As you may know, airline regulations are growing increasingly stringent with regards to the type of items you’re allowed to travel with. Many travelers want to carry pepper spray to protect themselves in dangerous situation when away from home, but aren’t sure if they can bring pepper spray on the flight. If you’re concerned with your personal safety, especially when planning an overseas vacation, be sure that you know the airline regulations so that you can protect yourself at your destination.
Pepper spray is a very popular self defense product, and it is legal to carry and use in most areas of the United States. However, transporting such devices over state lines can be difficult when traveling by plane. The regulations become even more difficult to navigate if you’re traveling to another country, although it is certainly possible, and many people do travel with pepper spray.
Even though pepper spray is a very popular self defense tool here in the United States, you will probably be stopped by airport security if you simply try to carry pepper spray in your pocket onto the plane. In addition to the well-publicized limit of 3 ounces of liquid or gel per person, airlines also place additional restrictions on items such as pepper spray, which are designed to incapacitate a target. While you can’t bring pepper spray on your person into the plane, with proper planning you should be able to bring pepper spray in your luggage to most areas of the world.
Most airlines prohibit the carrying of disabling chemicals or devices, either on your person or in carryon luggage. However, you can pack canisters of pepper spray up to four ounces in size in your checked baggage. This size limit will allow most canisters designed for portable use, such as keychain canisters or those meant for a pocket or purse. Be sure to check the size of the pepper spray canister before you purchase it, to avoid the risk of it being taken out of your luggage.
Even if your canister is well under the 4 ounce limit, you should tell the airline that the canister is in your bag when checking your luggage at the baggage counter. Legally, the airline must inspect the canister to make sure it has a safety device. Otherwise, your canister could discharge inside your suitcase while on the plane. When packing your suitcase, place the pepper spray canister in an outside pocket so that it’s easy to retrieve at the baggage counter.
Do not try to walk through airport security with a concealed pepper spray canister. Even a small canister will be caught by the metal detector and other airport screening methods. Your canister will be confiscated at this point, and it’s just not worth the trouble. Pack it correctly from the beginning so that you can be protected by pepper spray at your destination.
In addition to learning how to travel by plane with pepper spray, it’s also important to find out the local laws at your destination regarding the carrying and use of pepper spray. Some states or cities may place limitations on pepper spray. There may also be restrictions on the pepper spray ingredients or canister size. If you cannot carry it legally at your destination, it’s not worth your time to take it on the plane.
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