Seashells are found in various shapes and colors, and one will often come across many while walking along the beach. People usually collect the most interesting-looking shells, and sometimes they must travel with them on a plane should they want to take the seashells back home.
As specified by the TSA, you can carry seashells on a plane as both carry-on and checked-in luggage for domestic flights. However, for an international flight, you may need to check what customs rules are in place for traveling with seashells to your destination country.
Can One Take Seashells On A Domestic Flight?
Seashells are permitted as both carry-on and check-in luggage for domestic flights. Therefore, should you take seashells with you on a domestic flight, you should not run into any issues with airport security as it is legally allowed to be taken as luggage according to TSA regulations.
Seashells are not classed as dangerous goods, as they do not pose a threat to other passengers on the flight. However, any items with sharp edges, including seashells with extremely pointy or sharp edges, may be confiscated by airport security as they may pose a threat to passengers.
Can One Take Seashells On An International Flight?
Although you may not encounter issues while taking seashells with you on a domestic flight, this may not be the case when flying internationally. It is always best to check with the airline you choose to fly with whether there are any flight restrictions for carrying seashells before your flight.
Although it may not be a problem with the airline, it is prohibited to remove anything from nature in some locations due to local environmental laws. Therefore, it is always essential that you find out whether you are allowed to take shells you find with you from the location itself.
If you take seashells from a protected location and try to take them with you on the plane, the airline may refuse to allow you to take the shells with you. The airline will confiscate them as the airline will not aid in taking part in a criminal act with an individual.
However, specific destinations require you to have a permit to legally transport seashells through customs.
Can One Bring Seashells Into The US On A Plane?
Seashells classify as agricultural products, which may cause them to be prohibited from being taken through customs in the US. After declaring your shells at customs, the US agricultural inspectors will check your shells to determine whether they pose a possible threat to the country’s agriculture. Then, the shells will be allowed through customs if they do not harbor harmful diseases or pests.
You are often not permitted to bring certain saltwater seashells with you on a flight into the US from a foreign country. In addition, if shells aren’t adequately cleaned, they can harbor certain pests and diseases which may threaten the country’s agriculture.
Shells can harbor certain microorganisms and dirt, which can potentially disturb particular ecosystems and cause harm to the environment should there be a possible outbreak or disease resulting from any of the microorganisms on the shells.
A pest or disease outbreak can have a lasting effect on the economy and agriculture of a country, as it could potentially mean food shortages because farmers lose crops due to pest outbreaks. Food shortages result in higher grocery bills for consumers in the country and will negatively
impact the economy as people will have to spend more on maintaining their standard of living.
Should the US agricultural inspectors detect anything on your shells that may threaten the country’s agriculture, you will face no penalties or charges as long as the shells have been declared at customs.
How Can You Travel With Seashells On A Flight?
When deciding to fly with seashells, you should do your best to try and prepare the shells you want to take with you by ensuring that the shells have no sharp edges and have been cleaned appropriately. By ensuring this, you have the best chance of getting your shells through airport security and customs without any issues.
Should you want to take a seashell with sharp edges with you, you will have to file the sharp edges of the shell down until they are entirely smooth to avoid the shells being confiscated by airport security for posing a threat to other passengers.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to file the edges of the shells, you will have to leave them behind or ship them separately.
Can You Take Seashells As A Carry-On?
As specified by the TSA, you are welcome to take seashells on a flight as a carry-on should they not pose a threat to other passengers on the plane. The only cases where you may not be able to take your seashells with you as a carry-on will be if the shells have any sharp edges, which may allow them to be classified as a potential weapon, or if your shells have a foul smell.
Another case where you may be unable to take their seashells with you as a carry-on would be if they were taken from an environmentally protected ecosystem.
Suppose any of the shells you are trying to take as a carry-on have been identified as being unlawfully taken from a protected area. In that case, the shells will be confiscated, and you may be fined accordingly for violating environmental laws.
Can You Take Seashells In A Checked Bag?
If your seashells have been properly cleaned and haven’t been unlawfully taken from a protected area, you are allowed to take them with you on your flight in a checked bag.
However, a TSA officer always has the final say. If they find your seashells to be potentially dangerous or if they have not been properly cleaned, they may search your luggage and confiscate them.
What Happens If You Can’t Take Your Seashells On A Flight?
If you are unable to take your seashells on your flight due to them being categorized as potentially dangerous goods by a TSA officer, the first option they will give you is to offer to throw them away or dispose of them for you. However, should you not want to have them disposed of, the TSA officer will return your seashells to you, and you will have to find an alternative solution.
If you decide not to allow the TSA officer to dispose of your shells, and you still have enough time before your flight, you can try to get someone to collect your shells from the airport for you and get them to ship the shells to your destination for you, or you can try shipping them yourself.
Should one not want to risk getting their shells confiscated by airport security for any reason, the best option will be for one to ship their seashells to their destination in the first place.
Shipping seashells is not very costly, and it will ensure that you can get their shells back home. However, you should be careful when packaging their shells for shipping, as some could potentially be damaged in transit.