It can feel difficult to travel because of the frequently confusing laws and regulations governing what you can and cannot bring onto a plane. This is especially true for people who are enthusiastic about sports that need equipment that isn’t normally considered “standard” luggage, such as ice hockey or roller derby. Skates are one such essential piece of sports gear. So, can you bring skates on a plane? Even seasoned travelers sometimes struggle to understand this query.
This article will try to remove the confusion around the rules and regulations for transporting skates on airplanes. Whether you’re a professional ice hockey player traveling to a worldwide competition or a recreational roller skater organizing a summer vacation, look at how to carry your skates securely and effectively.
Airline Luggage Policies
It can initially appear difficult to travel with sporting equipment like skates, especially when it comes to airline luggage regulations. The size, weight, and nature of the objects being carried often determine the basic principles of these policies.
Carry-on and checked luggage are the two main categories used by airlines. Passengers are permitted to bring carry-on or cabin bags into the cabin with them. The size, weight, and other specifications of these things are strictly regulated, and security precautions prevent some items from being brought on board.
On the other hand, checked baggage is kept in the aircraft’s cargo hold. Compared to carry-on luggage, these products often have a larger weight and size allowance. However, oversized or overweight items can be subject to extra charges. It’s important to note that different airlines may have very varying luggage policies. Therefore, it is crucial to review the specific policies of your chosen airline before traveling.
Can You Bring Skates on a Plane?
Everyone who enjoys skating, whether they are professional figure skaters, ice hockey players, or roller derby athletes, has the same question: “Can I bring my skates on a plane?” The fortunate answer is yes, you can bring skates on a plane. However, how you pack them, whether in carry-on or checked luggage, and any fees that might apply are primarily determined by the policies of each airline.
Skates are typically considered sports equipment and may therefore be included in your luggage. Skates may be allowed as carry-on luggage on some airlines. However, this is normally up to the airline’s decision and any applicable security rules. Airlines may ask you to make sure skate blades and wheels are securely covered and kept as they can be considered potential risks.
Your skates will typically be covered by the usual packing allowance if you want to bring them in your checked luggage. However, you could have to pay more if they make your bag heavier or bigger than allowed.
1. Skates as Carry-On Luggage
Skates are frequently carried in carry-on luggage by passengers. By doing this, customers may keep their skates in plain view and guard against possible harassment or damage throughout the baggage handling procedure.
There are certain crucial factors to consider if you intend to bring your skates on board. The first requirement is that the skates adhere to the airline’s carry-on bag size limitations. In order to protect other passengers and the aircraft, the blades or wheels should also be covered for safety reasons.
However, each airline has its own policies, and security personnel’s judgment may also play a role in whether or not skates are accepted as carry-on luggage. Due to security reasons, some airlines allow skates as carry-on luggage, while others may not.
2. Skates as Checked Luggage
There are a few important things to bear in mind if you decide to check your skates in with your luggage or are obligated to do so. Your skates will be out of your immediate control when they are checked as luggage and will go through all the same handling procedures that checked luggage goes through.
First and foremost, make sure to pack your skates safely. The use of a hard-shell case made especially for skates can offer a lot of security. It’s a good idea to make sure that your skates’ blades or wheels are securely fastened within the case. You can also wrap your skates in bubble wrap, clothing, or other cushioning materials for extra protection.
Skates placed in your checked luggage usually are free of any additional fees because they qualify as regular luggage. However, you might have to pay extra costs if their inclusion results in your luggage exceeding the airline’s weight or size limits.
Tips for Travelling with Skates
Whether you are flying with ice skates or roller skates, your top priority should be to protect them and follow all airline restrictions. For a smoother journey, consider the following advice:
- Pack with care by covering the blades or wheels and putting them in a hard-shell case. To keep the skates from moving while being transported, add more padding to the area around them.
- Make sure you are aware of your airline’s skate-carrying regulations. Airlines have different policies, so being aware of them can help you avoid problems.
- In case of uncertainty, pack your skates in your checked luggage. Despite the possibility that you will be separated from your skates, this usually avoids issues with carry-on baggage limits.
- If your skates are expensive, think about getting insurance to protect against any possible loss or damage while traveling.
- To avoid damage, remove any loose components and tighten any adjustable portions.
Step-by-step Pre-flight Checklist for Skaters
Step 1: Verify Airline Policies
Check the skates section of your airline’s luggage regulations. Ensure you are familiar with their regulations for both carry-on and checked baggage.
Step 2: Prepare Your Skates
Before packing, make sure that your skates are clean and dry. Cover the wheels or blades to shield them as they might harm other items.
Step 3: Pack Your Skates
Pack your skates in a hard-shell bag made specifically for skates if you’re checking them. Wrap the skates in cushioning to further protect yourself. Make sure they adhere to the airline’s cabin luggage size regulations if they are carry-ons.
Step 4: Loose Parts
Remove any loose components and fasten any adjustable pieces to prevent damage while in transit.
Step 5: Insurance
If you have expensive or custom-made skates, think about getting travel insurance that includes valuable sporting gear.
Step 6: Arrive Early
Get to the airport early. This gives you more time in case security guards need to check your skates or if any other unknown issues arise.
Q: Are there any specific packing rules for skates?
In order to guarantee the safety of other passengers, there are special packing guidelines for skates. Skates need to be securely contained in a strong case that can accommodate their shape and protect the blades. Blades should be covered to stop them from injuring people or harming other objects. To prevent movement during transit, they should be well-cushioned if packed in a suitcase with soft items.
Q: Can I wear my skates on the plane?
No, you are not allowed to wear skates on the plane. Passengers must wear shoes that can be easily and readily removed in case of emergencies out of concern for their safety. In addition, ice skates and roller skates with sharp blades and wheels run the risk of causing interior aircraft damage or hurting other passengers. Skates must therefore be appropriately packed in your luggage for a flight.
Q: Are there any additional fees for checking in skates?
The baggage policy of the particular airline is largely what determines if there are additional fees for checking in skates. There is normally no extra cost if your skates and the rest of your luggage fit within your allowed weight and size limits. However, additional baggage charges can be applied if they make your suitcase big or overweight. To avoid unwanted fees, it is usually good to check with your airline in advance.
Q: What should I do if my airline does not allow skates as carry-on luggage?
You should pack the skates in your checked luggage if your airline does not permit them as carry-on items. In order to prevent damage during shipping, make sure your skates are adequately protected, especially the blades or wheels. Always try to abide by your specific airline’s policy in advance of travel regarding sporting equipment.
Q: Can I take roller skates on a plane?
Yes, you can usually bring your roller skates on a plane. However, the rules of the particular airline will determine whether they can be brought as carry-ons or need to be checked. Roller skates may be allowed in the cabin on some airlines but may need to be checked in on others. Always confirm the rules with the airline before your journey.
Before You Go
Bringing sports equipment like skates on airways can surely be challenging. It requires being aware of a wide range of airline baggage regulations, packing guidelines, and potential security issues. But as shown in this article, it is quite achievable and often manageable with the appropriate planning.
Every airline has unique rules and regulations. The decision to allow skates as carry-on luggage generally depends on the policy of the particular airline and the security officers. Skates should generally be packed in checked luggage, with enough protection to prevent damage. You will be able to focus on your love of skating and let your travel adventures further enrich the experience if you have a solid awareness of these regulations.
This is an updated article. Originally posted on July 3, 2023 @ 5:47 am
After visiting more than 60 countries, I have probably been on every type of plane there is and visited countless airports. I did my very first international solo trip to South Africa at the age of only 16 and haven’t really stopped traveling since.
Despite the adventurous travel itch, I do have a nerdy side as well – which is satisfied by writing about all things aviation “too boring” for my regular travel blog.