Sewing machine on a plane?

fran1523March 7, 2009

Since I may be flying to NC for the quilt retreat next October instead of driving, I've started thinking about how best to carry my sewing machine. I would hate to be without my Lily if I'm going to make the effort to come. Do those sewing machine carrying cases fit in an overhead compartment? Maybe I can wrap my Janome Gem in bubble wrap and quilts and just put it in a big suitcase and check it. Anybody ever travelled with your baby?

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Gwen, measure the case, then call the airline and see if it can go as a carry on bag or if perhaps you can stow it as you get on the plane. Linda may know, she flies a lot. I don't think I would check it.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 6:45PM
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I took a sewing class from a Bernina demonstrator. She told of traveling with a demonstrator for a different company. When their machines went through the security check the other machine's memory was completely wiped out. Fortunately for the demonstrator, the company just arranged for her to pick up a new machine in the destination city.

But, that cautionary tale told, I definately contact the manufacturer and ask how secure the memory is and what precautions they recommend for assuring its safety when you travel with it.

PS The Bernina's memory is safe for air travel.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 6:46PM
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Bev's right. I've travelled with just about anything. But, we won't go into that.

I find the TSA people very cooperative as long as you prepare to show them what you have willingly and smile. I often warned them of my bag coming and what they'd see.

The biggest obstacle to a carry on is how heavy it is and can you stow it above without breaking your back. Something like a Featherweight or small Janome should be no problem. I'd leave a hard case at home and wrap it well.

Some of our friends who come by car also bring loaners upon request so there are other options.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 9:02PM
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I have multiple utility machines which could be made available to you if you aren't picky. Otherwise, I'd think a smaller soft sided carrier would be better than what I have...a rectangular, hard sided one with wheels & handle. This I know would not fit overhead.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 9:26PM
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I have traveled carry on with both my featherweight & Bernina. I got so lucky & found a rolling cart that fit my Bernina perfectly. When I took my Featherweight I took one of those older luggage carriers so I wouldn't have to carry it.
Both experiences went really well.
Sending a machine as check in would take a great deal of careful packing :) Jill

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 12:04PM
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Memory wiped out?!? Now you have me worried. I was planning to fly with my Viking. I guess I'll have to call and find out if this is going to be a problem. I can't believe that could really happen many microprocessors (computers, camera, ipod, phones) go through the x-ray without a hitch...maybe it was coincidence?

Here is a link that might be useful: Diva Knitting

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 5:36AM
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Fran, I would not check any machine. I can bring both my Viking and my Featherweight with me to the retreat.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:45PM
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I wonder if we have a new movie idea here, with Samuel L. Jackson as the class instructor.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:52PM
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Just remember if you end up checking it as luggage many of the airlines now charge per bag plus extra if it's over weight.
Carrying it on is your best bet however if you have to fly those little commuter planes be prepared that it may end up in the luggage hold any how due to how small the commuter planes are. This means making sure it's not only secure in it's container but that the container is water proof since many of the carry-on luggage end up sitting out in the weather unprotected.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 3:27PM
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To fit a machine in tight places, I don't use the carrying case. I make a sling out of cheap quilted fabric with a handle on the top and put the head inside. A large shopping bag type thing would work as well. Each of my machines has a sling. I leave the case at home. That takes the size down dramatically and gets rid of the sharp corners. You just tuck the cord and bits inside the arm and the top closes with velcro.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 8:34PM
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I just got back from taking my feather weight on the plane to Las Vegas for a class.. I carried it on no problems going but on the way back they did the swab thing for explosives on it. All was clear and that was that... I also carried on my little bag of sewing supplies pins, needles, scissors yes my big 3 1/2 inch blade scissors with no problem... I was really worried but it was a breeze.. grace

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 11:39PM
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