Key Takeaways

  • Fountain pens are generally allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.
  • Check with your specific airline for any additional restrictions or guidelines.
  • Prepare your fountain pen by cleaning it and emptying or filling the ink reservoir.
  • Pack your fountain pen securely in a protective case, preferably stored upright.
  • Follow regulations for carrying ink, considering container sizes and packaging.


When it comes to air travel, understanding the regulations for carry-on items is crucial.

One question that often arises among enthusiasts is: Can you bring fountain pens on a plane?

This article aims to provide a comprehensive answer to this question, delving into the specifics of air travel regulations and offering practical advice for those wishing to travel with their beloved writing instruments. 

Air Travel Regulations for Carry-On Items

When preparing for a flight, it's crucial to understand the air travel regulations for carry-on items.

These rules are set by aviation authorities and airlines to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers.

General Rules for Carry-On Items

Generally, passengers are allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item (like a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag) onboard.

However, there are restrictions on:

  • The size and weight of these items
  • The types of items you can bring
  • The quantity of certain items

For instance, sharp objects, weapons, and certain liquids are typically prohibited.

Specific Rules for Pens and Other Writing Instruments

When it comes to pens and other writing instruments, the rules are usually more lenient.

Regular pens, pencils, and markers are typically allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.

However, certain types of pens may be subject to additional scrutiny due to their design or the materials used in their construction.

In the next section, we'll delve into the specifics of traveling with fountain pens

Can You Bring Fountain Pens on a Plane?

The direct answer to the question, "Can you bring fountain pens on a plane?" is yes.

Fountain pens are generally allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure a hassle-free travel experience.

Fountain Pens and Air Travel Regulations

While fountain pens are not explicitly mentioned in most airlines' prohibited items lists, it's always a good idea to check with your specific airline before you travel.

This is because the ink in fountain pens could potentially be classified as a liquid, and therefore subject to the rules governing liquids in carry-on luggage.

Why are Fountain Pens Allowed?

Fountain pens are allowed on planes primarily because they are not considered a security threat.

The small amount of liquid ink they contain is also generally not enough to violate any liquid restrictions.

However, the changes in cabin pressure during a flight can cause fountain pens to leak, which is why it's recommended to empty your pen or keep it filled and stored in an upright position during the flight.

In the next part of this article, we'll provide some practical tips on how to prepare your fountain pen for air travel to prevent leaks and other issues. 

Preparing Your Fountain Pen for Air Travel

Traveling with a fountain pen requires a bit of preparation to ensure your pen arrives in good condition and ready to use.

Here are some steps to prepare your fountain pen for air travel:

Cleaning the Pen

Before you travel, it's a good idea to clean your fountain pen. This can prevent any residual ink from leaking during the flight. Here's a simple cleaning process:

  • Disassemble the pen as much as you can without using tools.
  • Rinse each part under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Let the parts air dry completely before reassembling.

Emptying the Ink Reservoir

To avoid any potential ink leakage due to changes in cabin pressure, it's recommended to either completely fill or empty the ink reservoir.

If you choose to empty it, remember to bring a small bottle of ink or cartridges to refill your pen after landing.

Properly Packing the Pen

How you pack your fountain pen is also important. Here are some tips:

  • If your pen has a cap, make sure it's securely fastened.
  • Store the pen in a protective case to prevent any damage.
  • If possible, keep the pen stored upright with the nib pointing upwards. This can help prevent ink from leaking due to changes in cabin pressure.

By following these steps, you can ensure your fountain pen is ready for your journey and arrives at your destination in the best possible condition. 

Traveling with Ink

If you plan on using your fountain pen during your trip, you'll also need to consider how to travel with ink.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the regulations and practicalities of traveling with fountain pen ink.

Regulations for Carrying Liquids

Air travel regulations typically limit the amount of liquids you can carry in your hand luggage.

In many cases, you're allowed to carry liquids in containers of 100ml or less, all of which must fit into a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag of a certain size.

When it comes to fountain pen ink, this means:

  • If you're carrying a bottle of ink, it must be 100ml or less.
  • If you're carrying ink cartridges, they are not usually subject to the liquid restrictions.

Tips for Packing Ink Bottles or Cartridges

To ensure your ink arrives safely at your destination, consider the following tips:

  • If you're carrying a bottle of ink, ensure it's well-sealed to prevent leaks. You might want to consider placing it in a separate plastic bag for extra protection.
  • If you're carrying ink cartridges, keep them in their original packaging to prevent them from being punctured or damaged.
  • Consider the climate at your destination. Extreme temperatures can affect the consistency of your ink.

Remember, it's always a good idea to check the specific regulations of your airline and the countries you're traveling to and from. 

Using Your Fountain Pen During the Flight

Once you're on the plane, you might be wondering when it's safe to use your fountain pen.

Here are some tips to help you avoid potential issues during your flight.

When It's Safe to Use the Pen

Generally, it's safe to use your fountain pen during the flight once the plane has reached cruising altitude and the cabin pressure has stabilized.

However, to avoid any potential ink leakage, it's recommended to keep your pen stored upright with the nib pointing upwards when not in use.

Potential Issues and How to Avoid Them

The main issue with using fountain pens during a flight is the potential for ink to leak due to changes in cabin pressure.

To avoid this:

  • Keep your pen either completely full or completely empty during takeoff and landing. A full pen has no air to expand and force the ink out, while an empty pen has no ink to leak.
  • If you're using your pen during the flight, try to keep it upright as much as possible.

By following these tips, you can enjoy using your fountain pen during your flight without worrying about any potential mess or damage. 


Traveling with a fountain pen can be a rewarding experience for those who appreciate the joy of writing with these unique instruments.

While there are considerations to keep in mind, such as preparing your pen for travel and understanding the regulations for carrying liquids, these are easily managed with a little planning and care.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your fountain pen is ready for your journey and arrives at your destination in the best possible condition.

Remember, the joy of using a fountain pen doesn't have to be limited to your home or office.

With the right preparation, you can bring your favorite writing instrument with you wherever you go, even when flying. 

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