Flights in the USA (Regulated by TSA and FAA)
Because car shock absorbers (shocks) and struts contain compressed gas or oil, on flights within the USA, they’re prohibited in hand and checked luggage. TSA treats them as any other compressed gas cylinder. And since it isn’t a medical device, they’re banned.
Flights in Canada (Regulated by CATSA)
On Canadian flights, car shock absorbers and struts are banned in hand luggage, but certain airlines might allow placing shock absorbers and struts in checked luggage when specific instructions are met.
Flights in Europe (Regulated by IATA and EASA)
Not specified, but generally, shocks and struts aren’t allowed in checked or hand luggage. Only medical, avalanche, and life vest gas cylinders are allowed on flights in the EU.
Flights in the United Kingdom (Regulated by CAA)
Only 50ml (or smaller) compressed gas cylinders with non-flammable gas are allowed on flights in the UK. Since manufacturers don’t specify how much gas is inside shock absorbers, they usually aren’t allowed in hand and checked baggage.
Flights in Australia (Regulated by CASA)
In Australia, only devices with 50ml non-flammabl compressed gas cylinders or less are allowed. Because shock absorbers and struts don’t have markings on how much gas is inside, they aren’t allowed in hand and checked baggage.
Flights in New Zealand (Regulated by CAA)
In New Zealand, car shock absorbers and struts are banned in hand and checked luggage.
Flights in China (Regulated by CAAC)
China has banned car shock absorbers and struts from hand and checked luggage.
Flights in India (Regulated by AAI)
In India, you aren’t allowed to pack automotive struts and shocks in hand and checked luggage.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring shock absorbers and struts onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Shock Absorbers and Struts on Planes
Why are shock absorbers and struts banned on planes?
Most shock absorbers and struts contain compressed gases, which are classified as dangerous goods by most airline regulators. Some have banned them in hand and checked luggage altogether. Others allow compressed gas cylinders only if they don’t contain flammable gases, and only on certain devices, like avalanche backpacks, life vests, and medical devices. Furthermore, they’re usually allowed only in 50ml containers or less. Shock manufacturers usually don’t specify how much gas is inside, so the security agents can’t confirm if they’re allowed or not.
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Do gas shock absorbers and struts contain flammable gases?
Usually, gas-powered shocks and struts contain nitrogen gas, which is non-flammable. So theoretically, gas shock absorbers could be allowed on some flights in Australia and the UK. But because manufacturers don’t specify how much gas is inside, and only less than 50ml is allowed, they can’t be brought on planes.
Are oil shock absorbers and struts allowed on planes?
Because oil shock absorbers use automotive oil for shock absorption, they can’t be brought in checked and hand luggage. Auto car parts that contain residue of gasoline or oil are banned in hand and checked luggage.
Can I bring open, non-compressed shock absorbers and struts on planes?
Theoretically, if you open the seal for shocks or struts, and get rid of all the gases and oils inside, they should be allowed on planes. However, you have to clean all the residue throughout because it can’t have even tiny traces of oil. You should also be able to clearly show the security agent that it doesn’t contain any compressed gases or oils. And finally, you should remember that the final decision always rests on the security officer, so they might still prohibit you from bringing shocks on planes. Generally, we would advise transporting shocks with shipping couriers instead.
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