in order to avoid leakage.


What about ink bottles in hand luggage?

Inkpots in hand luggage usually do not lead to problems either. Due to the rule for liquids in hand luggage, you must, of course, make sure that you have travel ink drums with you that do not have more than 100 ml capacity.

However, this is usually not a problem, since most conventional inkpots only have a capacity of 30 to 60 ml.

In principle, such liquids would then have to be stored in the bag for liquids. In practice, however, the inkpots hardly disturb anyone at the security checkpoint, even if they are transported outside the bag.

However, if you want to be on the safe side, pack the ink bottles in the bag. The same applies to ink cartridges, by the way.

Please have a look at the discussion thread “Flying with a new bottle of ink” for some meanings and evaluations of some fountain pen enthusiasts.


Bring a fountain pen with you in your checked baggage

Fountain pens are allowed in checked baggage. There are no problems with the ink liquid, as there is no 100 ml restriction for liquids in checked baggage.

The problem with the carriage in checked baggage is that you can’t really make sure that the fountain pen is pointing upwards during transport. The risk of leakage is therefore relatively high.

So if you really want to carry your fountain pen in checked baggage, it is best to leave it unfilled.


Related Questions

Are Montblanc fountain pens suitable for use in the airplane? While there is virtually no fountain pen that is 100% leak-proof, Montblanc fountain pens are usually a good and safe choice. For instance, the “Montblanc Meisterstück” and the “Montblanc Traveller” come to mind. Montblanc also has very nice writing instrument pouches, bags and cases. You can find them on Amazon: Montblanc Pouches & Cases.

Are fountain pens allowed when travelling to/within the USAYes. The same rules apply as when travelling in the EU. If you have specific questions about “delicate items” in hand luggage, you can contact the TSA via their Twitter Channel AskTSA.

Are ballpoint pens allowed in hand luggage? Ballpoint pens may be carried in carry-on bags. Learn more about this topic in our article “(Ballpoint) Pens in Hand Luggage: Allowed?”

Are you allowed to carry pencils in hand luggage? Yes, you are allowed to bring them in your carry-on bag. The same also goes for Pencil Sharpeners.

Why are fountain pens not allowed in hand luggage? You might stumble upon sources/resources on the internet who claim that fountain pens are not allowed in hand luggage. This claim is false, though. Fountain pens are indeed allowed in hand luggage. There is obviously a risk of leakage, but they are allowed.