Many people wonder whether or not you can take aerosol cans on holiday with you, or if they are at risk of exploding in the passenger cabin due to the pressurised air.
Luggage aerosols can be taken in your hold luggage with no issues as long as you do not take more than 2 litres of aerosols per person and each aerosol can is not any bigger than 500ml per can, for hand luggage, your aerosol can have to be less than 100ml travel size.
To figure out what type of aerosols you can take in your hold luggage and the rules for packing them, we have composed a guide below with everything you need to know about taking aerosols when travelling.
Compared to the older times, travelling with aerosols in your checked luggage is a lot easier than it used to be and many airlines prefer you to pack your larger aerosols into your hold bag rather than your carry-on baggage.
Every aerosol in your checked bag should have a lid to prevent it from leaking, if not then the aerosol could potentially be removed during airport security checks. The general rules for aerosol toiletries are the same for each person airline wise, you are allowed around 4 cans of aerosol per person and individual containers for the aerosols should be no more than 500ml each.
You are not allowed to carry any more than 2 litres of aerosols per person in your checked bag. Airport scanners have the right to remove excess aerosols from your luggage if need be. To minimise the number of aerosols you pack in your checked luggage you can try using alternatives such as gels, creams or deodorant sticks if needed.
Some people might assume if you have two checked bags on your flight voucher then you can bring up to 40 litres of aerosols per person, but the rule is per person airline, so you still have to abide by 20 litres.
Never try and pack flammable aerosols in your checked luggage as they are among restricted baggage items and will be removed, stick with medical aerosols and toiletry aerosols only.
If you would like to pack some aerosols in your hand luggage then you will be more limited on baggage measures, in carry-on baggage you are allowed liquids in containers up to 100ml, and aerosols do fall under this category, larger containers are not permitted in your carry-on luggage.
As to how many aerosols you want to pack in your carry-on baggage is down to you, each person airline wise gets one quart-sized plastic bag each, so as long as your aerosols fit into this bag and it seals, then it will be allowed within the cabin hand luggage allowances.
There are a few exceptions to this 100ml rule person airline wise, for example, if you have to carry inhalers over 100ml then this may be allowed in carry-on baggage, also if you need to take oxygen cylinders this might be allowed and breast milk as a liquid is allowed in larger quantities.
Aerosols in your carry-on baggage which are bigger might be removed by the airline before travel and you should always avoid packing flammable aerosol's in your luggage too.
The types of toiletry aerosols which are allowed in checked baggage on a plane will likely not explode in the carriage in the aircraft cabin, although it is possible, the conditions inside of a plane are not likely to trigger an explosion, hence why there are allowed.
More flammable aerosols however are not okay to bring in your hold luggage as there is a higher chance of them exploding.
In the event of an aerosol exploding in your hold luggage, this would likely be triggered by something else overheating in the bag such as a battery container.
We have listed some other reasons as to why an aerosol might explode in your hold luggage below and why it is unlikely to happen inside an aircraft.
Decompression can cause an explosion in an aerosol can if the pressure change outside to inside where the can becomes substantial, this is highly unlikely even if the pressure was to drop inside of the aircraft cabin, so should not be a cause for concern.
If your aerosol is to get hot enough, the pressure inside the can might eventually build up and the structure of the can will not be able to cope, leading to an explosion, once again, very unlikely during the aircraft where it is temperature-controlled.
When flying, an aeroplane has a lower pressure from the airport that you took off from, some worry that this pressure change might cause the can of aerosol to pop, just the way a bag of crisps might expand during a flight, however, this is very rare as the pressure drop is typically not enough for this to happen.
It is true that if your aerosol can happen to get damaged or punctured the then it might explode, but once again this is very unlikely to happen inside of your luggage.
Flammable aerosols such as aerosol paints are not permitted to be in your checked baggage or hold baggage, only aerosols that are used for skin contact or medical purposes are typically allowed, too see what types of aerosols you are allowed to take in your luggage, we have listed the permitted and non-permitted types below.
Now we know all about the aerosols we can and cannot bring on our flight, packing them right is a whole different story, in the case that your aerosol does leak, you need to be prepared, so we have listed our best tips for packing your aerosol below.
Apart from flammable aerosols, there are a few other restricted items to be aware of which you should hold off from packing in your luggage, otherwise, your luggage might be held in security and potentially opened.
We have also listed some items which are not banned from your hold luggage but might be better off to shift to your carry-on so as you can have peace of mind in case of a dreaded lost luggage situation.
If you are planning on carrying something and you are not sure whether it is permitted or not, it's always best to check with your airline beforehand if the item is allowed, this way you can avoid your luggage being held up at security for extra screening.
It's always best to leave the item at home if need be and buy it at your destination if you are unsure of anything.
Does hold luggage have a size limit?
Hold luggage weight differs and comes down to the specific airline you are using, however, it normally ranges between 20kg-35kg depending on the length of the flight, some airlines will let you take two pieces amounting to 40kg or even more.
In terms of dimensions, typically this once again differs but on average your hold luggage should not exceed a total dimension of 62-inches.
How can I stop aerosol from exploding in my hold luggage?
The likelihood of your aerosol exploding in your suitcase is low, but you can always tape the lid of your can just in case, some cans might have a locking system on the lid too to prevent leakage.
Can I take more than one aerosol in my carry-on?
Yes, you can take more than one aerosol in your carry on but they must all fit into one quart-sized plastic bag which can be sealed. They should all be under 100ml too or 3.4 ounces.
Can I buy aerosols duty-free?
Once you pass security you can buy aerosols and take them on board with you in your carry-on if you wish.
What is the total amount of aerosols I can carry in my luggage?
In your hold, you should not carry more than 2L of aerosols per person, so this could be split into 4 different 500ml cans.
This rule is per person, so does not mean if you have two pieces of hold luggage you can carry more.
When is there any exception for aerosol size in hand luggage?
General aerosols have to be limited to 100ml in your hand luggage, however, for medical aerosols such as inhalers or oxygen cylinders they might be permitted providing you present them to security and have supporting medical documents.
What types of aerosol are okay to bring?
Personal aerosols such as; hairsprays, sun cream, deodorant, shaving gel and perfume are all okay to bring in your hand luggage and hold.
Is there a high chance of my aerosols exploding on a plane?
No, the chances of your aerosols exploding on a plane are little to none, the reason why they are classed as being dangerous is that they can make issues such as fires even worse, but it is highly unlikely they would just explode on their own.
Aerosols tend to explode due to overheating, decompression, pressure changes or if the can itself is damaged, aircraft controlled conditions make all of the chances of these causes happening small.
What is classed as powders, gels, aerosols and liquid?
The powder can be seen as coffee grounds, flour or powdered milk, aerosols are anything that is pressurised in a can, the liquid is flowing substances and gels is anything jelly-like such as honey or toothpaste.
To conclude, you can take aerosols in your hold luggage, and it is preferred by airlines for you to do so, as there is a limit on size and amount in your hand luggage of 100ml. Ensure you are only taking permitted aerosols such as deodorants in your hold luggage and that you are not taking a total of more than 2L.
If you are unsure about the type of aerosol you are taking at all, then it's always best to check with your airline beforehand to avoid delays at security or getting in trouble.