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Airbags and airlines
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - Email this article to a friend

If you ski off piste you may be considering an airbag. The device helps to keep you floating above an avalanche should the worse happen. However many airlines have restrictions about transporting them.

The airbag is stored in a special rucksack and in the event of getting caught in an avalanche the wearer pulls a cord and the device inflates from compressed air cycliners.

The cyclinders though need to be delcared when flying and different airlines have varying policies towards them.

There is an interesting thread on a snowsports chat forum site, Snowheads, about the different rules.

The issue of whether to wear an airbag when sking or snowboarding off piste has been put into sharp focus after an avalanche on Boxing Day in Val d'Isere.

Two people were caught and they both had airbags on. One person was able to inflate hers and survived, while the other person didn't manage to and died. 

The guide has gone off the record as saying that if he had managed to pull the cord he would probably have survived.  

We reported at the accident here at the time.

With more people buying airbags we thought it useful to draw your attention to the thread.

It was started by a regular reader of PlanetSKI, Rob Rees, who has mentioned it to us.

The problems lie with the compressed gas cylinder.

It seems there is a wide discrepancy but the general advice is to check with the airline first and be careful if flying to America.

For the spirit of the mountains

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