Have you loved a local beer or any canned product from your vacation so much that you want to take some home with you?
No worries, you can put cans in your checked-in luggage.
You just need to pack them properly, so it's safe - which we also got you covered.
There's an urban legend about pop cans exploding on airplanes. We know that soda is safe in a flight because cabin crews serve soda to people, but the aircraft cargo holds are another story.
Cans are sturdy containers for transporting liquids. Packing them correctly ensures that they won't break or leak during transport.
Many fear that cans, especially cans of carbonated products, will explode when put on aircraft cargo. While that is not entirely impossible, there's a meager chance of that happening.
Cans of carbonated drinks can be affected by pressure, and plane cargo holds are pressurized by default.
The plane cargo holds must be completely depressurized for any can explosion to happen.
The pressure in the plane cargo holds is the same as the cabin's. If depressurization happens, a can exploding wouldn't be your top priority. Loss of cabin pressure can be life-threatening.
If anything, slight damage like leaking or spraying a little because of a change in plane cargo holds pressure is more likely to happen. It isn't the best but is something that you can prepare beforehand by properly packing your cans.
Temperature changes can also affect whether your soda manages your aviation trip intact. A warmer temperature makes soda more likely to foam.
So, a cargo holds that is warmed after hours in the sun may add a potential leak and cause soda foam to expand all over your cargo.
Cargo holds that are cold will hold soda for longer. Surface tension increases rather than decreases when the temperature rises. Modern cargo holds are already temperature-controlled. The pilot can adjust the temperature from the cockpit.
Cargo holds usually are insulated for fire protection and prevent cargo from getting too cold.
Temperature and pressure variations in the hold aren't usually enough to cause damage. Still, cargo hold malfunctions can occur. So, leaks and malfunctions in the seals of soda cans can still happen.
Most airlines and airport security regulate the amount of liquid you can carry in your carry-on luggage.
Most limit the liquid you can bring to several 100 ml bottles. This luggage restriction makes it hard for terrorists to get enough chemicals to make explosives. But, generally, there are no limits on how much liquid you can pack on your checked-in baggage.
So any canned beverage must go in your checked luggage.
Even if your canned product is solid, it can still be subject to the liquid rule or additional screening. So, it's best to pack them in your checked-in luggage.
If you have a waterproof container you can use, put your canned products in there and pack the gaps with more products, so they're secured in place.
If you don't, put your canned product in a waterproof bag and seal the bag tightly.
You can use plastic bags with zipper seals like Ziploc, but even the regular grocery bag would do as long as you knot it tightly since the main concern is leaking.
Don't wrap cans together. Wrap each can individually.
Next, surround the canned products with other items you can use as padding like clothes. You can use bubble wrap if available.
Place them in the middle of your luggage and far away from other hard items. That way, even if your luggage is handled roughly, the solid items wouldn't hit and break each other.
Don't pack your canned goods beside fragile items such as glass bottles.
They should also not touch each other or the sides of the bag.
Also, consider the luggage you're putting them.
Suitcases protect things inside them from getting broken. They also help prevent damage to things inside them when they get tossed around a lot.
Soft or fabric suitcases are more likely to survive being tossed around because they are made out of softer materials.
Double-check that they are secure. For a final test, shake or tap the case to see if the bottles move around or knock against each other. If they do, arrange them to ensure they're as secure and padded as possible.
If your canned product is alcohol, here are more things you should consider.
Check the alcohol content of your canned beverage. Alcoholic beverages that contain "24%" or less alcohol by volume (up to 140 proof) and are still in their original retail packaging can be carried on board as carry-on items.
Anything above 24% ABV must be checked. Beer and wine under 24% ABV can be packed into checked baggage. Anything over 70% ABV must be checked as liquids.
Bring your case if you plan to take expensive alcohol home. A hard-shell suitcase is the best choice for carrying canned products.
You should pack your canned beers or products in a sturdy case to protect them from damage.
Make sure that the cases are securely packed. You should protect your bags by making them strong enough to withstand the bumps and bruises of air travel.
A sturdy case can help prevent damage to fragile items inside.
Wrap each can in a separate plastic bag. If one can break during transit, the mess won't spread over your clothes and other belongings.
You should always pack your beer in cans because they're lighter and more durable than bottles. They also make great gifts for friends and family.
You may be charged taxes if you bring more than 1 liter of alcohol back into the United States.
Make sure to check the laws before importing goods from other countries.
You need to know what type of alcohol you're bringing into a country before you go.
Also, check if there are any restrictions on importing alcohol into a particular country.
Anything can happen in a flight, especially if it's a long-haul flight. But, it's safe to put cans in checked luggage as long as you pack them properly using waterproof containers or bags and surrounding them in padding.
Aside from proper packing, you should always know the luggage rules of your destination and airline to avoid additional screening or fees.
Aside from that, nothing stops you from putting cans in your checked luggage!