There are many reasons that you may want to bring pins on a plane. If you are wearing or bringing a suit on your flight, you may attach a lapel pin to it.
Or maybe you need some safety pins for your clothes or a variety of other uses. But are pins allowed on planes?
Yes, pins are allowed on planes. You can bring safety pins, lapel pins, and decorative pins onto airplanes with no issues, and they can go into your checked bags or through security and onto the plane with you. According to AskTSA, buttons, pins, and hair pins are allowed when you travel.
This article will explain what decorative pins are, whether or not you can wear lapel pins through security, and how pins and the metals that they are made of affect metal detectors. There are also tips for packing decorative pins.
What is a Decorative Pin?
Decorative pins, also known as lapel pins, have a small design on them, such as a country’s flag, a logo, or a small picture.
They are often worn on coats or suit jackets as a small decoration. Some people also stick them on hats or bags.
Pins are also a common souvenir, which is why you may be wondering whether or not you can bring them onto a plane. You do not want to buy one as a souvenir then not be able to bring it home.
It is easy to forget that you have a pin on you or your belongings right before you need to go through airport security, but you will be fine to take them with you. Whether they are on your clothes, hat, backpack, or just by themselves, you can bring them through the airport and onto the plane.
While it may seem like an uncommon object to bring on a plane, many people have questions about decorative pins. Another uncommon object you may need to bring on a plane is flowers, and you can learn about bringing flowers onto a plane here.
Can I Wear a Lapel Pin Through Airport Security?
Yes, you can have your lapel pin with you when you go through airport security but it is recommended to have them on a piece of clothing like a jacket or your carry-on bag that can easily be set on the conveyor belt for the metal detector.
If you wear your decorate pins and the metal sets off an alarm for any reason, you will have to go through a pat down from one of the security officers on duty. You can ask to have the pat down in private if you prefer, and you may need to remove the pin for inspection.
If you choose to place your lapel pin in a bag on the conveyor belt instead of wearing it, it could also set off the alarm. The security officers will search your bag for any prohibited items, but you will be able to keep your lapel pin since it is allowed on a plane.
If a security officer is searching your bag or your person and you have a lapel pin, be sure to warn them as the pins can be sharp and pose a risk of injury.
Although lapel pins are allowed on airplanes, the final decision for any item is up to the security officers on duty when you go through a checkpoint.
What Metal are Pins Made Out of?
Safety pins are typically made of a mix of steel and brass, which is a combination of copper and zinc. As for lapel or decorative pins, they are usually made of iron, brass, copper, or aluminum.
Whether or not a pin will set off a metal detector depends on the type of metal it is made out of. Magnetic metals are the most common metals that set off the detectors, including iron and steel. Often the pins made from magnetic metals are the cheaper ones.
On the other hand, brass, aluminum, and copper are non-magnetic metals, so they are unlikely to set off the metal detectors. Many pins are made from these non-magnetic metals, so they usually don’t set off the metal detectors.
Non-magnetic metals are usually nicer in quality or more expensive than magnetic metals. The nicer metal is why nicer lapel pins will not set off detectors either, especially if they are made of metals like gold or silver.
Large pins will also set off the metal detectors, regardless of the type of metal. A pin as small as a stud earring will likely not set off the metal detectors, but a larger pin similar in size to a belt buckle will.
Tips for Packing Decorative Pins
The most important thing to remember when packing pins is safety. You need to make sure that the sharp end of the pin is covered, so it doesn’t hurt anyone.
If you have safety pins, make sure the pin is locked into the covered end. As for lapel and decorative pins, you should keep the back of the pin securely fastened. If the back does not cover the sharp point, you should wrap it with something that keeps the point covered.
Not only do you want to protect yourself when you go to unpack your bag, but you also want to protect the security officers who may have to search your bag.
Both carry-on and checked bags are subject to being searched, and you do not want the sharp pins to injure the officers who might check your bags.
Furthermore, you want your pins to be protected when you travel with them. You can place them into a box or case to keep them from getting damaged.
Or, you can wrap them up with something soft like towels, clothing, or bubble wrap. If you have a fragile decorative pin, it may be easiest to wear it on your clothing or carry it to keep it safe.
Having pins on the outside of your bags is risky since they can fall off when they go through the baggage check, when you place them in the overhead bins, or when you walk through the airport.
If you have any pins that are important to you, be sure to securely attach them to your clothes or place them in your bag before you enter the airport and go through security.
Can I Bring a Safety Pin on a Flight?
Yes, you can bring a safety pin on a flight. According to the TSA website, safety pins are allowed in carry-on bags and checked baggage.
As with lapel pins and any other type of metal object, the security detector may go off if it detects metal on you when you pass through it. You may have to have a pat down if you have a safety pin with you.
If you have a safety pin in your bag, the same situation applies. If the safety pin makes the baggage metal detector go off, a security officer will have to check your bag.
Make sure you pack your pins with the sharp points protected to not to harm anyone if your bag is searched. You should also warn the officer searching your bag that you have safety pins or other sharp objects to be cautious when they search your bag.
Whether you have to be pat down or if your bag is searched, you will be able to keep your safety pin after the search since they are allowed on airplanes. If you do not want to worry about it when you go through security, place your safety pin in your checked bag, where it is also allowed.
Knives, specifically Swiss Army Knives, are another common sharp object that people have questions about bringing on flights. Learn about whether or not you can take a Swiss Army Knife on a plane.
Can Safety Pins Go Through Metal Detectors?
Safety pins are fine to bring through metal detectors. If you only have one or two safety pins, it is unlikely that they will set off the detector. But, if you have more than a few, the machine will detect the metal, and you will have to be searched with a pat down.
However, even if you only have one or two pins going through the metal detector, it still might go off. Metal detectors are not perfect, and they can detect things that they aren’t meant to.
Even if the metal detector does go off by accident, you will be fine to proceed through security with your safety pins after your bag is searched or you are pat down as an extra precaution.