I'm buying this for an overseas friend.

I was wondering if I could bring compressed air cans through the airport considering they come with warnings such as

Warning: Flammable/Combustible when exposed to naked flame or stored in an area where temperatures exceed 50° C

I know this might be dependent on the airlines, so I'll go ahead and say I'll be flying with either Malaysia Airlines or Jetstar.

  • IMO you want to edit the question because noone stops you to bring air cans to the airport. AFAIK there is nothing you can't bring to an airport you couldn't bring to a mall or similar. – chx Jan 4 '15 at 15:33
  • FYI there are both inflammable and non-inflammable compressed air cans. All compressed gasses are restricted for air travel/shipment, but the non-inflammable ones are very good choice from a general safety standpoint. – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jan 4 '15 at 16:56
  • What if you bring them empty and pump some air into them after you arrive? – Display Name Jan 4 '15 at 20:37

According to the TSA website, compressed cylinders are not allowed:



Disabling Chemicals & Other Dangerous Items

Fire extinguishers and other compressed gas cylinders Allowed: NO

This doesn't mean the airline doesn't have specific requirements, but assuming you are leaving from the US it's TSA that you have to get through first before dealing with the airline.

  • I am pretty sure that what is meant by "gas cylinder" is this, not that (aerosol cans). Nevertheless, the DOT seems to allow it. They do not mention compressed air specifically, but they state that flammables are not allowed, which as I understand it, allows compressed air since it is not directly flammable (even though the propellant is). Correct me if I am wrong, but most (if not all) aerosol propellants are inherently flammable; only the actual product may be non-flammable. – sleblanc Jan 4 '15 at 19:13
  • 2
    But watch out, most compressed air cans do not actually contain air, but a mixture of propanol, butane and other highly flammable gases, since they compress much better than plain air. – sleblanc Jan 4 '15 at 19:21
  • 1
    This TSA blog specifies that compressed air cans are explicitly not allowed, in reference to air horns: blog.tsa.gov/2012/02/… – user24788 Jan 4 '15 at 20:33

From the link in Green Chili's post:

Flammable Items Carry-on? Checked? Aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities) NO NO

This is a flammable aerosol (read the description, the propellant is a hydrocarbon), it's not personal care or a toiletry, it's not permitted.


One time I tried to bring imported compressed air from Taiwan, very rare, on a flight from Hong Kong to Africa, they asked why I had a warrant out from back home in Tibet, and I explained to them that the Tibetan Monks aren't fond of using compressed air to freeze other humans. I went on to explain I am a compressed air salesman from Madagascar and that the can I was carrying was my product. 3 1/2 body cavity searches later, they let me take it on! They never identified me as the man that froze the flight attendant on that flight hehe. Long story short, with patience and persistence, you can get away with it.

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