Charlie Foreman wrote a post about this time last year for the TSA Blog about traveling with scuba gear. We decided to share it again this summer for those of you who might have missed it. Enjoy this very informative post! ~ Bob
A little bit about Charlie - Charlie is a TSA Customer Support Manager in Mississippi. He’s been diving since the early 80’s and instructing since 1985. He began instructing the instructors in 1990 to teach open water diving as well as underwater photography. He’s got over 5,500 dives under his belt and was inducted into the Platinum Pro Instructor Foundation as well as the Platinum Pro Diver Foundation.
Before you get on that plane that takes you to an exciting destination, you must first think about how you should pack your dive gear for the flight. Here are some suggestions to make sure your expensive equipment arrives safely to your paradise adventure.
- Always pack your expensive dive equipment and accessories in your carry-on luggage.
- Always pack any prescription masks with you in carry-on luggage. If you lose this item it could ruin your whole trip.
- Always pack your dive computers and regulators in carry-on luggage because these items are sensitive and might not survive the wear and tear of the baggage handling process.
- Carry any prescriptions with you in your carry-on bag.
- Now that you have your carry-on bag packed, you can pay attention to packing your dive equipment that goes into the baggage area of the plane.
- Pack your dive jacket (B.C, Stab Jacket, and Buoyancy Compensators) in your dive bag first and place them in the middle of the bag.
- Surround the jacket with your fins to protect it during the flight.
- If you choose not to carry your mask with you on the plane, make sure it is in a protective mask box and it is wrapped with dive skins or your wetsuit to protect it from getting broken. Always carry a spare mask in your bag. Masks are very expensive if you have to replace one on your vacation. Make sure you place your dive knife in your checked baggage and not your carry-on. This item is prohibited on board an aircraft.
- Be sure to pack extra fin straps and repair items you might need as well as motion sickness medicines just in case. It is not necessary to carry weights and tanks with you since most resorts provide the availability to tanks and weights with the dive packages.
- If you do chose to carry you own personal small emergency air source, make sure the valve is out of the cylinder and it can be inspected at your time of departure.
- Do not forget the most important item! Make sure you lock your baggage with a TSA approved lock. This will prevent anyone from removing items out of your dive bags.
Now…Lets Go Diving!
Guest Blogger - Charlie Foreman
TSA Stakeholder - Customer Support Manager
Update: We’ve had some questions about diving lamps since we posted last year. Here are the FAA regulations: Electrically powered heat producing articles (e.g., battery-operated equipment such as diving lamps and soldering equipment) should be packed as carry-on baggage only and with the approval of the operator of the aircraft. The heat producing component, or the energy source, must be removed to prevent unintentional functioning during transport.