Knit while you fly

By | Category: Travel rumblings
using knitting needles during a flight

knitting away on board the flight to Hamburg

Just before Christmas one of our writers flew from Manchester to Hamburg. In her hand luggage she took her knitting so that she could while away the flight.

Before she flew she rang the airline, Eurowings, and Manchester Airport and was told that taking her wooden knitting needles as hand luggage was fine. The bamboo knitting needles were used openly during the flight as the image here suggests.

My argument is not with the airport or the airline but with “the system,” a system that allows some sharp pointed implements to be taken on flights whilst other are banned.

When the writer rang me and asked if I knew the rules on carrying knitting needles on flights my first thought would be that they wouldn’t be allowed. I remembered a flight from Tasmania to the Australian mainland many years ago when a passenger attacked a cabin crew member with a wooden chop stick causing injury.

Surely knitting needles which are sharply pointed compared to a chopstick would be banned but no. Wooden items cannot be identified by security machines but, nonetheless, why shouldn’t they be banned given the injuries that could be inflicted. Potentially they are more vicious than nail-cutters which were banned for a while and tweezers.

The rules on the government advice site state, “You can’t take any objects in your hand baggage that could cause injury to yourself and other passengers” which leaves interpretation wide open because almost anything can cause injury such as glass bottles in which spirits are often served.

No wonder people get so many things confiscated and why there is confusion.

You can carry scissors now as long as the blade is no longer than six centimetres but I can’t carry a corkscrew. I can carry a sewing needle but not a set of darts, the tips of which are certainly shorter than six centimetres. I can carry a travel iron but not a table tennis bat yet the iron would do more damage if used aggressively.

As we prepare for a new travel year, it is time that some thought was given to clearing up confusion in what a passenger is allowed to or not allowed to take on a flight. And why, if the government says, items can be carried, is there a rider on the website saying that airline/airport  security can confiscate anything they deem to be a security risk?

Don’t even get me started on liquids. The 100ml rule is daft as many security experts will tell you. Why not 90ml or 125ml? You can take sterilised water for a baby in a bottle over 100ml but it must be in a baby bottle and might be tested. So why then can’t you take an ordinary bottle of water above 100ml? The answer could be as simple as there are fewer parents to check carrying baby foods than adults carrying water bottles if the 100 ml rule was removed.

And there I will stop. Before I get carried away with what airline staff carry and airlines carry as part of their services to passengers. And what some airports sell airside.

I might as well end the year as I started. In annoyance and frustration.

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