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Are Bike Locks Allowed On Airplanes?

Are Bicycle Locks Permitted On Aircraft?

As you pack up for your next bike trip, you start thinking about which items you need to take with you. You know you’ll need a bike lock, but can you carry it on the airplane?

Bicyclists’ locks aren’t prohibited from being carried aboard planes. But if you bring them into the cabin instead of checking them, airline security might confiscate them because they’re big items that could be used to hurt people.

Many travelers report that when they attempt to bring their bikes through airport security, they’re taken away from them.

Which Locks Might Not Be Permitted?

Several types of bike locks should probably stay at home if you want to keep your bike safe during travel. These include heavy-duty locks that are meant to stand up against theft attempts, chains, cable locks, and anything else that can be used as weapons.

For instance, most airline policies prohibit carrying any kind of sharp object through security checkpoints. So if you plan on bringing your bike lock on board, you’ll want to look for a model that doesn’t have any sharp edges or points.

Some models of bike locks are considered dangerous enough to warrant confiscation by airport security. A lot of times, these types of locks can be very expensive, so it may just be best to leave them at home.

Even though bicycle chains have been given permission to fly, chains and cable locks are still prohibited. Some airlines don’t allow them at all, while others only permit them if they are locked onto a frame.

Make sure that you research your airline’s policy regarding bike locks before packing yours or contact airport security for clarification.

Do I Put My Bike Lock In A Checked Bag Or A Carry-on?

It’s probably better to pack your bicycle locks in your checked luggage rather than your carry-on.

They are still subject to being searched and sometimes confiscated. There is no guarantee that your bicycle lock won’t be taken away from you. Therefore, it’s safest to pack your bike lock separately from your other belongings.

You can either purchase one at your destination or ship it to your destination so it arrives before you arrive. Either way, it’s better to avoid packing your bike lock altogether.

What Additional Bicycle Tools Can I Bring On A Plane?

If you enjoy cycling and are flying, you are aware that you will require additional items once you get to your destination in addition to your bike and bike lock.

For maintenance and emergencies, some tools are a need. Which ones should you bring, and which should you leave at home?

The TSA, for instance, permits you to bring bike pumps on an airplane. Despite not officially being mentioned on the TSA website, some tools in your bike box might not be accepted by the TSA.

Allen keys and bike tools longer than seven inches are typically seized. Once more, anything that appears to be a weapon or has the potential to be one will probably also be taken. Hammers, wrenches, chain whips, and saws are a few examples of this.

Leave it out if you’re unsure.

Additionally, get in touch with your airline before your flight to make sure you are aware of the right ways to check or carry on your bike. It’s essential to be organized before you get to the airport because each airline has a different set of regulations.

Never Pack Any Of These Bike Tools In Your Carry-On Luggage

CO2 cartridges

Cyclists can’t pack CO2 cartridges in their carry-on luggage for safety reasons. You never know if there might be a change in pressure during flight, and if that happens, the cartridge could explode.

Plenty of people have flown with cartridges in bike bags without any problems, but it’s not worth the risk. Security agents may spot the cartridges and pry open your bag, causing damage to your belongings.

Instead of packing CO2 cartridges in your carry-on luggage, keep them in your checked baggage. You’ll be able to avoid the hassle of security agents searching your bag and potentially damaging your belongings.

Bike Tools Over 7 inches in length

This rule applies to bike tools that are longer than seven inches. You may think that long tools are necessary, but they slow down airport security. Longer tools are harder to hide in checked luggage, and they are less likely to fit through standard x-ray machines.

You should only pack tools that are shorter than seven inches if you plan to carry them on board. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay extra baggage fees at the airport.

Many people try to sneak in tools that are longer than six inches. But those tools are almost impossible to conceal in a suitcase. Plus, they’re not allowed on planes anyway. So, if you’re planning on carrying a tool that is longer than six inches, you might as well bring a backpack instead.

Allen-Key Sets

A lot of cyclists we’ve talked to have lost at least one Allen key set to TSA agents. Why? Because most sets come with a large wrench (usually an 8 mm or 10 mm) that looks pretty similar to a gun. And since guns are prohibited in checked baggage, you run the risk of losing your entire set.

So, instead of packing your Allen key set in your luggage, consider carrying a small pouch that holds two or three keys. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing any of your tools.

Flammable Cleaners

You never want to pack flammable liquid bike cleaners in your carry-on luggage. Even though there are plenty of non-flammable alternatives available, it’s still safer to travel with only water and food items.

Flammable liquids are dangerous, especially when mixed with oxygen. You may think that you’ll be able to control the situation, but you’d be surprised at how quickly a fire can spread once it starts.

Even if you don’t plan on using any of the flammable cleaners listed above, it’s probably a good idea to leave them behind. A lot of airlines prohibit carrying anything that isn’t necessary, including cleaning supplies. If you end up getting caught, you could face fines and/or delays.

Last Updated on November 1, 2022 by Sai

Evan Medders

Evan Medders

I'm Evan an avid cyclist and bike consultant. Besides my biking, I enjoy being a dad to two, a husband to one. Cycling is a fun and sustainable means of transportation, something not only our planet but also your body craves. We need to stay in physical shape, and keep our Earth in a good condition so we face fewer natural disasters. Biking is our way to see we do our part :)

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