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, 2016 at 11:22
  • @CMater thanks! Author never sees ambiguatuons ;). I hope now is disambiguated. Jan 15, 2016 at 11:25
  • 2
    The worst? your luggage will end up on the bottom of the ocean - near an underwater volcano.
    – emory
    Jan 15, 2016 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, 2016 at 15:47
  • 1
    No, it's still there, "during a normal flight without major technical problems"
    – jcaron
    Jan 15, 2016 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


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, 2016 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, 2016 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 I constantly travel with my bikes and never let the air out unless I run into a stickler for outdated rules.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, 2016 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, 2016 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.) Jan 16, 2016 at 2:05

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