I addressed this question in my epic series of articles on Fountain Pen Sketching (click here to read) but I thought I would extract that section and also add some updated information as something unusual happened to me on my recent trip.
Q: Can you take fountain pens on a plane?
The two things I try to do are: filling up my pens beforehand and keeping pens in a vertical position.
But, honestly it has been a total non-issue for me! I am not very dilligent about keeping my pens in a vertical position and I normally sketch during takeoff which is the time that Brian recommends not to use your pen!
If you are unsure about a certain pen, or a little nervous about leakage, wrap a tissue around the pen and then put it in a zip-lock bag. On arrival, slowly take the cap off. This photo shows the result of the most leakage I have ever had.
I pack it carefully in small plastic containers and put it in my hold luggage. I’ve never had a leakage from these containers.
More about that here.
On two occasions in my recent trip, my “Beloved White Joy” leaked twice – what!?!
I am not sure why, as I has never happened before. Maybe it was because I wasn’t using it on the plane?
The first time I carelessly took the cap off mid-sketch while sitting on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh. I did get some ink on my hands (hardly a disaster for me as I have ink on my hand a lot!) but Eza immediately pulled out a tissue for me to use so I was back to normal sketching in no time. The second time I was home and just immediately wiped the ink off and then cleaned the inside of the cap.
The moral of the story is to take the cap off carefully after a flight and have a tissue or paper towel handy.
So, that is my take on fountain pens and flying. I would love to hear from you: have you got any questions or additional tips.