The Stuck at the Airport team is visiting Kalispell, Montana this week. And we’re spending time at Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), which proudly bills itself as the Gateway to Northwestern Montana, Glacier National Park, and the Rocky Mountains.
One of the things we’ve learned is that Montana is bear country. And visitors spending time outdoors here are strongly encouraged to carry EPA-approved bear spray. And to learn how to use it.
But what about traveling with bear spray?
According to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) “What Can I Bring?” tool, “one 4 fl. oz. (118 ml) container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge.”
But TSA takes a stronger position on bear spray. It is not allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.
Glacier Park International Airport knows that many passengers forget that they have bear spray in their bags. And that many travelers don’t know about the ‘no bear spray on airplanes’ rule.
So in an effort to keep checkpoint lines from getting bogged down with TSA officers opening bags to remove packed bear spray, a bear spray amnesty box is provided.
“Good News! There are no bears in the air,” is the message greeting travelers at the airport security checkpoint. The box has a picture of a bear next to a pile of suitcases and informs travelers that “Animal repellent is not allowed in checked or carry-on baggage. For safety reasons, please leave your bear spray here.”
What If You Need Bear Spray?
Passengers who land at Glacier Park International Airport in need of bear spray for their local adventures will find bear spray available for rent at the Glacier Outfitters shop in the baggage claim area.
It’s an unusual, but very appropriate local service to offer at an airport. So we are declaring bear spray rental at Glacier Park International Airport the “Amenity Airport of the Week.”