Aged Tins and Planes

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Senior Member
May 8, 2018
I've got some twenty year old tins I'm wanting to open on vacation. I probably won't finish them over the duration of the trip.
Will anything weird happen to open aged tins if I brought them back on the plane with me? I don't know about science, but I want to check before anything weird happens.



Dec 8, 2017
Depends on the type of tin.

If you have a round, screw top style tin.... tighten firmly by hand, and put it in your check in luggage.... it will vacuum seal itself. (Provided you left the rubber gasket clean and free of debris)



Preferred Member
Aug 29, 2017
I wouldn't hesitate to take them. What is your selections?
I wish you and your tins a safe trip!



Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
How are you taking the tins with you? If they are okay getting there, they should be fine getting back.
Unless the TSA worker checking your bag is a pipe smoker.



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
What could happen? The could explode in flight if they were in checked baggage, and had been opened, then retopped. Not real dramatic, more like a poop with the lid coming off and tobacco spilling out
I'd open them now, smoke a touch, and jar them up in small Mason jars. But not necessary.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
If you run this experiment, tell us the results, the "data." I'd guess not much will happen. Tins put out a little psssst when the vacuum seal is broken, but it's not like a pressure cooker exploding, since the pressure isn't that great. I've popped temporary caps on gingerale or sparkling wine that makes more noise than that.



Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
Robinson, TX.
I have been travelling for years with opened tins in my check-in luggage. I don't even put them in baggies and usually wrap them in spare beach towels that I always carry for this. Nothing weird has ever happened. You are carrying (for now, anyway), a legal substance and if a TSA agent does happen to open your luggage and twist open an unsealed tin, just hope he twists it shut again after examining the contents.
If you carry sealed or unsealed tins in your carry on luggage with your pipes, expect to be pulled out of the TSA line and have them go over the pipes and run some kind of chemical wand over the tins. I've had this happen half a dozen or so times as pipes can look like small pistols on the screen according to TSA. Once they see the tobacco, naturally they want to have a look at that, too. I still put my pipes in carry on luggage, but not tobacco.
I have a theory - no proof - but I think the reason why (particularly rectangle factory sealed tins) sometimes arrive unsealed after air transport is because checked luggage is kept in a non-pressurized environment during flight. The changes in air pressure (I believe), is what causes the tins to lose their vacuum. And of course, the older the tin the bigger the chance. I can't count the times over the years that I've had old factory vacuum sealed tins shipped to me for consignment sales and when I open the boxes, I find an old tin that has lost its seal but the tobacco is still moist, an indicator that the tin was shipped still factory sealed but didn't hold up to the air pressure changes.



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
I was referring to tins that have been opened and lids put back on. Just a bit of a piffle, but the top could pop off, tobacco spilling out and drying mightily due to low humidity at altitude. So, no big whoops.



Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
United States
Pipestud, your theory is sound with regard to unpressurized compartments and tins.
JP, a poof indeed. I just carry my tins in my carry-on luggage. No problems, open or otherwise.



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
Airlines don't do unpressurized compartments, unless the entire aircraft is unpressurized. The cargo compartments pressurize and depressurize the same as the passenger compartment; they just don't get the same level of heating/cooling/airflow as the passenger cabin because they're packed full of baggage. That's why occasionally some poor pet, usually one with breathing difficulties, runs short of oxygen and suffocates.



Staff member
May 11, 2011
I put my travel tobacco back in their original tins (reused) for air-travel, always in my checked luggage, never had a lid pop. I'm always afraid the TSA is going to question the tobacco in a small mason jar.



New member
Apr 19, 2019
I've traveled with pipes and pipe tobacco in my carry on multiple times, and have yet to have TSA snoop through it. I haven't brought tins though, usually small Ball jars.



Preferred Member
Nov 5, 2009
I place each opened tin in its own zip lock baggie, in the event the lid may come off.
Carry tins in my carry on bag without any problem.

Feb 7, 2019
As patiobum suggested, placing the tin in a ziplock bag will keep the tobacco from spilling out if the lid pops open but I doubt that will happen.