If you have been traveling for a while, or at least have tried flying with a passenger plane, you might have noticed something with your writing tools especially when you carried a fountain pen. Fountain pens especially the old models often encounter problems during a flight.
There are many scientific explanations as to why fountain pens react during a high altitude flight. In this article, we will talk about the reasons and tips on how you can avoid the problem.
Why do fountain pens leak on airplanes?
The reason why fountain pens will get in trouble during a flight is that of the changing air pressure inside the airplane’s cabin. Usually, a passenger plane flies an altitude of almost 40,000 feet.
At this height, the air is lacking oxygen that could cause breathing difficulties for humans. Luckily, if you are on a passenger plane, you won’t probably notice this. But such a change in air pressure affects fountain pens’ entire mechanism.
At high altitude, the air inside the pen expands pushing the ink toward the tip or the nib. As a result, the ink would go off the pen. This is a common problem among fountain pens.
However, contemporary fountain pens have already equipped with mechanisms that prevent this problem from happening.
Can you bring a fountain pen during a flight? Absolutely yes. What you need is to make sure that your fountain pen will not leak. Fortunately, there are strategies you can do to prevent the problem from occurring.
Here, we will be sharing with you some of the effective tips to keep your fountain pen from leaking. Following these techniques will ensure the safety of your pen.
So let’s dive in…
The best technique to prevent your fountain pen from leaking is by removing its ink. No ink, no leaking right? This may sound ridiculous but it is the best remedy.
As long as possible, only bring a new fountain pen with you during your flight. Why? Well, as mentioned above, the changes in the air pressure during high altitude flight affect the air inside the pen. The air inside your pen expands pushing the ink to the nib or the tip. As a result, the ink leaks.
The new fountain pen is filled with ink that means no space for air inside. In this way, the ink will not leak when the air pressure inside the cabin changes.
The ink of the fountain pen will easily leak if it is stored with the nib down. Most of the time, you keep your pen in your traveling bag sideways. That position makes the pen more vulnerable to leaking when the sudden air pressure changes.
To prevent the fountain pen from leaking is to keep it with its nib pointing upwards. Make sure that it is not laying parallel to the floor of the cabin. Keep the nib upward during the entire flight.
Avoid using your pen during ascending or descending. These times are critical for your pen because it is in these periods of the flight that most air pressure changes. So don’t write if the plane is about to take off or land to avoid the ink from leaking.
If you think that, after considering the tips above, your fountain pen will most likely leak, then your best option is to keep your pen inside a plastic bag or a ziplock bag. If ink leaking is inevitable, at least the ink will not stain your personal belongings inside the bag.
Do fountain pens leak on airplanes? Possibly. However, the new and contemporary ones don’t have problems with air pressure changes during a flight. Pen companies may have figured out the problem and fixed it by applying a few modifications to the fountain pens’ mechanism.
You may still be worried about the safety of your pen. But it does not mean that you should not bring a fountain pen during your flight. Fountain pens are good to have during travel. All you need instead is to use some of these tips to avoid the problem.
If you are a perfectionist person, one technique may not sufficient to make you confident. Combining some of these techniques may be more appropriate.
It is our hope that the tips we discussed here will help you avoid the problem with your fountain pen during a flight. Good luck!