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Thread: Sewing machines on airlines?

  1. #1
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    Sewing machines on airlines?

    I have to travel to NYS next week to babysit for two weeks while my BIL has heart surgery in Ohio. This is going to put a crimp in my gift making plans, so I'm thinking of taking my FW in my carryon. Has anyone ever taken a machine on a plane? Will the airline give me any hassle, or TSA?? Mat & rotary cutter will go in my checked bag, along with needles (and you can be sure, there will be prayers said for that suitcase's safe and timely arrival!).

    Any advice? Thanks bunches!
    aka Chicken McLittle

    If it's true we learn from our mistakes, I'm going to be a genius!

  2. #2
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    It's no problem. I took my Innovis-D in my carry-on when I went to Seattle. TSA will open the case and swab it for explosive residue, but other than that it'll be okay. Make sure you put all your scissors, needles, pins, etc., in your checked baggage and not with the FW.

  3. #3
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    Would it be necessary to remove the needle from the machine before carrying it on?

  4. #4
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Would it be necessary to remove the needle from the machine before carrying it on?
    I think I would remove it just to be on the safe side. Better than having it confiscated!

  5. #5
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    I have traveled with my FW many times... lay it on it's side and it fits under the seat, just like any other carry on....

  6. #6
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    Thanks! Good to know I won't have a problem.
    aka Chicken McLittle

    If it's true we learn from our mistakes, I'm going to be a genius!

  7. #7
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    I've carried my machine on board many times with the needle in place with no problems and I never had any problems.
    Have a wonderful time.

  8. #8
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    I bought an old Singer while on a trip and carried it on the airplane. It was wrapped and tapped for travel. it went through the scanner and the guy just kind of questioned what it was and joked with my husband about it being a sewing machine.
    Have a great trip.

  9. #9
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    If you keep an oil can in the case you may want to remove it or make sure that it is under the allowed weight limit for fluid. Also pad it well you may need to lay it on its side.

  10. #10
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    this is good to know. I have often wondered about traveling with a sewing machine. Now I can rest easy knowing if I need to I can travel with my machine.
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Just do not let them put it in the baggage compartment, where it will be subject to all kinds of bad treatment. If you're traveling at all on a small commuter plane, you may have to hand it over on the tarmac when you board the plane, so be sure to tell them to be careful with it! I think I would be tempted to put some additional padding inside the case, just in case.

  12. #12
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I have traveled with my FW numerous times. She has been swabbed for drugs, used for training, and admired! I found a rolling backpack that she fits is perfectly. I precut my project , ziploc bag it and use it for padding. My parents think I'm kinda loony (my mom still has the sewing machine I learned on, but we have a hate-hate relationship!), but my husband is so used to me traveling with it, he looks for it if its not with the rest of my things! (hey! HE takes his golf clubs!!!) Happy Sewing!
    Beth in AZ
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    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    I have traveled with my FW many times... lay it on it's side and it fits under the seat, just like any other carry on....
    Some flights do not have that space, if the plane is a smaller jet *wink*
    Also, some flights have been limiting carryons to 1 per person, but they don't tell you that until right before boarding. Then they ask you to hand them your second bag to put in the hold.
    “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson

  14. #14
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    You need to call your airline to make sure. All of the airlines have different regulations and you sure wouldn't like to be told at the the scanner that you can't take it on....

  15. #15
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    I don't fly but wanted to say; Have a good trip Maryann!
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  16. #16
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    My friend flew with her small machine recently, and she still had the original packaging for it, which fit within the airlines carry on limits. She then packed it into a small tote bag.The scanning folks kept sending it back and forth, and calling other staff over etc. Finally they asked her - "This looks like a sewing machine, are we right?" She just laughed and confirmed, and they opened it up. I guess for this bunch, it was their first time ever seeing anyone "carry on" one.

  17. #17
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    I asked about this a while back as TSA and airlines were not helpful, just repeated their standard guff. I ended up strapping the FW into a small suitcase, padded well, and checked it in. It arrived safe and sound.

  18. #18
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    I didn't take my machine! BUT, I did take an embroidery project from PA-FL...with a needle and a small scissors!! They allow a scissors up to a 4" blade!! I couldn't believe it! and the 'guidelines' said nothing about a needle! went thru security without a hitch coming & going! GOOD LUCK to you! & enjoy sewing...of course!

  19. #19
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    If you're going to be near me in central NY, I'd be happy to lend you a machine. I've been buying older all steel ZZ machines to refurbish and, hopefully, sell next summer in a garage sale. They all work perfectly and I would not mind lending them out to another member of the group. If you're not going to be too far from me I'll even deliver it.

  20. #20
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    I'd call the airline, and possibly TSA. It should be no problem, but what would happen if they said no? I also think it might
    depend on the airline. I almost took one of my machines on a recent trip, and I called the airline (Delta). The agent wasn't sure, so she checked with her supervisor. The answer was yes - but I'd call anyway.

  21. #21
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    I have traveled with my FW as well. I did as was suggested here and removed my oil and needles. I also padded it with fabric. You should be fine so happy trails.

  22. #22
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    I flew To Oregon last aug. to visit my sister. She gave me an old button hole attachment to give to my daughter. I put it in my carry on. When they scanned the bag I had to step out of the line, and they took me and my bag to a more private area. They emptied my suitcase. When they opened that box they pointed at it and asked what is this? Then they took the box and its contents and showed it to someone else, when they came back I was free to go, and they gave it back to me. It was not a very good experience.

  23. #23
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    My friend came to visit me and she brought her rotary cutter and I gave her a new seam ripper. When she went back they took both out of her checked luggage! I am not sure I would trust them at all. Might want to mail the small things ahead of time and just carry the machine.
    I am Mimi for 2.

  24. #24
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    I travelled from SLC to LAX and then onto Sydney, Australia last month with my brand new Juki F600. I wrapped it in bubble wrap and padded my carry-on with cotton balls as it was pretty heavy. No problems at all. I did remove needles, scissors and pins. Loving my new machine although I have to use a power transformer here. I am happily sewing everyday.

  25. #25
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    I have a 730 Bernina with embroidery attachment and have carried it on Southwest and also on Continental Express. Call your airline and see if it is OK. Continental Express said I would have to check it and I told them they weren't throwing a 12,000 Dollar machine around like they did my luggage. They finally said " Well try the overhead bin. It didn't fit so, I sat with it underneath my legs during the flight.

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