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Gatwick airport - prohibited items

London, United...
posts: 12,950
reviews: 22
Gatwick airport - prohibited items

A question arose on another forum re knitting needles at Gatwick.

Gatwick does not list knitting needles as specifically,prohibited on their website, but they do have an extensive list and a catch all of " anything that can be used as a potential weapon"..which could be anything,,,down to a ball point pen, if you think about it.

The uk flight regulations state knitting needles are allowed in hand luggage. So one would assume as uk government says yes, and Gatwick does not specifically say no, that they are permitted.

Not so, Gatwick customer service are saying by email to the forum member that they are prohibited, and that they cannot be put in hand luggage, irrelevant of uk government policy and irrelevsnt of the fact they dont mention it on their website,,it's specific to Gatwick and the poster will have her knitting needles confiscated, irrelevant of type of I needle.

There is no indication as to why Gatwick differs to the uk policy or any drive to update their website to have them on the prohibited list. Just simply " no".

I don't knit, but i know lots of people do, so I think this is a bit off, if they are prohibited by Gatwick,,,they should be listed as prohibited by gatwick. Otherwise, people stand to have them confiscated unless they ask specifically in advance.

Any thoughts? I know an exhaustive list is not possible, but knitting needles is quite a common one ( unlike say catapults, which are listed!). It also shows the lists provided are simply not reliable for passengers.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 14,077
reviews: 5
1. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

Froggy,

A link to that other forum would be useful.

I would question why Gatwick or any airport is deviating from standard UK (or their country's) security regulations re prohibited items. Airports don't make the rules, governments do (for better or for worse). Nor is it for airports to second guess what security may or may not allow. That IMO is unfair to passengers. Airports should clearly state the security requirements (what is allowed and what isn't) so the passenger knows the rules.

And I haven't seen a knitting needle used in anger on a flight. The gentleman sat across from me was very peacefully knitting away on my 5 hour PDX-EWR flight last Friday!

London, United...
posts: 12,950
reviews: 22
2. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

The gentleman? :))

Yep, that's my thoughts, why are they deviating and creating their own rules and not clearly communicating it. I know knitting is not a major deal, but it's the principle that is bothering me,..

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 14,077
reviews: 5
3. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

>> The gentleman? :)) <<

Yup!

He was sat opposite (across the aisle) so we didn't engage in any conversation, such as who's best placed to win the Superbowl, will United beat City this weekend, or do these booties look nice.

Perhaps he was an air marshal testing his backup equipment? :)

Edited: 2:25 pm, December 11, 2012
London, United...
posts: 12,950
reviews: 22
4. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

Testing the gender stereotypes:))

Alberta
posts: 54
reviews: 22
5. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

I know for myself, knitting is what keeps me from stabbing someone on a plane! It should be mandatory that I be allowed to carry knitting!!

I agree though, why is Gatwick saying knitting needles are not allowed, when it's OK according to the government regulations - that seems very irregular. I don't know if I'd want to test bringing along knitting in carry-on flying out of Gatwick, though.

Edited: 4:47 pm, December 11, 2012
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 44,772
reviews: 14
6. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

My father taught my sisters and me to knit, he'd learned when in the Navy.

With respect to Gatters making its own rules, should not those of the CAA take precedence?

Edited: 4:49 pm, December 11, 2012
Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 4,099
reviews: 124
7. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

Can you get blow up knitting needles? They wouldn't be a problem in security, take up very little space and just blow them (sorry - inflate) them when you want to knitt.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6,764
8. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

Dare I suggest this is a case where a centralized agency like the TSA (or CATSA) -- which sets _and_ implements airport security standards at all of a country's airports -- is more effective or at least less confusing?

The idea that an item would be officially prohibited at Gatwick but officially permitted at Heathrow seems silly. (If you cooked up a wacky terrorist scheme involving knitting needles, you'd just need to go across town to fly out of LHR.)

tucson, az
posts: 1,397
reviews: 5
9. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

>>The idea that an item would be officially prohibited at Gatwick but officially permitted at Heathrow seems silly. (If you cooked up a wacky terrorist scheme involving knitting needles, you'd just need to go across town to fly out of LHR.)<<

Yeah, it sounds like a wacky movie. Can't you just see the climactic scene where the bad guys are approaching Security at Gatwick, see the kindly grandmother ahead of them having her needles confiscated and so the leader says "back up plan, boys! To Heathrow!" to which all the other bad guys say "to Heathrow!" and charge out the door.

London, United...
posts: 12,950
reviews: 22
10. Re: Gatwick airport - prohibited items

Yes, there should be one set of rules for the country, it should not be airport specifc, it's just going to confuse people. Plus for Gatwick to have different rules, but not to specify them on their published list, is also further misleading, for anyone travelling through the airport. Visitors and brits alike would assume its the British government rules that apply. Similar to that of tsa. And even if visitors go on the Gatwick website, they would still not know.

Plus lets be honest, if someone had some form of nefarious plan with knitting needles they would just fly from another airport!