Avalanche Airbag Travelling and Canister Information
All Airbag Safety Systems rely on a either cylinder of compressed gas (air or nitrogen) or Lithium Ion battery to inflate the airbag, both of which are classed as “dangerous goods” by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). However, there is a list of certain products that are authorized by IATA, avalanche airbags are included in this list. Every IATA member airline knows this list and can allow the backpack to be transported. This page contains information about transporting the equipment and having them refilled.
Travelling with a battery operated Airbag System
Before transporting the airbag system it must be switched off and the entire avalanche airbag must be secured against accidental activation (you can find how to do this in the instruction manual). Take your avalanche airbag on the plane with you (as carry-on baggage). Do NOT check it into the hold (as checked baggage). Prior to traveling, it is also advisable to familiarize yourself with local requirements for taking the backpack on public transport.
Travelling with a compressed gas Airbag System
Travelling on airlines with compressed gases is heavily regulated.
For Europe and Asia, Avalanche Rescue backpacks have been passed as safe for transport by IATA (IATADGR. Table. 2.3. A) which means that all airlines should allow you to travel (subject to local law). You will need to declare the Airbag pack before check-in and in order to smooth the process it is best to contact your airline's customer service team before you fly to advise them that you will be carrying the sack. As airbags become more common, the airlines are getting more used to dealing with them.
In North America you cannot fly with any compressed gas cylinder unless it is empty and cannot fly with a carbon cylinder even if it is empty. That's why the paint ball refill systems are so popular there.
With appropriate planning there should be no difficulty travelling with an Airbag system throughout most of the world.
- Mammut Carbon Cartridge
- Mammut Steel Cartridge
- Mammut Refillable Cartridge
- Ortovox Avabag Carbon Cartridge
- Guide to flying with Mammut airbags and cartridges
Mammut / Snowpulse. Once empty the Non Refillable cylinder (no pressure gauge) must be exchanged with a Mammut dealer. This dealer could be in the resort whilst still on holiday (the best solution, no postage) or Facewest will exchange it for you upon your return. Search for 'refill' in the top right search box and pick the appropriate cylinder. The refillable 207 cylinder can be refilled at a dive shop or paintball place if they have the appropriate fittings and you have the seal discs.
Ortovox Avabag. Once empty the carbon cylinder must be exchanged with an Ortovox dealer. This dealer could be in the resort whilst still on holiday (the best solution, no postage) or Facewest will exchange it for you upon your return. Search for 'refill' in the top right search box and pick the appropriate cylinder.Sending a Cansiter to Facewest
When sending your canister in the post, either full or empty, you must check with the courier if they allow sending of these items. Currently Royal Mail do not allow transport of canisters even when empty. Facewest use UK Mail to ship all canisters. You can drop your canister at Facewest to avoid issues and cost with posting, please give us a call if you want to do this.