Current location for King Malu

Monday, 17 September 2012

Flying with life jacket cylinders

I am just following up a problem I had flying back to Cyprus from the UK with life jacket cylinders. About 2 weeks before flying I phoned the airline to check if I could bring small CO2 cylinders for the life jackets for my yacht with me. The person who initially responded to my phone call did not know so checked with her supervisor who confirmed that they were permitted. The person concerned said they should be suitably packed.

I packed each cylinder in bubble wrap as well as a solid cardboard tube outside to protect even the bubble wrap. I put them into my checked baggage. I purchased 20kg extra baggage allowance for other sailing kit I was bringing with us (10kg each for my wife and me).

When I arrived at Manchester airport, the ground crew asked me to put the three roll-on duffle bags through outsize, not because they are outsize, but because they are soft. When they used the x-ray scanner on the bags the cylinders showed up. I explained I had already contacted the airline and they has said they were OK. The baggage handlers said they were against government regulations. They called airline staff who then called their supervisor who said they would follow whatever the baggage handlers said.

I had to leave the cylinders in left-luggage and get a friend to collect.

I have now checked the CAA (government) regulations on what can and cannot be carried. They clearly say they are permitted (quoted below) and so the baggage handlers were wrong!

Self-inflating life-jacket fitted with no more than 2 small cylinders containing a non-toxic, non-flammable gas, and no more than 2 spare cylinders.
I now have the life-jackets in Cyprus and the replacement cylinders in the UK! I am unimpressed. I have just contacted the airline asking them what is their proposed solution to this problem.

1 comment:

  1. If your Co2 cylinders are like ours in the US, they are made out of steel, far stronger than any bubble wrap or cardboard that might "protect" them. But obviously your bureaucrats are like ours in the US, and are woefully unfamiliar with the properties of the objects they regulate. Putting government officials in charge of safety leads to the eventual prohibition of all human activity.