I need to send a PVC pipe in my checked baggage. I want to store a rolled up painting inside it so buying one at my destination isn't a solution or option. I am worried that it looks like a missile or pipe bomb. Can it be placed in my checked in luggage without arising suspicion?

  • Pipe bombs are normally metal pipes. Missiles are much bigger and distinctive, as well as typically being made of aerospace grade metals. Posters etc are routinely taken on planes to conferences and events rolled up inside tubes - although often these are hand-carried for safety of the poster, rather than checked. – CMaster Mar 4 at 15:00
  • @Sddahan could you please mention the airports from/to you would be traveling ? – Aak Mar 4 at 15:52
  • To be clear, when you are transporting the pipe will there be a painting inside it? – DJClayworth Mar 5 at 15:30

Here is what PVC pipe bombs look like under a modern X-ray (photos from here):

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It does not look like it would be very difficult to distinguish an empty PVC pipe from a full one, but if you don't cap the ends it will be significantly less suspicious, and less likely to end in your luggage being delayed (or possibly blown up as a worst case). I suggest not capping the ends (and avoid packing it with electronics or things that show up black under an X-ray nearby).


The most they will do is open your bag, inspect the pipe and poster, quickly realise that it is nothing threatening (there are no rules against poster tubes in luggage), and repack your bag. This probably happens all the time.


The TSA guidelines does not mention anything regarding PVC pipes so the best option is to ask them directly.

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    If the OP is indeed traveling to the US, then luggage and carryon restrictions will be controlled and administered by the national or airport authority at the departure airport. TSA will only be involved if the flight departs from a USA airport, or, perhaps, leaves for the US from a US Preclearance Facility overseas. – DavidSupportsMonica Mar 4 at 15:47
  • @DavidSupportsMonica removed my incorrect assumption from the answer. I have asked OP to provide details of relevant airports to provide a better answer. – Aak Mar 4 at 15:58
  • If it turns out a PVC pipe is not allowed, they make quite sturdy cardboard tubes for transporting posters. – csk Mar 4 at 23:14

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