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Can you Take an Electric Air Pump on a Plane?

taking an electric air pump on a plane

The boat is rocking and the fish are jumping out of the lake as if to say, “Come and get me!”

But all you can think of is that big trip you have planned to Florida. Oh yes, you’re going to get plenty of fish there. Bass, sailfish, and who knows what else will be waiting under the serene waters.

The only problem is that you promised to bring your friend in Florida an electric air pump. You have the pump, but now you need to know if you can bring it on the plane.

Your friend actually wants an air compressor and an air mattress pump too. But you don’t know if you can bring those, either.

There’s only one thing to do, you need to check with the airline and find out which items are allowed and which are not allowed in checked luggage.

Let’s contact the airlines and find out.

Can You Take An Electric Air Pump On A Plane?

Electric Air Pump, AGPtEK Portable Quick-Fill Air Pump

Electric air pumps can be taken inside your luggage on a plane. But airlines do have size restrictions, so you need to know the limitations.

The luggage size is normally restricted to 62 linear inches. If you have a large pump, don’t worry. You may still be allowed to carry the pump in your luggage–for an extra fee.

Linear inches involve the total of your bag’s length, width, and depth. For example, let’s say your bag is thirty inches high, fifteen inches wide, and twelve inches deep.

In this case, you would add thirty, fifteen, and twelve to get fifty-seven linear inches. This would represent a large carry-on case because common carry-on bags are forty-five linear inches.

Another consideration is your luggage weight. Weight allowance varies by airlines. For example, Virgin Atlantic allows twenty-two pounds. Philippine Airlines and Qantas allow fifteen pounds before they charge an extra fee.

The good news is that many air pumps fit these dimensions, especially if you choose a portable model. Check with highly rated companies such as Innersole Rand, Siemens, Sulzer, Boge, Doosan, Fusheng, Kobelco, and Gardner Denver to compare their top-performing units. You will find a large selection of compact units to choose from.

Since air pumps are safe instruments, you do not need to worry about airport security, even in this age of heightened security.

Can You Bring An Air Compressor On A Plane?

CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit

Since air compressors are not on the prohibited list, you can safely plan to bring one on board.

As with electric air pumps, be conscious of the size and weight of the air compressor.

Consider small models by Dewalt, California Air Tools, Oasis, Rolair, Eagle Silent, Campbell Hausfeld, Hulk Power, Puma, Iron Horse, and others.

Perhaps the top-rated air compressor is the Dewalt 2 HP 25 Gallon Portable Air Compressor.  Its reliable and powerful performance make it the first choice of many boaters. This compressor is very quiet so you can use it indoors or outdoors.  

Another top seller is the California Air Tools SP . This is also very quiet and works without oil. It is lightweight and durable, making it ideal for travel. Because it is long and circular, it is referred to as a hot dog compressor.

Hook it up and push the button–it’s as simple as that to use. 

Portable air compressors are available at Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Amazon, and other outlets. 

Etekcity Electric Air Pump Air Mattress Portable Pump

Air mattress pumps are also permitted. Air mattresses with a built-in pump may be stored in carry-on bags. They are lightweight and do not need a lot of room until they are inflated. Some top brands include Englander, EZ inflate, Sound Asleep, King Koil, Intex, and EnergyPlex.

Ask for an air mattress that does not leak. That way, you can spend the night swaying back and forth on your boat, gazing at the stars above. It will make for a comfortable night as you dream about the fish you will bring in when you wake in the morning. 

What Items Are Not Allowed On A Plane?

First Alert FE1A10GR195 ABC 4 Pack Home Fire Extinguisher

The Transportation Security Association, or TSA, is specific about the items that are not allowed on a plane. 

The following items typically may not be included in carry-on luggage or in checked bags, Although restrictions may vary, items that can cause a fire or explosion are certainly excluded. 

Fortunately, boaters do not need most of them. Here are some items that are not allowed:

  1. Aerosol paint is not allowed. So if you are planning to touch up the paint on your boat, get the paint locally. These can set off an explosion.
  2. Pool or spa chlorine is also prohibited. Unless you were planning to dock your boat in a pool, you certainly don’t need these for boating.
  3. Fire extinguishers and other compressed gas may not be brought on board. Although an extinguisher is a valuable safety item on a boat, this item may also be purchased locally.
  4. Fireworks and firecrackers are prohibited. If you enjoy using these, keep them on dry land.
  5. Flammable liquids and gels are not allowed on a plane. There is no boating use for these whatsoever, not if you value the safety of your passengers and the well-being of your boat.
  6. Flavored or recreational oxygen is prohibited, liquid fuels, gas torches, gasoline, grenades, lighter fluid, liquid bleach, replica or real explosives or incendiaries, and spillable batteries all cannot go on a plane in carry-on or checked luggage. The only exception is wheelchair batteries.

Use common sense. If the item can cause an explosion, you don’t need it on a plane or in your boat.

If you are unsure if an item is allowed, contact the airline before you go. Otherwise, you may have some explaining to do with airport security.


You can take an electric air pump on a plane. Keep the luggage weight and size within the airline requirements to avoid paying additional fees.

An air compressor is also allowed on board. Choose a compact unit if possible. These are easy to transport through the airport.

Air mattress pumps are allowed, as are air mattresses. Be sure to deflate the air from air mattresses before you store them. Tell the air mattress dealer that you want a mattress that will not leak.

Items that can start a fire or explosion are not allowed. If you are not sure if an object is permissible, check with the airline before going to the airport. 

You do not want to put yourself in a suspicious position with airport security. This could result in you being detained, and even missing your flight.

There’s nothing worse than delaying a boating vacation that you have been looking forward to for a long time. 

Yet there’s nothing better than delivering an electric air pump to a friend you haven’t seen in years.