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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2008
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Air Travel with life jackets

Hi,
I'm travelling from the UK to Greece for a sailing holiday and was planning to take my own life jacket. I've got a Spinlock Deckvest. I've checked with the airline and I can't travel with the attached compressed air cannister. Does anyone know ways round this.

Is it possible to by re-arming kits in Greece?
Could I post out a re-arm kit safely/legally?
Buy air travel certified re-arm kits?

Anyother options?


Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-21-2008
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You're not going to be able to take it on the plane, full stop. You could either mail the cannister to yourself in Greece just before you leave, order on-line rearm kit and list ship to address in Greece, or buy one there.
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Old 08-21-2008
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I agree with T34C. You can not carry the cylinders on an airplace unless they are discharged. That would totally defeat the purpose of the cylinders. It doesn't cost much to send them to Greece, you would want to send them early though as the mail system is rather unpredictable. Never purchased them in Greece so can't help with that part.

Let us know how it went.
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Old 08-21-2008
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Rules have changed

Don't know about foreign airlines, but many US airlines do permit you to fly with a PFD with it's inflation cylinder in place. I flew to Bermuda recently and informed the lady when I checked in that I had it in my checked luggage. She looked it up on her computer and said, "OK". I think it might be a good idea to have a copy of the CFR with you when you travel in case anyone questions it.

Info below was copied from Flying with Self-Inflating PFDs: Uncertain Limits Remain with Carriage of Life Jacket CO2 Cylinders

Federal Exception for Self-Inflating Life Jackets - The current exception is found in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Section 175.10 (25), "With approval of the aircraft operator, a passenger or crew member may carry in checked or carry-on baggage no more than two small gas cartridges containing no hazardous material other than a Division 2.2 gas that are fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket for inflation purposes, plus no more than two spare cartridges." TSA screeners should be aware of this change and prepared to allow self-inflating PFD through their checkpoints. A key disclaimer in this entire regulation is that the airline must also approve carriage of this gear on their aircraft. Most airline passengers aren't carrying PFD's on a routine basis and it shouldn't be a surprise that company polices will vary and not be understood by all employees.
A boater wishing to carry a self-inflating life jacket needs to consult with their airline of choose. Some carriers allow the PFD's to be in carryon baggage, others permit them as part of checked baggage and many prohibit them outright. Check company websites and call ahead of your planned trip. A recent check of published company policies produced these results:
  • Alaska Airlines - No mention of self-inflating life jackets in their baggage policy
  • Continental Airlines - Accepts one carbon dioxide (CO2) powered inflatable life jacket as checked or carry-on baggage. The life jacket may be packed in a checked or carry-on bag or carried as a single item in lieu of a checked or carry-on bag
  • American Airlines - No life jackets inflated by CO2 cartridges allowed
  • Delta Airlines - Accepts one self-inflating life jacket that contains one small carbon dioxide cylinder as checked baggage only
  • Northwest Airlines - CO2 cartridges are allowed in carry on and checked baggage for self-inflating life vests. Two cartridges may be installed in the life vest and two spares may be carried. CO2 cartridges may not be carried for any other purpose.
  • Southwest Airlines - Allows self-inflating life vests with two small gas cylinders and two small spare cylinders in checked baggage
Remember these regulations may not be applied consistently and may change. If a TSA screener prohibits an inflatable PFD from passing their checkpoint, ask for the supervisor and refer to 49 CFR 175.10 (25). Boaters often attach knifes or place flares in their PFDs, don't go anywhere near the airport until these are removed from your life jacket. Be familiar with the baggage policy of your air carrier.
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Old 08-21-2008
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As Billy- mentioned there are two key points. 1)With approval of the aircraft operator May or maynot happen even if their policy says its OK. 2)containing no hazardous material They have no way of verifying this and may cause an issue.

The whole thing is pretty silly since the aircraft likely already has a few hundred of these on board!
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Old 08-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T34C View Post
...The whole thing is pretty silly since the aircraft likely already has a few hundred of these on board!
Aint that the truth! ... 2 per seat!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
Don't know about foreign airlines, but many US airlines do permit you to fly with a PFD with it's inflation cylinder in place. I flew to Bermuda recently and informed the lady when I checked in that I had it in my checked luggage. She looked it up on her computer and said, "OK". I think it might be a good idea to have a copy of the CFR with you when you travel in case anyone questions it.

Info below was copied from [link removed]Flying with Self-Inflating PFDs: Uncertain Limits Remain with Carriage of Life Jacket CO2 Cylinders[/URL]

Federal Exception for Self-Inflating Life Jackets - The current exception is found in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Section 175.10 (25), "With approval of the aircraft operator, a passenger or crew member may carry in checked or carry-on baggage no more than two small gas cartridges containing no hazardous material other than a Division 2.2 gas that are fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket for inflation purposes, plus no more than two spare cartridges." TSA screeners should be aware of this change and prepared to allow self-inflating PFD through their checkpoints. A key disclaimer in this entire regulation is that the airline must also approve carriage of this gear on their aircraft. Most airline passengers aren't carrying PFD's on a routine basis and it shouldn't be a surprise that company polices will vary and not be understood by all employees.
A boater wishing to carry a self-inflating life jacket needs to consult with their airline of choose. Some carriers allow the PFD's to be in carryon baggage, others permit them as part of checked baggage and many prohibit them outright. Check company websites and call ahead of your planned trip. A recent check of published company policies produced these results:
  • Alaska Airlines - No mention of self-inflating life jackets in their baggage policy
  • Continental Airlines - Accepts one carbon dioxide (CO2) powered inflatable life jacket as checked or carry-on baggage. The life jacket may be packed in a checked or carry-on bag or carried as a single item in lieu of a checked or carry-on bag
  • American Airlines - No life jackets inflated by CO2 cartridges allowed
  • Delta Airlines - Accepts one self-inflating life jacket that contains one small carbon dioxide cylinder as checked baggage only
  • Northwest Airlines - CO2 cartridges are allowed in carry on and checked baggage for self-inflating life vests. Two cartridges may be installed in the life vest and two spares may be carried. CO2 cartridges may not be carried for any other purpose.
  • Southwest Airlines - Allows self-inflating life vests with two small gas cylinders and two small spare cylinders in checked baggage
Remember these regulations may not be applied consistently and may change. If a TSA screener prohibits an inflatable PFD from passing their checkpoint, ask for the supervisor and refer to 49 CFR 175.10 (25). Boaters often attach knifes or place flares in their PFDs, don't go anywhere near the airport until these are removed from your life jacket. Be familiar with the baggage policy of your air carrier.
FWIW, to save someone else the trouble, Alaska does NOT allow CO2 cartridges on their flights (either hand carried or checked). They don't mention it in their baggage policy, so you have to call and jump through the phone menu hoops to speak to an airline representative. When we flew to Seattle last year to charter out of Bellingham, the first rep didn't sound too certain about her answer that CO2 cartridges are not allowed on their flights; however, I called back to speak to a different rep and was given the same answer (unequivocally this time). We were going to attempt to have some cartridges shipped up ahead of time or try to track some down in a chandlery, but decided to keep it simple at the last minute and just use the life jackets provided by the charter company. Worked out fine, but it would be nice if there were some consistency among the airlines just to make planning a charter easier.

Cheers!
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I found that if I put the cartrige in my checked bags and NOT my carry on it went through fine. I tried it first in carry on and had to throw them away. Comming back I put them in my checked baggage and it was ok. That time.
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Old 08-21-2008
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You really need to check with individual airlines, since the policy leaves the decision in the hands of the individual airlines. Get what you can in writing, whenever possible.
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