Will Cans Explode In Checked Luggage – Understanding The Risks

Have you ever wondered, “Will cans explode in checked luggage?” This is a common concern among travelers packing canned goods. It’s not just a theoretical question; understanding the risks could save you from a luggage disaster. From soda cans to aerosols, fluctuations in pressure and temperature during flights can lead to explosive outcomes.

Our comprehensive guide dives into the science behind why cans may explode in checked luggage, and more importantly, provides practical tips on how to pack cans safely. You’ll never have to worry about opening your suitcase to a mess again. Don’t let your travel plans get disrupted by an avoidable issue. Click the link to learn how to securely pack canned goods in your luggage. Equip yourself with the necessary knowledge for a worry-free journey.

The Joy And Peril Of Traveling With Beer

will cans explode in checked luggage

Traveling with beer brings with it a unique mixture of delight and danger. The joy lies in the thrill of discovering new brews, sharing your favorite local flavors with friends, and bonding over a chilled bottle in a far-off place. The appreciation for the craftsmanship, the artistry and the stories behind each bottle enhance the journey significantly. However, the peril is real and can’t be overlooked. 

Transporting beer can be a logistical nightmare with potential for disaster. Temperature fluctuations can ruin a good brew, bottles may break, and there’s always the looming fear of exceeding luggage weight limits. Furthermore, navigating through custom regulations and laws for alcohol transportation across borders can be a daunting task. So, while the joy of globetrotting with beer is enticing, one must also be prepared to face the challenges that come with it.

Pressure Changes In The Cargo Hold

Pressure changes in the cargo hold during flights can add another layer of complexity to the task of traveling with beer. As the airplane ascends and descends, the pressure in the cargo hold fluctuates, potentially causing beer bottles to leak or even explode. This is especially true for highly carbonated beers, as the change in pressure can cause an increase in the carbonation level, leading to over-pressurization of the bottles. Sealed cans may fare better, but they are not immune to these effects. Therefore, it is crucial to pack beer securely and consider these potential risks when deciding to travel with beer.

Temperature Fluctuations

will cans explode in checked luggage

Temperature fluctuations while traveling with beer is another critical factor that can significantly affect the quality of the brew. Beer is a perishable product and should ideally be stored at a consistent temperature. When beer is exposed to temperature swings, it can lead to a phenomenon known as “thermal shock,” which can accelerate the aging process of the beer and alter its taste. 

Cold temperatures can cause the beer to freeze and expand, leading to potential breakage. On the other hand, warm temperatures can make the beer go stale faster. This is particularly true for lighter beers, which are more vulnerable to changes in temperature. As such, maintaining a consistent and appropriate temperature is absolutely essential when transporting beer.

Impact And Handling

Traveling with beer presents unique challenges and impacts that need careful handling. The impact of temperature fluctuations, for example, can significantly affect the beer’s taste and quality. When beer is exposed to heat, it can become ‘skunky’ or stale, spoiling the overall experience. Handling beer while traveling should thus involve consideration for temperature control, particularly maintaining a cool environment to prevent any degradation. 

Also, the impact of rough handling could lead to breakage or leakage, especially when dealing with glass bottles. Secure packing that absorbs shock is essential, using items such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Overall, the impact of travel on beer is substantial, and effective handling is necessary to ensure your brews arrive at their destination as enjoyable as they were when they left the brewery.

Overfilling And Overpacking

will cans explode in checked luggage

Overfilling and over packing when traveling with beer can lead to several potential issues. First and foremost, the pressure changes during a flight can cause tightly packed beer cans or bottles to rupture, resulting in a messy spill that could damage other items in your suitcase.

Additionally, overpacking your luggage might result in exceeding the weight limit for checked baggage, which could incur additional fees. Furthermore, it’s essential to consider the legal limitations regarding the transportation of alcohol across state lines or international borders. Always ensure you adhere to rules and guidelines set out by transportation authorities to avoid confiscation of your beer or potential fines.

Altitude Of Destination

When traveling with beer, the altitude of your destination can significantly impact the quality and taste of your brew. High altitudes, characterized by lower atmospheric pressure, can cause the carbon dioxide in beer to expand more, leading to over-carbonation. This can result in excess foaming and an alteration in the beer’s taste profile.

Additionally, changes in pressure can also affect the seal of beer containers, potentially leading to leakage. Thus, when transporting beer to high-altitude destinations, it’s essential to take precautions such as using well-sealed containers and allowing the beer to rest and acclimate to the new pressure before opening.

Quality Of The Cans

will cans explode in checked luggage

When traveling with beer, the quality of the cans is of utmost importance. The can’s construction plays a significant role in preserving the beer’s flavor and integrity. High-quality cans are designed to prevent light exposure, which can degrade the beer, and to maintain the correct pressure to keep the beer carbonated. Moreover, good quality cans are more durable and resistant to damage, ensuring that the beer remains safe during transport. For these reasons, when choosing canned beer for travel, it is always advisable to opt for those with a reputation for quality packaging.

Proper Packing Techniques

When traveling with beer, there are a few vital packing techniques to ensure your beverages arrive safely at their destination. This task requires careful planning and protective materials to avoid any mishaps during transit.

Firstly, it’s essential to consider the type of beer you’re transporting. Beers with higher alcohol content are less likely to spoil quickly, making them better options for travel. Additionally, canned beers, as opposed to bottled ones, are less fragile and easier to pack.

When packing beer, place each can or bottle in a sealable plastic bag to contain any potential leaks. This step not only prevents spillage but also safeguards other items in your luggage from getting soaked in beer. If possible, opt for specialized wine or beer travel bags for added protection.

Layering is key in packing beers. Start by cushioning the bottom of your suitcase with soft clothing. Place the bagged beers in the middle layer, ensuring that they are surrounded by more cushioning materials such as towels, sweaters, or bubble wrap. This setup provides ample shock absorption during the journey.

Lastly, never forget the importance of weight distribution. Heavy items should be placed towards the wheels of your suitcase to make it easier to maneuver. Always check your suitcase weight after packing to avoid any airline charges for excess luggage. 

Know The Airline’s Rules And Regulations

When traveling with beer, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the airline’s rules and regulations to ensure a hassle-free journey. Different airlines have varying policies regarding the transportation of alcoholic beverages, and breaching these can lead to penalties or even confiscation of your items.

One of the primary considerations when transporting beer is the alcohol content. Most airlines allow passengers to carry alcohol with an alcohol content between 24% and 70% in checked baggage only, with a maximum limit of 5 liters per passenger for beverages that fall between 24% and 70% alcohol. However, this policy can differ across airlines.

Another critical factor is the packaging of the beer. Airlines often require that alcoholic beverages are adequately sealed and secured against leakage. It’s generally recommended to use bubble wrap or specialist wine packaging and to place the wrapped bottles inside sealed plastic bags for extra protection.

In addition, it’s important to declare your items accurately. When flying internationally, you may have to pay duty or taxes on the beer you’re transporting. The exact rates and allowances can vary greatly from one country to another, so it’s worth researching this beforehand.

Lastly, remember that laws regarding alcohol consumption vary worldwide. In some countries, the importation of alcohol, even for personal use, may be heavily regulated or even forbidden. Always double-check the local laws of your destination country before choosing to travel with beer.

will cans explode in checked luggage?

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Cans typically won’t explode in checked luggage due to changes in air pressure during a flight. The cargo hold of an aircraft is pressurized, just like the passenger cabin, so the pressure inside the luggage compartment is maintained at a level that shouldn’t cause cans to burst.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind when packing cans in your checked luggage:

Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated beverages can expand at higher altitudes due to the reduced air pressure, which might cause some leakage or even minor damage to the can. To be safe, it’s a good idea to wrap these cans in plastic bags or pack them in a way that prevents them from moving around and potentially puncturing.


Extreme temperature changes during a flight could affect the contents of cans. For example, if you have canned food or beverages in your luggage and your flight goes through a very cold region at high altitude, the contents might freeze and expand, potentially causing the can to burst. Similarly, extreme heat could also affect certain canned items.

Security Regulations

Be aware of security regulations regarding carrying liquids and containers with you on a flight. Most airlines and security agencies have restrictions on carrying liquids, including canned beverages, in your carry-on luggage. These items are generally allowed in checked luggage, but it’s a good idea to check with your airline and the specific regulations of the airports you’ll be traveling through.

Can You Bring Canned Drinks On A Plane?

will cans explode in checked luggage

When it comes to traveling by air, keeping track of the weight of your luggage is crucial. Airlines have strict policies regarding the weight limit of the luggage that each passenger can carry. If your luggage exceeds the specified weight limit, you will be charged an overweight baggage fee. 

The fees for overweight luggage can vary greatly depending on the airline. For instance, some airlines might charge a flat rate for every extra pound, while others might have a tiered system where the charges increase as the weight of the luggage goes up. It’s not uncommon for these fees to range from $50 to $200 per bag.

Additionally, the distance of the flight can also affect the overweight luggage fee. Longer flights often have higher fees compared to short-haul flights. This is because the additional weight requires more fuel for the aircraft, which increases the cost of the flight.

It’s also important to note that these fees are typically charged on top of any standard baggage fees that the airline may already charge. This means you could end up paying a significant amount if your luggage is overweight.

To avoid these fees, it’s a good idea to weigh your luggage at home before your trip. This way, you can ensure that your luggage is within the weight limit and adjust as necessary. If you have to carry more, consider splitting your luggage into two bags to avoid the overweight charges.

How Should I Pack Cans To Prevent Explosions During Flights?

will cans explode in checked luggage

When it comes to traveling by air, understanding the fees associated with overweight luggage is crucial. Airlines, whether domestic or international, have strict guidelines on the weight of checked and carry-on luggage. Exceeding these limits can result in significant additional costs. 

For instance, on many U.S. airlines, the standard weight allowance for checked bags is typically between 50 and 70 pounds. If your bag weighs more than the specified limit, you will likely have to pay an overweight fee. These fees can range from $25 for an additional few pounds to well over $100 if the bag weighs more than 100 pounds.

Meanwhile, international airlines often operate on a “piece concept” for long-haul flights, where each passenger is allowed one or two checked bags up to a certain weight limit. Overweight fees for these airlines can vary widely. Some European airlines, for instance, might charge a flat rate per kilogram over the limit, while Asian airlines might have a sliding scale fee based on the total weight of the luggage.

It’s also worth noting that budget airlines often have stricter regulations and higher fees for overweight luggage. These airlines make a significant portion of their revenue from ancillary fees, including baggage fees. So, a cheap ticket might turn out to be much more expensive if you don’t pay attention to the luggage weight limits.

How Can I Minimize The Risk Of Cans Exploding During Air Travel?

will cans explode in checked luggage

When it comes to air travel, one common concern among passengers is the fees associated with overweight luggage. The cost of checking overweight luggage can vary significantly from one airline to another, and factors such as the weight category and route can also influence the price.

For instance, domestic flights within the United States often charge between $100 to $200 for baggage weighing between 51 to 70 lbs, and $200 to $400 for baggage weighing between 71 to 100 lbs. However, these fees can drastically increase for international flights, potentially costing several hundred dollars.

Additionally, there are some airlines that may impose a flat fee for overweight luggage regardless of the weight bracket. For example, a flat fee of $100 might be the norm regardless of whether the bag is 51 lbs or 100 lbs.

If you’re a frequent flyer, it might be worth considering airline loyalty programs or credit cards that offer benefits such as free checked bags or increased weight allowances. These programs can save passengers considerable amounts of money, especially on longer trips or when traveling with heavier bags.

However, regardless of the airline or any loyalty programs, the most effective way to avoid paying for overweight luggage is to pack light and weigh your baggage before leaving for the airport. By investing in a luggage scale and packing strategically, you can save yourself both money and stress.

What Happens If A Can Explode Inside Checked Luggage?


Most airlines enforce strict baggage policies, and that includes charges for overweight luggage. These fees vary greatly depending on the airline and how much your luggage exceeds the weight limit. Typically, bags that weigh between 51 to 70 pounds are considered overweight for which airlines levy an additional fee. This fee can range anywhere from $50 to $200.

For bags that weigh more than 70 pounds, airlines charge an even higher fee, often up to $400. Bear in mind that these charges are per bag, per way. So, if you’re planning a round trip with an overweight bag, you’ll need to pay the fee twice.

It’s also worth noting that certain airlines have a maximum weight limit for checked bags, typically around 100 pounds. Bags exceeding this limit may not be accepted at all. The exact fee structure can usually be found on the airline’s official website.

Alternative Solutions For Packing Soda Cans  (Checked Luggage)

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When it comes to traveling, understanding the fees for overweight luggage is crucial in avoiding unexpected costs. Almost all airlines impose a fee for luggage that exceeds their standard weight limit. However, the exact fee can vary considerably between different airlines.

For instance, domestic airlines in the United States typically charge around $100 for bags weighing between 51-70 lbs and around $200 for bags weighing 71-100 lbs. On the other hand, international airlines may charge by the excess kilogram, with fees ranging from $10 to $50 per kilogram over the weight limit.

It’s also important to note that these fees are usually applied on a per-bag basis. This means that if you have multiple bags that are overweight, you’ll be charged the overweight fee for each of them. Moreover, if a single bag is both overweight and oversize, it may incur both overweight and oversize fees.

Therefore, to avoid these fees, it’s recommended to check your airline’s baggage policy ahead of time and pack accordingly. If you’re a frequent traveler, consider investing in a lightweight, durable suitcase and a luggage scale to help manage your packing and avoid unexpected fees. 

Remember, the fees for overweight luggage can add up quickly and significantly increase the total cost of your trip. By being aware of these costs and planning accordingly, you can save money and avoid stress when traveling.

FAQs About Will Cans Explode In Checked Luggage


Can Cans Explode In Checked Luggage?

Yes, cans can explode in checked luggage. The air pressure in the cargo hold of an airplane is different than at sea level. When the pressure in the airplane decreases, the pressure in the can may exceed the pressure capacity of the can, leading to an explosion. Moreover, changes in temperature can have a similar effect, causing the contents of the can to expand and potentially rupture the can.

What Types Of Cans Are More Likely To Explode In Checked Luggage?

Aerosol cans and cans containing carbonated beverages are particularly prone to exploding in checked luggage due to the high pressure inside these cans. These types of cans are designed to withstand normal atmospheric conditions, but they may not be able to handle the pressure changes and temperature fluctuations that occur during flight.

How Can I Prevent Cans From Exploding In Checked Luggage?

One of the best ways to prevent cans from exploding in checked luggage is to avoid packing them whenever possible. If you must pack a can, try to choose one that is not pressurized or carbonated. As an additional precaution, you can seal the can in a zipper bag to contain any potential leaks.

What Are The Consequences If A Can Explodes In My Checked Luggage?

Should a can explode in your checked luggage, it could damage both your bag and the contents within. Depending on the contents of the can, it could also potentially cause a fire or other safety hazard. Additionally, airlines may impose fines or other penalties for packing hazardous materials in checked luggage.


Will cans explode in checked luggage? In conclusion, cans may potentially explode when placed in checked luggage due to the pressure changes that occur during flight. This is not a guaranteed outcome, but the possibility does exist, especially with carbonated beverages or other pressurized containers. It is, therefore, prudent to take precautions when packing canned items in checked luggage, or better yet, avoid doing so altogether to prevent any untoward incidents.