For the past few days I've had a rather annoying experience with the so-called experts. I'm about to depart on my first offshore sailing experience and I wanted to take my own self-inflating Life jacket with a 33g CO2 cylinder with me. The compressed CO2 cylinder is considered a hazardous item but because it's part of a Life jacket it's a life saving device and therefore allowed under certain conditions. Here is what the FAA has to say:
Here is what the IATA (International Air Transportation Association) has to say:
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is also listing these CO2 cylinders as exempt in "49.CFR175.10, Exception 25" if carried alongside a Life jacket.
The final word is however left up to the Airline and I called JetBlue to make sure it's OK. Their website says it's not allowed but guess what I got told? "The FAA does not allow it". Seriously? What the fuck? You don't know your own regulations nor the regulations of (government) organisations you're closely associated with.
To give a counter example, United does allow Life jackets in checked or carry-on baggage. I should have gotten a flight with them instead...
My plan B and as suggested by US Sailing was to ship the CO2 cylinder with UPS or FedEx instead. Both accept them via Ground service. FedEx is a bit pricey and shipping it both ways would exceed the cost of the CO2 cylinder (about $80). Shipping it with UPS is more reasonable but I'm hitting again a wall because they don't know their own service offerings nor do they know how to figure it out.
The world is full of so-called Experts. Some are in authoritative positions and we're supposed to believe and trust them. Reality is, they probably know less than you do and it's frustrating.