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Thread: Flying With Sewing Machine

  1. #1
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    Flying With Sewing Machine

    My sister is flying back to Racine Wisconsin and she is taking a 301A sewing machine with her. She will be flying on Southwest Airlines. Does anyone have any experience flying with a sewing machine. In other words, will the airlines let you put the sewing machine in the overhead compartments? Is there a problem with checking it thru the scanner? If you have to check it, is insurance available for purchase in case they damage it while loading it with other bags? Should it be marked with a fragile sign in case she has to check it? Would stuffing clothing in and around it protect it enough if it has to be checked. It will be traveling in a soft sided machine case? Lots of questions but we are looking for some help.

  2. #2
    Super Member Charming's Avatar
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    I can't wait for someone to answer this as i am traveling overseas probably beginning of January an it would be nice to know i can carry one with me. Thanks for bringing this up
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    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Try using the search function. We have had some discussion on this recently

  4. #4
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    Regarding using "fragile" tape... We had it all over some antique clocks we were bringing home after living in Asia for 10 years. We watched in horror as they tossed our suitcases from the dock into the plane! We had two suitcases filled with bedding and sleeping bags (the best padding we could come up with) with our clocks in the middle, and the check-in people covered the suitcases with "fragile" tape. One of the clocks still works, the other (our favorite) works again after a clock repair person went over it, but the Westminster chimes are so tiny and uneven that we no longer use it. Sigh. I'd be very reluctant to have it in the luggage area where you had no control over it's treatment.

    You are going to have to call up the airlines to find out. Maybe if you have no needles, scissors, or.....? (packing all that in your shipped through bags) they might let you take it on. Remember that it will have to go up high and that can be hard with a heavy sewing machine (unless they let you put it in a 1st class coat closet on the floor... but I'm not sure Southwest has first class).

    I'd go with a plan B.... rent or borrow a sewing machine while you on wherever you are going.

  5. #5
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Best answer, call the airlines!
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  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I agree, call the airline. I know Bonnie Hunter has posted here and there on her blog about traveling with her FW, you might read her experiences.

    Years ago I worked at the airport. One of my jobs was loading/unloading the bags from the belly of the plane. Just because it's marked "fragile" does NOT mean it will always be treated as such. Sometimes it is too dark to see. Sometimes the writing is not visible. Sometimes the employee is hurrying, trying to get the job done and doesn't take the time to read the side of the box before grabbing it. Sometimes the employee is a jerk and thinks it's funny to throw fragile items around. It's a crap shoot. If you have to check it, make sure it is packed very securely.

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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I agree, call the airline. I know Bonnie Hunter has posted here and there on her blog about traveling with her FW, you might read her experiences.

    Years ago I worked at the airport. One of my jobs was loading/unloading the bags from the belly of the plane. Just because it's marked "fragile" does NOT mean it will always be treated as such. Sometimes it is too dark to see. Sometimes the writing is not visible. Sometimes the employee is hurrying, trying to get the job done and doesn't take the time to read the side of the box before grabbing it. Sometimes the employee is a jerk and thinks it's funny to throw fragile items around. It's a crap shoot. If you have to check it, make sure it is packed very securely.
    You know, the part about "sometimes the employee is a jerk and thinks it's funny to throw fragile items around isn't funny to anyone, even that jerk. He has a chip on his shoulder!! There is nothing at all "funny" about throwing other people's fragile items around. You are right in calling him a jerk!! I hope someone reported him and he was fired! He needs to work away from the public.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  8. #8
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    I have traveled with my machine packed in a small suitcase - well padded. Be prepared to have security manually check your machine but I have always passed through just fine. I frequently travel Southwest.

  9. #9
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    In early December, I flew with my featherweight on Southwest airlines from Burbank - it just went into overhead compartment - I'd previously called the Burbank airport, and they said it was okay, and as I was going through the scanning area I told everyone that there was a sewing machine in there. There was no problem - and about 2 years ago, my husband flew with my 1980's Kenmore machine on Southwest - again, no problem. BUT, on a Southwest flight from Burbank in November this year, my husband was carrying an Ott lamp in his suitcase (for me, of course!), and they took the lamp out of the suitcase, opened the box, and everything. So... anyway, I believe the 301 will fit into the overhead compartment, and there shouldn't be a problem. Let us know the outcome! I left the needle in the machine. I think it's safest to carry it on... but... it will get heavy - if she has a portable luggage carrier, it will be easier to transport.
    Last edited by Ellietow; 12-20-2012 at 09:46 AM. Reason: spelling error

  10. #10
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    There is a great post on the ISMACs website: http://www.ismacs.net/sewing_machine...g-machine.html - shows transporting a 401 in a trapezoid case - it may help you a lot!

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