View Full Version : Getting my PFD to Hawaii

07-08-2014, 05:58 AM
Didn't think this would be a problem, but I'm flying to Hawaii to crew on one of the SHTP boats coming back, and I have discovered that my airline won't let me take my inflatable PFD in either my carry-on or checked bag. The CO2 cartridges are considered hazardous goods. I thought of sending them by FedEx to the Hanalei Bay Resort, but FedEx wants them packaged by a dangerous goods shipper before they will accept them. This can't be that difficult can it?

Getting short on time so any info would be appreciated.

J.M. Kiel

07-08-2014, 08:35 AM
I have taken PFDs on the airplane.

Print out this document (from TSA):


put an extra copy in your bag with your gear. Also, take the cylinder out of the vest arming device .

See also (from FAA)


which quotes 49 CFR 175.10(a)(24)

Small cartridges fitted into
devices with no more than four small
cylinders of carbon dioxide or other
suitable gas in in Division 2.2. The
water capacity of each cylinder must
not exceed 50 mL (equivalent to a
28g carbon dioxide cartridge), with
the approval of the operator.

07-08-2014, 11:49 AM
Exactly right.
Have done this dozens of times with no problem.
Be upfront about it when you check in and point it out, so its not a surprise situation for them behind the curtain.
Very important to provide the extra highlighted copy of the printout in the bag with the vest / cartridges.
Tape or rubber band it to the gear for the inspector going through the bag without you there.

I also found that gently pointing out that this is identical equipment to what is in the pretty yellow vests under the seats helps with really recalcitrant counter folks at check in.
But don't be that condescending about it!

07-08-2014, 02:51 PM
According to the TSA inflatable PFD's are okay as pogen pointed out and I too have flown with them multiple times and not had a problem on airlines that are okay with it, but it is ultimately up to the airline on which you fly. You may have to switch carriers. Most major airlines allow inflatable PFD's. Good luck!

07-08-2014, 11:09 PM
I sent my new CO2 cartridge re-arming kit to Hawaii in Jim Quanci's crate with his delivery sails, etc - but I suppose that's next time for you. An alternative is taking the CO2 cartridge out and leaving it home. Order a spare arming kit from WM and have it available at their Honolulu store. A spare is always a good thing to have around anyway, so when you've sailed back you'll have one. Order 2, just in case yours goes off accidently on the trip. I suppose you could also have WM deliver it to a Hawaii address.

07-09-2014, 01:37 PM
Will West Marine deliver intra-Island?

Ship to the RC Condo c/o

SHTP Lythcott Pu'u Poa 312
c/o Oceanfront Realty
5-4280 Kuhio Hwy
Princeville HI 96722

07-10-2014, 06:47 AM
Thanks for the all of the input. I also thought it strange that my PFD was disallowed when there were literally hundreds of like products already on the plane. Seems like the automatic bureaucratic answer is 'No' so I appreciate the references so I have the information I need. I also was ready to order it through WM in Hawaii, but time is getting a little short.

J.M. Kiel

07-11-2014, 08:23 PM
Ditto what Pogen said. Print out the TSA policy and the carrier's policy specifically on CO2 cartridges. If you check the pfd in luggage, rubberbind the documents directly to the pfd so they are obvious if your luggage is searched. If you carry it on, carry the papers with you. It depends on the carrier. I checked my auto inflate on Southwest in May from SEA-TAC and did not declare the presence of the PFD, I also neglected to print the paperwork, but my luggage was untouched. I flew to Mexico in March and United allows them with very specific rules on how many. Delta allows them. American and Alaskan do NOT allow them. Hawaiian does not seem to either. If your carrier does allow them, you should be fine. Otherwise, ship as above, but keep in mind it will need to go via ground, and to Hawaii that is by ship and extraordinarily long (though not as long as the race :)), even from West Coast. Probably best if you are able to arrange for a purchase pick up directly from West Marine. Good luck.

07-11-2014, 08:58 PM
Oops, I lied about Alaskan as they have an exception for the canisters only if fitted inside a life vest. Note - I did NOT remove my canister from the PFD, I left it armed. You already say your carrier disallows - so if you have talked to them about it, bring the vest and follow Pat's suggestion if there is no non-inflatable that you would like to bring instead. Is there possibly someone who is going on a carrier that allows them that could take an arming kit for you? Someone there might have extra cartridges you can "borrow," too.

07-12-2014, 06:44 AM
I'm flying Allegiant to Oahu and then Hawaiian to Kauai. I have an email from Allegiant saying I can take my PFD, although when I asked at the terminal on a recent flight they said 'No'. But I have a copy of the email and I will attach with the other references as recommended. I kind of assumed Hawaiian wouldn't be a problem on such a short flight. Hopefully that doesn't turn out to be a problem since I didn't plan for any layover in Honolulu to get over to WM.

07-13-2014, 04:09 PM
It shouldn't be a problem interisland for Hawaii - if they are the second leg there is a note that the rules of the initiating carrier apply to baggage policies - so, if the first flight is Allegiant, their rules apply. Consider checking the vest then. If you booked the flights separately for some reason, well you can always check with Hawaiian too. Great you have those e-mails. Print out all that stuff and keep it with the vest and you.