Are you a skating enthusiast that loves traveling? If so, how much do you know about airplane rules when it comes to taking your skateboard on board? When it comes to the topic of airplanes and skateboards, most people believe that it’s totally prohibited to carry a skateboard on board a plane.
But, that’s not always the case. There are situations where these boards are allowed and there are others where they’re totally prohibited. Also, each airplane company has its own set of rules that can fall in your favor if you’re lucky. Airport Authorities also differ as each too has its own set of rules you must adhere to.
Now, if you’re planning to travel via air with your skateboard, the first critical question you’ll have to ask yourself is whether you’re packing it in a backpack or carrying it on. A few airplane companies will allow you to carry your skateboard while most of them will only allow these boards as checked luggage.
For your board to meet the checked luggage standards, it must be 62” and below and weigh about 50 pounds and below. Anything more than this means that you’ll have to pay an extra luggage fee.
So, if you’re a first-timer looking to travel with your skateboard to explore the globe, here are 6 key pointers that will ease your concern when carrying your skateboard onboard a plane.
- Understand Your Specific Airline’s Policies
To avoid any surprises on the check-in counter, the first thing you need to do before you even plan to fly is to examine some of the common airlines to understand their rules. In general, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to travel with their skateboards.
However, you shouldn’t depend on this information alone as each airline company has its own set of rules that might not fall in your favor. To help you understand, let’s examine some of the common aircrafts and their rules regarding carrying skateboards.
|Airline||Carry-on or Checked||Airline Policy|
|Alaska Air||Checked baggage||Provided it’s packed in a soft backpack specifically designed for carrying boards. A baggage fee may apply|
|American Airlines||Checked baggage||A fee will apply and the skateboard should not be longer than 62” nor weigh more than 50 pounds|
|Air Canada||Carry-on||Allows carry-on skateboards. However, the board will count as an independent luggage which can cost you a fee if you have more luggage. The weight and the length should not exceed 62” and 50 pounds respectively.|
|Delta Air Lines||Checked baggage||To qualify as a carry-on, the skateboard should not exceed 45 linear inches|
|Virgin America||Checked baggage||Sometimes you can check-in and at times you can be lucky.|
|United Airlines||Checked baggage||They allow carry-on skateboards. However, the boards must not exceed 45 linear inches including the handles and the wheels meaning you have to be ready to check it in. Also, they strictly prohibit electric skateboards.|
|Southwest Airlines||Carry-on||They allow carry-on provided the skateboard fits underneath your seat or on the overhead bin with wheels facing up|
|Frontier Airlines||Checked baggage||They don’t have specific rules about skateboards. However, if it’s well packed in a backpack, they can allow carry-on. If not, get ready to pay some baggage fee|
|Ryanair||Checked baggage||Only allow checked baggage and luggage fee may apply|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Checked baggage||To quality for carry-on, your skateboard must be 45 linear inches and below with a weight of 25 pounds|
|JetBlue||Checked baggage||To qualify for carry-on, a skateboard must not exceed 22 inches. Since a standard skateboard is 32” it simply means that they don’t allow carry-on altogether|
- Be Careful When Connecting Flights
This is where things get tough. The moment you get to the air, the rules can sometimes change and fall against your favor especially if you have to catch a connecting flight.
According to a professional skateboarder, Tony Hawk, certain cities such as London, Sidney and Frankfurt strictly prohibit passengers from carrying their skateboard on the plane even if you’re using the best skateboard backpack to secure your board.
The worst and most annoying part of the story is that the Airport Authorities will force you to go outside the airport to check-in your skateboard. This can put you at a risk of missing your next flight putting you in a dilemma of choosing between the skateboard and your next flight.
However, the best plan of attack here is to contact the airport authority in the city you’ll be connecting way before you fly just to be sure about their policy regarding skateboards.
- Disassemble Your Skateboard
If the plane you’ll be boarding allows carry-on skateboards, then you have to think of how you can disassemble the skateboard to make it compact and easy to carry. There are two ways you can pack your board.
One, you can pack it inside a backpack after it’s fully disassembled to make it easier for packing on the overhead bin. Also, the more compact the luggage is, the better it is for you when it comes to dealing with the crew.
- Be the Early Bird
Sometimes, the situation might force you to act smart by being an early bird. What I mean is, get early, at least 2 hours, to book a spot at the front of the queue. Remember, your luggage will have to go through the crew who sometimes can bother you, the conveyer belt, and not forgetting, it will be loaded to the plane.
So, unless you’re having a really bad day, getting to the airport early enough to have your things inspected can really help.
So, there you have it all. If you’re planning to go for vacation overseas with your skateboard on board, then this article has offered you everything that’s needed to make your travel as smooth as possible. Before I forget, if you’re traveling with an electric skateboard, then be ready to be disappointed as almost all planes do not allow them on board.
In the bottom line, always expect a fiasco when you’re traveling with your skateboard on board.