View Full Version : Airline Travel with pastels

10-11-2006, 01:23 PM
Hi has anyone traveled very recently, (since the August new regulations) with their soft pastels in a backpack as carry on baggage. Did you have any problems? Do you have any suggestions? I'll be going to Spain for several months in December and want to figure the best way to bring my pastels?


Kathryn Wilson
10-11-2006, 01:40 PM
I haven't traveled recently, but do take your pastels on board with you - they will examine the boxes, but that is better than having them do it in baggage where you can't see how they handle them.

10-11-2006, 03:32 PM
I just returned from Scotland, and you won't probably have any problem on the out bound, but coming back is where you may have an issue.
You could not carry anything on that would not fit in this tiny long briefcase size template box,INCLUDING your purse and camera:eek: . Luckily I had a squishy cloth backpack, and a very small purse, so was able to take my camera out of it's case so it would squish, stuff it and my purse in the backpack,and then squeeze the camera at the top of the hole, so it would fit in this box. Very narrow miss.. I had packed my pastels in my luggage between clothes, and it worked like a charm! All three boxes were perfect when I arrived home.:smug:
I would suggest calling your airline direct, and ask, and plan on packing the pastels, imho...and double check right before you leave, cause sometimes you get WRONG information!! go figure:rolleyes:

10-11-2006, 09:23 PM
When I took pastels with me, they thought it was ammunition. They saw all the sticks and freaked.

10-11-2006, 09:36 PM
Thanks for the info Tressa. Interesting that you had no problem packing them. Last spring when traveling in Argentina I packed them in my suitcase and they called me down to baggage to open my bag .... thought they were bullets!
Yes... I think calling the airlines is an option but then as you say you can't count that the information you are given will be what goes. Tricky traveling with our art stuff in today's world.

Katherine T
10-13-2006, 03:34 PM
Hi has anyone traveled very recently, (since the August new regulations) with their soft pastels in a backpack as carry on baggage. Did you have any problems? Do you have any suggestions? I'll be going to Spain for several months in December and want to figure the best way to bring my pastels?

JoAnneI'm going back to the original question as I think some people have missed the point of it.

If you're travelling with pastels back and to the UK, the new size for your carry on luggage will in general prove difficult for people to carry a set of pastels as well as their normal handbag stuff plus camera. Remember you can now only have one item - not one item and a handbag and a camera slung round your neck.

I used to pack them in my carry on baggage and it used to get very boring having to unpack and show them that what looks like gun cartridges is in fact pastels.

On recent trips they've gone in the hold baggage as I now have to use a backpack for my carry on due to problems of balance.

This last trip I trusted to:
luck on my return journey and
the foam around my Unisons (still in their original colour set boxes);
the elastic bands I use round them to avoid the packs coming apart;
strapping them in tightly into my new ArtBin Studio pack (http://travelsketch.blogspot.com/2006/10/saturday-16th-september-visit-to-art.html) - from Charettes in Woburn just outside Boston
which was then strapped to my aluminimum folding chair (which acted a bit like like a frame) - and also because I only could have two hold items and one of these was the chair
and crossed my fingers.No damage to the Unisons - but the few Nupastels which I bought out there and which were loose in a box were broken - but still very usable pieces.

Sorry i don't know the answer re Spain but I would check very carefully and read all the small print on information supplied by your carrier - and then check again on the Spanish goverment site re air traffic and their controls.

10-13-2006, 04:04 PM
I just spent the summer traveling around the country...boarded 8 jets in 2 weeks...I keep my pastels in a Roz Box,,,brief case style.......It finally hit me that I was breaking the pastel sticks more with my constant shifting than if had I checked them.......if you are going to a seminar and it is imerative that they arrive at the same as you, then by all means carry them on board....if not, check them and avoid the hassle of security. Just a bit of experience I learned the hard way.

Happy traveling!

10-13-2006, 04:08 PM
sorru for the double post......please excuse me....mods,,,if possible delete this post

10-14-2006, 09:38 PM
Thanks Katherine and Preston. Glad to hear Katherine that you didn't have any problems with them in your checked luggage. The fact that they read as bullets is what troubles me most about checking and it is reassuring to know that your's made it through OK. Having carried mine through security half a dozen times or more the past two years mainly in South and Central American, I would love to not have to explain etc and just check them.

10-16-2006, 09:56 AM
I recently flew out of Chicago & Miami with oil pastels.
Not knowing what would happen, I packed 2 sets. One set in my carry on and another in my checked baggage. I wanted to make sure I'd have at least one set.
Both came thru fine.
Although, I still don't trust taking anything I wouldn't be willing to loose.

10-16-2006, 01:50 PM
Hi Ann,
Great idea to split them between the two!! Thanks.

10-17-2006, 03:35 PM
I packed my full Dakota box (wrapped in bubble wrap) in with my clothes and everything came through without damage or pastel on the clothes just fine on my last airline trip. Maybe because I break my pastels into so many different sizes, and they are different brands so there is no consistancy of shape they can't be confused with bullets. I no longer worry about having to cart them through security since getting my Dakota box.


Katherine T
10-17-2006, 05:03 PM
I think they only x-ray the carry-on baggage - so that's the only time they'll be held up for checking.

So long as you've got the pastels secure in hold baggage and so long as you have an option to rush out and buy some more if they don't turn up (and claim on the insurance) then I think I'll be packing them in the hold baggage in future. Sure makes going though security quicker!

Incidentally - my folding chair (without which I can't work as I can't stand) was mislaid both ways by Continental Airlines going through Newark. Not impressed - except when it turned up hand-delivered to the house where I was staying a day later on both occasions!

Kitty Wallis
10-17-2006, 08:41 PM
When I packed my pastels in my clothes, in my Pastel box, carefullly wrapped with double plastic bags security left the box open, plastic bags thrown into the suitcase with it, pastels all over my clothes. I haven't tried that again. Now I carry them on or ship them ahead.

10-17-2006, 08:48 PM
Wow... Kitty, thanks for that information. A bit scary!! By the way... I am a new convert to Wallis paper. Love it!

Peggy, thanks for the tip on the Dakota box. I just googled it and it makes a comparison with Heilman box. Not as expensive but bigger than the backpack Heilman. I just measured by backpack and the Heilman box will fit in without a problem. I think the Heilman fits about 200 half sticks. How much can you get in the Dakota box?

Katherine, glad Continental at least delivered your chair.