Dry Ice On Planes

Can you take dry ice on planes?  How much dry ice can you take on planes?  Those are the two most common questions about taking dry ice on planes.  I wanted to be sure, so I asked the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Here’s The Scoop

You can take dry ice on planes as a carry-on and as checked baggage.  The TSA limits the amount of dry ice that you can bring onboard.  Keep in mind that the TSA does enforce all of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for dry ice.

Checked Baggage

The TSA has some guidelines/restrictions for how the dry ice must be stored. 

  1. All dry ice must be placed in packaging that allows the release of carbon dioxide gas.  As dry ice sublimates, it will turn in to carbon dioxide gas.  If the carbon dioxide gas cannot escape the packaging, then the package may explode.
  2. You are limited to 5 pounds of dry ice per checked baggage.
  3. Every package of dry ice must be marked “CARBON DIOXIDE SOLID” or “DRY ICE”.
  4. Every package of dry ice must also be marked with the net weight of the dry ice or an indication that the dry ice is 5 pounds or less.

Carry-On Baggage

Dry ice in carry-on baggage is regulated just a little bit differently than checked baggage.  Here is the list of requirements for carry-ons:

  1. Dry ice must be placed in packaging that is allowed to release carbon dioxide.  Again, if the dry ice is in an air tight container, it could explode.  Having things explode on a plane is probably not a good idea.
  2. You are limited to 4.4 pounds of dry ice per carry-on.
  3. Every package of dry ice must be marked “CARBON DIOXIDE SOLID” or “DRY ICE”.
  4. Every package of dry ice must also be marked with the net weight of the dry ice or an indication that the dry ice is 4.4 pounds or less.

Important

This article was written in January 2011.  It is always good practice to verify the rules of bringing dry ice in your luggage with the TSA, FAA, and your individual airline.  You should plan on verifying the rules for bringing dry ice in your luggage at least 1 or 2 weeks in advance of your trip.

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