How to Fly with a Fountain Pen
Is it acceptable to bring a fountain pen on a plane? Will they be watertight?
The short response to the question of whether or not it is possible to fly with a fountain pen is "Yes."
When traveling with a fountain pen, the risk of ink spilling from the pen as a result of changes in cabin pressure is something that should be considered. Would the capillary action and gravity within a fountain pen allow the ink to leak, and if so, how can you stop the ink from getting all over the place if it does leak?
The vast majority of contemporary fountain pens are completely acceptable for carry-on luggage on airplanes. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your fountain pen will not leak while you are traveling.
First, taking out the fountain pen ink and giving the pen a good cleaning is the simplest and most obvious thing you can do to make sure your pen does not leak. It should go without saying that the pen will not drip ink if it is empty.
The second not so obvious thing to do is to fly with an ink-filled fountain pen. As a result of the fact that it is the air that expands when pressure is applied, an empty fountain pen does not have any air to expand and drive the ink out of the pen. It is highly likely that a pen that is only partially full would spill.
Third Always keep the point facing up. By orienting the nib such that it points upward, you can assist prevent the ink from leaking out of the pen as a result of gravity or additional pressure. Most pens will naturally have their nibs skyward unless they are in your luggage resting horizontally.
If you want to use your pen while in flight, the best time to do so is during regular cruising altitudes; you should not use it when climbing or descending. The most significant shifts in pressure tend to occur around these dates.
Put your fountain pen in a ziplock bag if you are still anxious about flying with it. FifthIf you are still nervous about flying with your fountain pen, put the pen in a ziplock bag. This will ensure that any leaking ink is contained within the bag.
As long as you are familiar with a few basic pointers and instructions, using a fountain pen while flying won't be an issue for most modern pens. Have a pleasant flight!
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