How can I fly with knives?
December 18, 2007 12:19 PM   Subscribe

flying-with-knives/holiday-shippingFilter: Fly with chef knifes in a knife roll, or ship them? Who will get my stuff there the fastest? Providence, Rhode Island to Dallas, Texas.

On the airplane? USPS? UPS? DHL? FedEx?
posted by sindas to Travel & Transportation (20 answers total)
can you check them?
posted by chickaboo at 12:26 PM on December 18, 2007

I had the Airport Gestapo give me grief for flying with my Cutcos. I would say, to be safe, that you should ship them. Also, I don't know how much you spent on your knives, but mine are worth far more than the $500 that I would get back if they were lost. I would FedEx them.
posted by Sukiari at 12:26 PM on December 18, 2007

I might add that they were checked.
posted by Sukiari at 12:26 PM on December 18, 2007

Is this a trick question? Why would you NOT put them in your checked baggage?
posted by dersins at 12:27 PM on December 18, 2007

According to TSA's "Permitted and Prohibited Items" list, you can fly with knives, they just must be in your checked baggage.

Here is the link.
posted by irishkitten at 12:27 PM on December 18, 2007

If you are flying there anyway, simply store them securely in your checked luggage, and let the luggage inspector know there are knives in your luggage. Do not under any circumstances attempt to take them as "carry on". If you are not planning on flying there anyway, any of the firms you mention can overnight them to Dallas at a rate that will depend on the total weight of the package, but which will be far lower than the cost of your airfare.
posted by ubiquity at 12:29 PM on December 18, 2007

I wouldn't risk trying to carry-on a good knife kit. It's possible that you could box them up and put them in your suitcase if you're checking one, but personally, I wouldn't risk that either. Just ship them the way you would ship anything else. All the major shipping companies have express options, I like to use Fed-Ex when possible.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 12:29 PM on December 18, 2007

Is the concern because the knives are valuable/fragile/whatever or because they're potentially dangerous? If it's the former, then ship them via your carrier of choice. It's usually impossible to tell if man, machine or gorilla (mis)handled your checked baggage. If they're at all fragile, ship them. If you're just worried because they're dangerous, just put them in your checked baggage. It's impossible to have knives in carry-on, but people check guns (unloaded and declared, of course) without problem.
posted by Nelsormensch at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2007

Slightly analogous, but when I go camping, bring my camping knives (and sometime an axe) in my checked baggage. A good knife (say my ultralight Benchmade) can be over $100, so there is definitely an economic incentive to make sure they arrive (though one would have to try pretty hard to damage them, if that's the concern).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:49 PM on December 18, 2007

I am asking this question because I cook professionally, and they are quite expensive knives. So far FedEx seems like the best bet.
posted by sindas at 12:49 PM on December 18, 2007

Airlines have approx 8 to 8.5 per 1000 mishandled bags. Thats .85% or so

according to this guy Fedex loses around .55% of packages.

your odds are better with Fedex if you believe that guy.
posted by Megafly at 1:03 PM on December 18, 2007

they are quite expensive knives.

How expensive? If your luggage is lost, American Airlines (for example) will reimburse you up to $3000. You can purchase additional insurance for excess valuation.

If, on the other hand, Fedex loses your package, they limit their liability to $100 unless you purchase additional insurance.

People make a big deal out of how often airlines lose luggage. I'm sure that does indeed happen. It's never happened to me, however.
posted by dersins at 1:11 PM on December 18, 2007

I have carried expensive knives with luggage. However, they were in knife safes and also were in checked luggage surrounded with clothing in the main body and not in an easy to access external pocket. I had no trouble over it. Just make sure it is checked luggage.
posted by jadepearl at 1:15 PM on December 18, 2007

A good rule of thumb is never check anything in your luggage that can be sold in a pawn shop. A combination of incompetence and dishonesty makes it fairly likely that you will never see such an item again. I say fedex them, I've never had them lose anything and I've sent received thousands of packages with them.
posted by frieze at 1:51 PM on December 18, 2007

One thing I read about in the past to make sure stuff in your luggage is secure is to include and declare a starter pistol. Apparently the TSA has extra special rules for luggage that has firearms (including said starter pistol) in it. More details here.
posted by procrastination at 2:08 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

You see this thing happened a few years ago, where some terrorists used box cutters to take over planes and fly them into buildings.

You can't carry on knives. It is literally illegal to do so and anyone who lets anyone on an airplane with knives in their carry-on should be fired.

Check it or send it Fed Ex.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:11 PM on December 18, 2007

If you need help shipping them, send me an email. I'll receive them for you and hold them until you get here if you need help.
posted by dios at 2:52 PM on December 18, 2007

i've never had a problem burying my roll in a larger checked bag. pack it like you're packing a bottle of wine, you'll be cool.
posted by markovitch at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2007

If you make them hard to get at in your checked bags you have a very good chance of nothing going wrong. I would advise against them being easily accessible. Myself, personally, I would FedEx and insure, but I am one of those that have had bags disappear.
posted by edgeways at 4:10 PM on December 18, 2007

If it were me, I'd check the (well-marked) bag. I've done it with firearms before and had no problems.
posted by craven_morhead at 4:26 PM on December 18, 2007

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