TSA will let you travel with a motorcycle airbag

If you were wondering if you can take a Helite vest on a airplane in the USA, you can. Ignore internet forums.

I ride with a Helite Turtle inflatable vest. I do not have the miles on it to give a proper review, but I like it enough to have wanted to drag it to Los Angeles with me yesterday, from San Francisco. I am planning to ride my 1976 BMW R90S home from my my parents where I left it last month, thinking a fall ride would be a little cooler than the heatwave temps I endured on the way down. Before leaving, I decided to check online and see if there were any issues.

Internet motorcyclist forum searches all said I was doomed. I did not lose sleep, however. The US Sailing Association website said no problem. Sailors are far more trustworthy than motorcyclists, so I decided to think of my airbag as a Personal Flotation Device when I got to the airport. I also called Virgin America, my airline of choice, and asked if they had any issues. Bring it on board for the party, they said.

The bag checker with a badge at the airport looked at me, looked at the hi-viz yellow vest and asked "PFD?" I said "Yes." TSA person said "Put it thru!" I put the vest, spare cartridge and the materials safety sheets I'd printed out, plus a copy of this TSA guideline on CO2 inflating vests on the belt and watched as it was minimally irradiated for our safety. Read the rest