Rules for Flights in the USA
In the United States, crampons are generally allowed on carry-on and checked baggage on planes. However, TSA does make it clear that the final decision of whether they’re safe to take in hand luggage rests on the security agent at the airport. Crampons come in different sizes and shapes, and some have larger and sharper spikes than others. Although they are generally allowed, if a security agent considers your crampons a potential threat to other passengers, then they might be confiscated at airport security. That’s why you should always try to pack them in checked luggage instead, where sharp items are allowed.
Yaktrax-style crampons are more likely to be allowed through security without any problem as they don’t have any spikes.
If you’re traveling internationally, keep in mind your country of destination might have different rules, and crampons in hand baggage might be seen as dangerous sharp objects.
Passengers should also know that although crampons are generally allowed, similar items like snow cleats and shoe spikes aren’t allowed on carry-on according to TSA rules.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and India
In Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India crampons are banned from hand luggage and are allowed only in checked baggage. In all these countries, the general rule for sharp items that could become a weapon against other passengers, even if they are used for sports, is to allow them only in checked baggage.
China and New Zealand
Chinese and New Zealand authorities don’t specify if crampons are allowed on planes. But generally, crampons aren’t allowed in cabin baggage as their sharp spikes and edges could be used as a weapon against other passengers. In these countries, crampons are allowed on checked baggage only.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring crampons on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Crampons on Planes
Are Jaktrax and microspikes also allowed on planes?
Both Yaktrax and microspikes are allowed on planes in the United States with certain restrictions. Yaktrax is a style of crampon that doesn’t have any spikes and therefore is allowed in carry-on and checked baggage without any restrictions. Microspikes aren’t allowed in carry-on and therefore should be packed only in checked baggage. Although there is conflicting information about crampons, shoe spikes, and cleats online, the general rule is that sharp items that could represent a threat to the aircraft aren’t allowed in hand luggage.
Read Next: Can You Bring Snowshoes on Planes?
Are crampons with sharp, long spikes considered dangerous items on planes?
Theoretically, crampons aren’t considered dangerous goods when flying in the United States and are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage. However, crampons with sharp long spikes could be considered dangerous by the security agents at the airport and could be confiscated. Although TSA allows crampons in carry-on baggage, ultimately the security agents at the airport make the final call.
Is it better to pack crampons in hand or checked luggage?
Overall, it’s best to pack crampons in checked baggage when traveling in the United States. Crampons are allowed by TSA in cabin baggage, but airport security decides if they let them through. Since crampons are sharp, there is a high possibility they are considered dangerous and get confiscated or forced to travel in checked baggage. Travelers flying internationally and doing layovers should also keep in mind that many destinations prohibit crampons in hand luggage.
Do I need to declare crampons in luggage?
You don’t need to declare crampons in your luggage when you’re traveling in the United States. However, if you’re returning from an international destination and you bought crampons in a foreign country, then you need to declare crampons and everything else you bought at customs. Passengers leaving the United States can opt for asking for a Certificate of Registration at the airport before leaving the country to prove they owned crampons before traveling.
Can crampons be brought through airport security?
In theory, crampons are allowed through airport security according to TSA. However, due to the spikes in crampons, a security agent might deem them dangerous and confiscate them. Although crampons are allowed, similar items like snowshoes with spikes and snow cleats aren’t permitted in carry-on baggage. Therefore it’s likely that your crampons also have trouble going through security and so it’s best to pack them in cargo baggage.
Can the airport security confiscate crampons from my hand luggage?
Yes, airport security can confiscate crampons if they deem them as a threat to other passengers on flights in the United States. Although TSA allows crampons on planes, they do state the security agent at the airport has the final call on whether the object is safe or not. If you’re traveling with crampons and the security agent thinks they are dangerous to take onboard, then they have the authority to confiscate your crampons.
What’s the safest way to pack crampons in my luggage?
The safest way to pack crampons in your luggage when traveling in the United States is by strapping them together with the bottom part facing towards each other. You can wrap them with clear wrapping paper and later a towel or thick fabric so it doesn’t cause harm to the airport employees when they are handling the baggage or damage your other belongings.
Another easier option is to use a crampon case that helps to protect both your crampons and other belongings in your luggage.
What about other ice climbing and alpinism equipment?
Overall, climbing and alpinism equipment is allowed on planes in the United States with some restrictions. Climbing equipment like carabiners, cams, quickdraws, harnesses, helmets, gloves, ropes and cordage, slings, and webbing are usually allowed in hand luggage and checked baggage without any restrictions.
Other mountaineering and climbing equipment like ice picks, ice axes, ice screws, shovels, hooks, pitons, and nut tools should go in checked baggage only. Additional equipment like tent poles and hiking poles can travel in checked baggage. Gas canisters for camping stoves and flare guns are banned from planes.
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