Air travel with a sewing machine

loisflanNovember 26, 2012

So how should I take my sewing machine on a plane? It's a 12 pound Janome. As a carry-on in a carrying case? In it's original packaging as stowed luggage? What is your experience? Thanks. Lois

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lilypad22

First I'd like to say that I have had a number of times where there was no room left for my carry on and it had to be checked at the gate. So now I always pack any carry on items extra well incase it needs to be checked.

So you should try to carry it on, but pack it well in case it has to be stowed in baggage. I don't know if you can tell them it is a sewing machine and ask that they find a place to stow it on board the plane and not the luggage bin.

tr

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:21PM
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magothyrivergirl

Lois~ Lilypad gave you the absolute best advice! Be prepared for them to check the carry on plane side.
I recently flew again with my Singer Featherweight (to our Retreat) and researched the plane and the size of the space under the seat. I packed the machine in a separate case with handles within the TravelPro carry on luggage prepared to pull out the machine and let them check the luggage. Yes ~ that happened on the way there ----my return trip - same plane - no problem-they let me stow the carry on under the seat. Be prepared-and insist it will fit under the seat - if it does from the plane specs - that is how I chose my seat.
I always have questions flying with a machine - tell them at the security check that you have a sewing machine. I remove the needle and spool pin.
No way do I want them to check the sewing machine.
There is a link below to the Travel Pro rolling tote I bought at Tuesday Morning for my machine. I love it!

Here is a link that might be useful: TravelPro rolling tote

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:54PM
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polardreams

Lois,
I also took my Pfaff to retreat. I have a small 22" carry-on bag that I padded with foam on both sides then also tucked fabric around the machine. My Pfaff weighs about 20#. This year I was on a small regional jet, so when I got to the gate, I had to gate check my machine. It did NOT go through the baggage claim and came out okay both directions. I would probaby try to take it carry on as opposed to checking it - even in the original package.

I did tell security it was a sewing machine when I went through and they did swab the machine (I suppose I look dangerous)!!!

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Sue

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:16AM
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pirate_girl

Sorry Sue,

Swab the machine with what??? or do you mean swipe the machine, like maybe w/ the X-ray wand?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:50PM
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polardreams

Nope - it's a chemical swab. They are checking for explosive devices - and since my machine has a metal frame, I am sure it would be easy to hide something if you wanted to. Didn't bother me since I only have lint and fabric dust in my machine!

Sue

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:39PM
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loisflan

Thanks for the advice. Marsha, I just bought a new TravelPro tote, and I was amazed that the machine actually fit it in. I'm kind of torn. The smaller tote has a better chance of being carried on, but I can get the machine as well as a few other things in my larger carry-on. I guess I'm lucky; I've always been able to keep my carry-on in the cabin. Maybe it's because I rarely fly on a regional flight. This flight will be to Maui, and larger planes are used.

Thanks for the tip regarding notifying the agents that you've got a sewing machine in your bag. Last time we flew to Denver to visit our new grandson, my husband carried on a bag with several raw venison loins in it. The agents weren't sure just what to do with them. Luckily, we got through.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 12:05PM
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littlehelen_gw

Sue, lol .. You do look dangerous in an all American gal sort of way!
Nice to know all is checked thoroughly.
V.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:24PM
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faytay

I just got back from a trip to Toronto and took my Featherweight in my carryon bag. I had no trouble at all except that the security guard said to me... "You know, there's a sewing machine in there". haha

Faye

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:35PM
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