8

What kind of conditions can my checked luggage expect in the hold of a plane during regional, international and transoceanic flights?

  • worst - Most extreme temperature and pressure range during a normal flight without major technical problems
  • average - Range of temperatures/pressures typical for a given flight length
  • 1
    Define worst? Highest? Lowest? fastest change? – CMaster Jan 15 '16 at 11:22
  • @CMater thanks! Author never sees ambiguatuons ;). I hope now is disambiguated. – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Jan 15 '16 at 11:25
  • 2
    The worst? your luggage will end up on the bottom of the ocean - near an underwater volcano. – emory Jan 15 '16 at 15:41
  • 1
    Also, if luggage is not containerised on your flight, expect it to be quite wet if it's raining... – jcaron Jan 15 '16 at 15:47
  • 1
    No, it's still there, "during a normal flight without major technical problems" – jcaron Jan 15 '16 at 18:14
8

Pressure is going to be basically the same as the passengers enjoy, as the entire fuselage is pressurized. The only real difference will be temperature, as the cargo hold area is not usually heated to any great degree unless the aircraft is transporting live animals or cold sensitive perishable items. The cold section of the cargo hold may drop down to 10C (give or take a few degrees), but they wouldn't let it drop below freezing as they don't want bottled liquids in suitcases freezing solid.

  • 1
    Are you sure about that? I remember that most airlines forced me to deflate the tyres of my bicycle when I want to carry it with me because of the pressure possibly causing an "explosion" of the tyres. – Ole Albers Jan 15 '16 at 14:48
  • 8
    @Albers The cargo hold is pressurized at the same pressure as the cabin. But the pressure on the whole aircraft is much lower than ground pressure. You would have the same problem if your bicycle was in the cabin. – Calchas Jan 15 '16 at 14:59
  • The 'rule' about deflating tires is a leftover from the dark ages of air travel. I constantly travel with my bikes and never let the air out unless I run into a stickler for outdated rules. Then I put my finger by the valve so it hisses a lot and leads the uninformed to believe I let all the air out. Never had a problem with my fully inflated road bike tires due to hold pressure. – user13044 Jan 15 '16 at 15:19
  • 3
    They want you to let the pressure out in case there is a pressurization problem. On a normal flight the tires won't pop but if there is a loss of cabin pressure they probably will. In most airliners the cargo compartments get exactly the same air as the cabin, both temperature and pressure; though not always. – nexus_2006 Jan 15 '16 at 16:15
  • 1
    Actually, tires bursting is an airline's concern, because a tire at high pressure contains quite a bit of energy -- a tire explosion can send tire bits all over the place at high speed, which can then damage other things. (Keep in mind that a fire would be the most likely culprit in an exploding tire, not a decompression.) – UnrecognizedFallingObject Jan 16 '16 at 2:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.