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I'm travelling from Portland, USA to Florianopolis, Brazil and I wonder if I can check in 15mL metal tubes of watercolor without being damaged by the pressure in the cargo. It will be a total of 4 flights - 2 in the USA and 2 in Brazil. Also, I would like to check in my porcelain palettes with my dry watercolors, but I'm worried that the paints could melt once it gets to Brazil (with the two domestic flights ahead, and the high temperature summer time) and that the porcelain palettes are risking to be broken. The palettes are 4x4in and 4x8in.

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    The cargo hold is pressurized, but the temperature may be colder or hotter than the passenger cabin. Dec 7 '15 at 23:03
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The cargo hold is pressurized the same as the passenger cabin is. So your paints won't be effected by pressure changes.

The cargo area will be colder than the cabin (they occasionally heat a section if there are live animals or perishable goods, but not to any high heat level). Likely your checked bags will be in containers in the cold part of the cargo hold and when they reach Brazil will likely still be cool when you claim them in customs.

The only worry about heat would be if your layover time is long (several hours) and if the bags are left sitting in the full sun between flights. But as you will be claiming your bags at customs when you arrive, when they are rechecked they will likely stay in the baggage processing area, rather than being dumped on the tarmac like they would on a domestic to domestic connection.

I would wrap your porcelain palettes in bubble wrap or a bit of foam to protect their fragility and keep them cooler longer.

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  • I would also add that you can request the airline at check-in to label your luggage as fragile, to afford some special care and handling. Dec 8 '15 at 5:46
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    popularmechanics.com/technology/reviews/a6284/… "One disheartening result was that our package received more abuse when marked "Fragile" or "This Side Up." The carriers flipped the package more, and it registered above-average acceleration spikes during trips for which we requested careful treatment." your luggage won't be any different. Don't label as fragile.
    – chx
    Dec 31 '15 at 11:11
  • @chx that article was about couriers not airlines.
    – user13044
    Jan 1 '16 at 2:38
  • I know but that won't matter much , alas. It's like painting a bulls eye on it.
    – chx
    Jan 1 '16 at 7:04
  • How do you know it was deliberate and not just the luck of the draw. Sending just a couple of packages is not an acurate sampling of handling but as we see everywhere today, excitment and drama is preferred over truth and accuracy.
    – user13044
    Jan 2 '16 at 1:39

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