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Last updated on May 22nd, 2024

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When traveling, safety is always a top priority. Whether traveling for business or leisure, bringing items that would keep you safe from harm is essential.

Pepper spray could be one of these items, but can you bring it on board a plane?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of bringing pepper spray on a plane, from its definition to the rules and regulations that come with it.

What is Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray, also known as mace, is a self-defense tool to deter attackers. It contains a chemical compound called oleoresin capsicum (OC), derived from hot peppers.

The spray causes temporary blindness, respiratory distress, and intense burning pain when sprayed on the eyes, nose, mouth, or skin. Pepper spray is legal for civilian use in most states in the United States and can be purchased over the counter.

Pepper Spray vs. Bear Spray

Bear spray is similar to pepper spray but with a higher concentration of oleoresin capsicum and a further spraying range. It is designed to deter bears and other larger animals. Bear spray is not intended for use against humans and is restricted or illegal in some states.

Pepper spray, on the other hand, is formulated for use against humans and can be carried by anyone who feels the need to protect themselves.

Can I Bring Pepper Spray on a Plane?

Can I Bring Pepper Spray on a Plane?

The answer to this question is straightforward. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), travelers cannot bring pepper spray in their carry-on luggage. It must be packed in checked luggage only.

Passengers are limited to one 4 fl. oz. (118 ml) container of mace or pepper spray, which must be placed in a sealed, zip-top bag and declared at the check-in counter. Failure to declare pepper spray could result in fines and legal consequences.

Why Travel with Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray can provide peace of mind and security to travelers, especially those going to unfamiliar destinations. It can be used in an emergency, such as when a stranger tries to rob or assault you. Pepper spray is easy to use and doesn’t require extensive training to operate.


Bringing pepper spray on a plane is possible but with certain restrictions. Travelers must only pack it in checked luggage and declare it at the check-in counter.

Pepper spray can help boost your confidence and safety when traveling, but it’s essential to use it responsibly and only in situations that call for it. 

Check local laws and regulations before bringing pepper spray when traveling to a different country or state.

Related: Can You Bring Bear Spray on a Plane?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stop pepper spray from burning in the eyes?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having pepper spray in your eyes, it is crucial to act quickly.

The first step is to leave the area immediately and avoid further exposure. Once safe, flush your eyes with cool water for at least 15 minutes. This will help remove the oil resin in the pepper spray and reduce irritation.

You should also wash your face and hair with nonabrasive soap and running water for at least 15 minutes. If you have contact lenses, remove them immediately and discard them, as they may be contaminated.

You can also use a diluted baking soda or saline solution to decontaminate your eyes and apply baby shampoo to affected areas. If needed, milk can also be used to relieve a burning sensation. It is important to note that rubbing your eyes during this process should be avoided, as it can increase exposure to the pepper spray and cause further irritation.

Will pepper spray explode on an airplane?

Pepper spray is unlikely to explode on an airplane due to the controlled temperature and pressure conditions inside the aircraft cabin. However, there is still a risk of leakage or accidental discharge, which can cause severe irritation and discomfort to passengers and crew members.

For this reason, pepper spray is not allowed in carry-on luggage on most airlines. In some cases, airlines may allow passengers to pack a small container of pepper spray in their checked baggage, but this varies by airline and local regulations. It’s essential to check your airline’s policies and regulations for your departure and destination countries before attempting to travel with pepper spray.

Liya Kravchenkin
About the Author: Liya Kravchenkin

Liya Kravchenkin is an experienced portrait photographer. She has worked with clients worldwide and has even traveled to more than 50 countries. Liya loves photography because it allows her to capture a moment that can never be repeated. Liya also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world’s unique natural wonders. Her favorite travel memories are from swimming with dolphins in the Galapagos and eating cheesecake in New York City.

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