ABS in planes

ABS avalanche airbags are generally permitted aboard an aircraft according to the general rules of IATA (International Air Transport Association). However, as the IATA regulations are only a framework every airline is free to pass stricter regulations. Therefore, approval from the airline is necessary.

We recommend that you inform the airline about the ABS TwinBag and provide the extract from the IATA table and the data sheet which describes the content of the cartridge and the activation handle (Download on the left side) before booking your flight. 

It is very important that both the cartridge and activation handle are checked in together with the ABS TwinBag. Please print the section from the IATA table and the data sheet and attach them to your ABS backpack. This is to ensure that the purpose of the cartridge and backpack is obvious to the airport staff. If you check in the cartridge and activation handle separately, they may be confiscated!


"Avalanche rescue backpack, one (1) per person, containing a cylinder of compressed gas in Div. 2.2. May also be equipped with a pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing less than 200 mg net of Div. 1.4S. The backpack must be packed in such a manner that it cannot be accidentally activated. The airbags within the backpacks must be fitted with pressure relief valves." 

All ABS cartridges and activation handles starting from the double airbag models are compatible. For this reason, you may want to consider bringing your ABS backpack only and look for an ABS dealer who offers the rental of ABS cartridges and handles. 


If you are traveling to or from North America, the US American Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) will not allow your pressurized cylinder on board. Discharge (activate) the compressed air cylinder before entering the airport. Only once your cylinder is fully discharged, unscrew the cylinder head from the cylinder and put both in re-sealable plastic bags. Carry them through the TSA security checkpoint so they are visible to TSA personnel. Afterward, the cylinder head can be screwed back on the cylinder by hand.

If the cylinder is full and the cylinder head not unscrewed, the cylinder is not permitted through the security checkpoint. 

These general rules also apply to travelers who change planes in the United States.

However, you have the option to bring your ABS backpack only and look for an ABS dealer who offers the rental of ABS cartridges and handles for the time of your stay.

More information from the TSA can be found here


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IATA passenger provisions table