How to Fly with a Fountain Pen

Is it OK to fly with a fountain pen? Will they leak?
The simple answer to the question of can you fly with a fountain pen is, YES.

The concern when flying with a fountain pen is ink leaking from the pen during flight due to cabin pressure changes. Because ink within a fountain pen flows with capillary action and gravity, would this cause the ink to leak and if so how do you prevent ink from getting everywhere.

The majority of modern fountain pens can be carried on a flight with no problem. Here are a few tips to make sure your fountain pen does not leak during flight.

The most obvious way to ensure your pen does not leak is the remove the fountain pen ink and clean the pen. Obviously if the pen is empty it will not leak ink.

Not as obvious is to fly with your fountain pen full of ink. Because it is the air that expands with added pressure a full fountain pen has no air to expand and force the ink from the pen. A partially filled pen is most likely to leak.

Keep the nib upward. Keeping the nib pointed upward will help ensure gravity and any added pressure will not force ink from the pen. Most pens will automatically have their nibs skyward unless they are in your bag laying sideways.

If you would like to use your pen during flight use it during normal cruising altitudes and not during ascent or descent. During these times there is the largest pressure changes.

If you are still nervous about flying with your fountain pen, put the pen inside a ziplock bag during flight. This will keep any ink that leaks inside the bag.

Flying with a fountain pen is not a problem with most modern pens as long as you know these few simple tips and tricks. Enjoy your flight!
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