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Transporting Diving Equipment Abroad


Air Cylinders

Regulators, Gauges and Computers

When travelling abroad  and taking your diving cylinders with Airline companies, we'd like to offer the following advice: (which you should check with your airline first, preferably before booking your flight)

For Scheduled airline travel:

  • Contact the airline and get their terms & conditions for transporting cylinders.

  • Get the agent to put a notation into the PNR to indicate that cylinders are being taken and the required state of cylinders.

  • Follow their rules.

  • At check in, when they see the cylinder, tell them that the PNR has info regarding the carriage of the cylinders.

  • Immediately prior to boarding, check with dispatcher that cylinders are loaded.

  • Fly.

For Charter airline travel:

  • Contact the airline and get their terms & conditions for transporting cylinders.

  • Get confirmation of the agents name/position and get this issued in writing.

  • Follow their rules.

  • Check in normally, but only show your written confirmation of their rules
    if they dispute any of the procedure (Always pays to keep your ammo in reserve).

  • Immediately prior to boarding, check with the dispatcher that cylinders are loaded.

  • Fly.

Further general advice:

  • Always make sure you arrive at the recommended check in time or earlier as sometimes there may be problems with loading your cylinders and you'll need to check that they are actually loaded, and if not, allow yourself time to sort out why not, and speak to the people in charge of handling, and show them your paperwork to confirm that prior arrangements were made and confirmed that transporting your cylinders would be OK with the Airline company.

  • We would not expect people to have problems if they followed these steps when travelling with a scheduled carrier. They have extremely good audit trails in the PNR.

  • And finally, make sure that you have all the relevant paperwork of your confirmation with you just in case.

Disclaimer: This information is valid at the moment. (February 2002)

It may have changed slightly by the time you book your flights, which makes it all the more important that you get the Current information at the time of booking from your airline company. Furthermore, each airline may have their own rules as to their exact procedure, so it's vital that you find this out and check with them first before proceeding with your plans.

Remember: PPPPPP (this link opens a new window)


(PNR - Passenger Name Record)


Many thanks to Terry Hennessey and Dave Noble for providing this information.

20th February 2002.

Regulators, Gauges and Computers

When taking Regulators, Gauges and Dive Computers it might be an idea to take them with your hand luggage for the following reasons:

  • These items may be damaged by reduced pressure in the aircraft holds

  • [not on regular flights in large aircraft, these holds are usually pressurised and sometimes heated, the problems arise when in a smaller (say 30 seater) aircraft that might not have a pressurised hold]

  • They may also be easily damaged by rough handling by baggage staff. You'll find out as you kit up for the dive, or even worse, at depth, when it's a little late.

  • They are valuable items and are worth keeping close by you, items are regularly stolen from luggage, and dive kit bags with flashy stickers are a good target for thieves wanting to steal small but valuable items.

Some other points to remember:

  • If you get a small regulator bag, place the relevant bits of kit inside it, and carry this packed in the top of your hand luggage bag, then if there's a query as to what the items are, then it's easy to get to them and satisfy the flight staff that they're safe to carry in the cabin. If they're packed in the bottom of, or in amongst your hand luggage, then it's a bind having to dig around for them, plus they may get tangled up, and damaged by other items in your hand luggage (food getting in the regulator mouthpiece for example)

  • As always, it would be advisable to confirm that these items are OK to carry as hand luggage with the airline first. [see cylinder advice above for the relevant people to contact regarding this] 

  • Some airlines don't allow any hand luggage at all, so it's a good idea to check first.

  • A good idea is also to put the rest of your dive gear into a hard sided suitcase rather than use a dive bag. This makes it far less susceptible to damage from handling and makes it less obvious that there is dive gear in it.

Thanks to Mike Harrison, David Leon, Mik Carr, Dave Noble and Terry Hennessey for this information.

21st March 2002


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