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Can I take my airsoft replica on a plane? [Comprehensive Guide]

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As airsoft replicas are not classed as a fᎥrearm, it is perfectly fine to transport your replica in the checked in baggage. There is no need to declare them and you do not have to put them in a hard case, but we thoroughly recommend it. However, remember, it is strictly prohibited to have your airsoft replica in your hand luggage.

Generally if you are flying with a replica, you will certainly need to use some common sense. Especially if you have painted or removed the orange tip, your replica will look like the real deal. Most airsoft replicas aren’t going to look exactly like real fᎥrearms through an X-ray, however most of the employees at the TSA won’t be actual fᎥrearms experts and might be alarmed at the sight of anything that resembles a fᎥrearm. This is why I recommend using a hard case to transport your beloved replicas across the country, as most people take their real fᎥrearms across the country this way.

How to transport your airsoft replica

As I mentioned earlier it is possible to just check your replicas into your checked baggage, but there are two negatives associated with that. 

There is a small chance that security may mistake the whole or parts of your replica as something suspicious or dangerous. Thus having to rescan or open your baggage and peruze thru your personal belongings before it is cleared to go into the cargo hold. On the rare chance this happens, it could cause unnecessary delays to the flight, and potentially mean your baggage is not on the same flight as you (don’t worry, it would be on the next flight to your destination but it’s extra trouble nonetheless).

Another issue with packing your replicas into checked baggage is that there is a possibility of damaging or even breaking your replica. This might occur during the security checks or when the baggage is handled in the gentle way baggage handlers fling your luggage on and off the flight.

I would recommend transporting your replica in a hard case with a TSA approved padlock, make sure the replica is unloaded and without a magazine inserted. Using a TSA approved padlock means you can be sure that if suspicion is raised during security, they can easily open and check the replicas, lock the case without having to root through your personal belongings as well. 

A TSA approved lock is simply any lock that has the Travel Sentry logo on it. These locks basically have a universal key to open your lock. Which means they can be opened by security by easily and they will not have to cut off your lock to get into your bag.

We recommend using this hardcase by Nuprol. Nuprol is known for producing fantastic quality hard cases, they come in different sizes and shapes catered to your specific needs – best of all, they come without breaking the bank! 

hard ready

Not to mention using a hard case means that during transportation, your replica is less likely to be damaged too. Final thing to remember is that baggage weight rules still apply so make sure that your case is less than 22kg before you head off to the airport. Check with your airline for the exact weight allowance.

What about other airsoft equipment?

Well we now know that the best way to transport your replica is via a hard case, but the chances are you will need to take your mask, mags, BB’s and any attachments too. The best way to transport these would be also in a hard case, if you are purchasing one to transport your replica, you might as well make the most of it and transport all necessary gear in one. This will save you the heartbreak of getting to your destination and finding out your Vortex Optic has cracked because your standard checked in luggage was manhandled.

Things that are NOT allowed on the plane for obvious reasons are: compressed gas cartridges, co2 canisters, imitation flashbangs, Airsoft 40mms and smoke grenades. Just imagine the chaos a smoke grenade going off inside a plane would cause, people would instantly presume the worst!

At the airport customs?

So now you know what not to take to the airport and how to transport your goods. Therefore, let’s talk about what to do before you get to the airport – you should always check your airline’s policy on how to transport airsoft replicas, if you are unclear on what to do, make sure to ring them up and get your queries clarified.

If you have taken your replica in your checked in baggage or in a hard case, it is important that you notify your check in clerk that you will be traveling with an airsoft replica. There is a chance that the local airport security will inspect your airsoft replica and give it the all clear for the flight.

Final thoughts

Traveling with an airsoft replica does not need to be a stressful ordeal. It just requires a little bit of common sense and some planning before you set off on your journey. Things to remember:

  1. You do not have to declare your replica as it is not a real fᎥrearm, it can go in checked luggage. However, do tell the airline that you’re traveling with an airsoft replica at the check in.
  2. Ideally for the safety of your replica use a hard case, your replica should be unloaded, you can also use this to transport other airsoft accessories at the same time. Remember to keep an eye on the weight limit!
  3. Use TSA approved locks so inspections can be seamless.
  4. Do NOT take any imitation grenades, claymores and gas cartridges/canisters. 

If you keep all these steps in mind, you and your airsoft replica will have a pleasant journey.

Written by Kamil Turecki

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