It is a known fact that fountain pens can leak on airplanes. It has been documented and advice has been given (keep the pens nib up during take-off and/or fly with them empty or so full there is no air bubble). I was to put this advice to the test on a recent business trip to Nashville, TN. But which pens do I bring?

Traveling causes quite a lot of stress and the last thing I want to worry about is losing (or have confiscated) an irreplaceable pen. Additionally, I would hate it if one of my more expensive pens were targeted, as replacing one of those would mean months of saving. Those two criteria ruled out some of my favorites. What was left were not left-overs by any means. In fact, most of my TWSBI collection was available, so they got to go. I had already decided on my Prera, and that brought me to five pens. Considering my plan was to transport my pens in my Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six I had only one slot left. Since two of my co-workers were bringing their Lamy pens (a Safari and a Studio) I decided to bring my Lamy 2000.

With the pens selected the only thing left was to top them off with an ink syringe and head to the airport. Happily the TSA were not interested in my pens, so no confiscation to worry about. The next hurdle was take-off. Firmly secured in the seat pouch in front of me, my penvelope rode with me. I had hoped I would have a reason to try and use my pens while flying, but not this trip.

When I got to my hotel I inspected my pens: only the Lamy 2000 had a little ink in the cap. No other pens had leaks. I was impressed considering I had two take-offs. The return trip was better: nothing leaked, despite having used the pens in Nashville.

While I hope I will not need to take to the skies anytime soon, I am happy with the results. Flying with fountain pens was not problematic in the least.


Published June 13, 2015


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