Rules for Flights in the USA
Overall, inflated helium balloons are allowed in carry-on or checked baggage on flights in the United States. Although helium is a gas, it isn’t flammable and therefore it isn’t considered dangerous for the most part.
But, passengers should consult with the airline they are traveling with, as the rules differ for each airline. Some carriers might prohibit inflated balloons inside the cabin due to the limited storage space or to prevent them from disturbing other passengers on the plane. If your inflated balloon is allowed on board, it might count as part of your carry-on allowance depending on its size.
Balloons in checked baggage are allowed. But, inflated balloons in cargo usually deflate due to the pressure and temperature they are exposed to. Although allowed, it isn’t practical to travel with inflated balloons in checked baggage.
The final decision rests on the security agent and the airline’s standards. But, overall, it’s best practice to deflate balloons and pack them in a carry-on or checked baggage when traveling in the United States.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Although European authorities don’t specify the rules for bringing inflated balloons aboard a plane, similar inflated items like a football are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage fully inflated. But, rules for inflated balloons might change among countries and airlines. Passengers should contact their airline before traveling with a fully inflated balloon inside the cabin.
Canada, UK, New Zealand, Chinese, and India
Canadian, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Chinese, and Indian authorities don’t specify if inflated balloons are allowed or banned from carry-on and checked baggage on flights. But, generally, inflatable items such as soccer balls and lifejackets are allowed in hand and cargo baggage only if they are partially or fully deflated.
On Australian flights, balloons are permitted in cabin and cargo baggage, but they must be partially or fully deflated. Australian authorities pinpoint that balloons are subject to rapid deflation or possible explosions due to the altitude. Partially or fully deflated balloons prevent in-flight disturbances.
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 inflated helium balloons onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Inflated Helium Balloons on Planes
Is Helium allowed on airplanes?
Compressed helium tanks aren’t permitted on planes in the United States. Although helium is non-flammable, large compressed quantities are still considered a hazard when traveling on a plane. Small helium-inflated balloons, however, are allowed aboard aircraft in the United States. Still, some airlines might ask for balloons to be partially or fully deflated when traveling inside the cabin to save space inside it and to prevent it from popping and creating disturbance among passengers.
Am I allowed to take deflated balloons on planes?
Deflated balloons are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage on planes in the United States. If they’re traveling in carry-on it isn’t necessary to take them out when going through security. Overall, packing your balloons deflated in carry-on and checked baggage is more practical and it saves you the trouble of having to deflate them in the security area or the airline counter.
Can I bring Disney balloons on planes?
You are allowed to bring Disney balloons inside planes in the United States. But, some airlines might prohibit boarding with inflated balloons for space reasons or to avoid them from popping inside the aircraft. In that case, you can deflate your balloons and place them in your carry-on and checked baggage. The size of the balloon will also influence if the airline allows it onboard.
Are inflated balloons also subject to luggage size restrictions?
Inflated balloons are also subject to luggage size restrictions on flights in the United States. Although most airlines will only allow deflated balloons on board, in the rare occasions you are allowed to bring your balloon inside the cabin you must be able to store it in the overhead bin or underneath the front seat for safety reasons. If you fail to fit your balloon in any of those, you’ll have to deflate it and pack it in your luggage.
Are balloon pumps allowed on planes?
Theoretically, you are allowed to bring balloon pumps on planes in the United States. While TSA doesn’t specify if you can bring balloon pumps, similar items like bicycle pumps are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage on planes in the United States. If traveling in a carry-on, your air pump might catch the security guard’s attention, but you’ll most likely be allowed to travel with it. An electric air balloon pump is perfect to work on the go with balloons and is portable, but keep in mind it also adds weight to your carry-on luggage.
Find Out the Packing Rules for Similar Items