I understand carbonated drinks in allowed in cabin, but, is it allowed in air cargo transportation, when you ship in bulk?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Why would it be dangerous? $\endgroup$
    – egid
    May 9, 2015 at 17:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @egid Are soft-drink bottles strong enough to cope if the plane depressurized at FL350? I guess so but, if not, you could get a lot of CO2 released in an already dangerous situation. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2015 at 20:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Chemistry SE suggests that they're already nearly 3.5 atmospheres, so I doubt 0.7 additional atmospheres will make that much difference. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    May 9, 2015 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ Funnily, the few times I tried to pack carbonated cans into my checked in bags they seem to have exploded / imploded and created a royal mess. Never figured out why! $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2021 at 9:56

3 Answers 3


Each operator is of course entitled to apply stricter regulations, but there's no restriction against carbonated drinks in the IATA-DGR (based on the ICAO TI, which sets out the framework for dangerous goods regulations).

The maximum amount of pure CO2 an operator may transport in approved packaging (iaw. IATA-DGR) is:

  • In gaseous form (UN1013): 150 kg on cargo only aircraft, and 75 kg in passenger/cargo aircraft.
  • In liquid form (UN2187): 500 kg on cargo only aircraft, and 50 kg in passenger/cargo aircraft.
  • In solid form "dry ice" (UN1845): 200 kg for both cargo and passenger/cargo aircraft
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ of course dissolved CO2 in carbonated drinks falls under neither of the listed categories... $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    May 9, 2015 at 20:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @reirab That's like arguing that you should be allowed to take a block of ice through security because it's not a liquid. Sure, the carbon dioxide is in the form of H2CO3 while it's in the bottle, under pressure but, once that pressure is released, it splits back into water and CO2. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2015 at 23:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Since the regulation itself specifically treats it differently depending on state in this case, it seems reasonable to assume that a state not listed wouldn't be covered, especially when it's not even the same chemical at that point. I'd guess that there are probably different regulations concerning carbonic acid, in which case those should be followed. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    May 10, 2015 at 2:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @reirab Actually, the whole carbonic acid thing is a red herring. The term "carbonic acid" is used to denote both the substance H2CO3 and a solution of carbon dioxide in water (CO2+H2O). When carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, the great majority of it is literally that: carbon dioxide dissolved in water. Only a tiny fraction reacts to form H2CO3. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2015 at 9:40
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ This Chemistry.SE question says a can of soda contains about 2.2 g of CO2. If we take the 75 kg limit, that's about 34000 cans of soda. This much soda will weight about 12 tonnes. $\endgroup$ May 12, 2015 at 7:46

No, Carbonated drinks are generally not dangerous, and are labelled in such a way to let anyone who is transporting them know the contents of the carbonated drink. Before they become dangerous though, other factors would have had to happen that would be considered even more dangerous; The airline would have had to have a sudden change of pressure, such a change would cause a loss of consciousness for all those travelling on board the airline, and doing so would release CO2 from the cans.

  • $\begingroup$ > and doing so would release CO2 from the cans. [Citation needed] $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Feb 3, 2021 at 8:29

I was looking this up, because I am taking IATA DGR training.

Per IATA carbonated beverages are not subject to dgr regulations as they are foodstuff IATA ref (very slow pdf download) Exemptions Gases of Division 2.2, are not subject to these Regulations if they are transported at a pressure less than 200 kPa at 20°C and are not liquefied or refrigerated liquefied gases. Gases of Division 2.2 are not subject to these Regulations when contained in the following:
(a) foodstuffs, including carbonated beverages (except UN 1950);
(b) balls intended for use in sports;
(c) tyres which meet the provisions of Special Provision A59; or
(d) light bulbs, provided they are packaged so that the projectile effects of any rupture of the bulb will be contained within the package.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.