Traveling by air can be hectic and confusing. You need first-hand knowledge of what you can or can’t take through airport security. Otherwise, the security personnel may confiscate your items.
The TSA has a lot of rules regarding sharp objects on a plane. So, if you work with pencils, whether you are an artist or plan to brainstorm some ideas during a flight, it is only natural to wonder if you can carry pencils on an airplane.
Thankfully, the answer to this is yes. You are allowed to carry pencils through airport security, both in carry-on and checked luggage.
The number of pencils you carry is not limited, especially when traveling domestically.
But, for international travel, make sure to carry a quantity that is reasonable for personal use. A very large number of pencils might be confiscated by security personnel. They might assume that you plan on selling them once you get to your destination.
How Do You Travel With a Pencil?
Pencils can damage easily when traveling. So you need to pack them properly. Do not put them in a loose pencil case or the checked luggage.
Most airports do not take any responsibility for damage to any improperly packed valuables, pencils included.
Southwest Airlines is a good example. This is what they say on their website:
“Improperly packed and/or fragile items will be accepted subject to limited release and Southwest won’t be responsible for any damage to items that are accepted with Limited Release.”
Instead, consider using a pencil wrap and packing it in your carry-on. Pencil wraps offer better protection from damage. Some also have extra room for other accessories, such as sharpeners and erasers.
Checked bags can get delayed or lost. If this happens, you will have to file a report with your airline and then wait for them to locate your luggage. The airline may reimburse you if they cannot find your luggage.
But, the reimbursement may not be worth what you have lost. So, to be safe, always pack your expensive pencils in your carry-on bag.
Are Sharpened Pencils Allowed on Planes?
Yes, they are. Although sharpened pencils have sharp points, they are not considered dangerous.
And in case you’re wondering whether pencil sharpeners are allowed, the answer is also yes. Most sharpener blades come in enclosed cases, reducing their risk of causing any harm.
What Type of Pencils Can I Bring on a Plane?
All types of pencils are allowed on an airplane, the material they are made from notwithstanding. They include colored pencils, eyeliner pencils, and mechanical pencils.
The Apple Pencil is also allowed in a carry-on, provided its battery does not exceed 100Wh.
Can You Take a Pen on a Plane?
Yes, you can.
The only exceptions are tactical pens. They are only allowed in checked bags and not on carry-ons. This is because tactical pens have extra sharp points and sturdy construction. They can, therefore, be used as a weapon.
Which Other Art Supplies Are Allowed on a Plane?
Most art supplies are allowed through the security checkpoint as long as they can’t be used as a weapon. They include markers, brushes, drawing pads, crayons, and gel pens. Liquid matter such as solvent and paint are also allowed, as long as they adhere to the TSA liquids rule:
“You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.”
The solvents should also be non-flammable and the paint water-based.
Don’t hesitate to pack pencils the next time you are traveling. As mentioned earlier, there is no limit to the type or quantity of pencils you can carry for personal use.
But you need to be careful not to carry too many of them if you’re taking an international flight. Doing this can raise unnecessary alarms at the customs desk.
You can also carry other art supplies such as pens (except tactical pens) and liquids such as solvents, provided you follow the liquids rule. Also, remember to pack all your expensive supplies properly to minimize the risk of damage or loss.