Have you ever wondered what it would be like to branch out and skate in different locales? To take in new scenery as you grind and kickflip? Now that travel restrictions have started to loosen up again and sports enthusiasts everywhere are getting back to traveling, you might be planning your next trip!
You’re probably itching to bring your skateboard along too. But what if you’re required to fly to your destination, can you bring a skateboard on a plane?
If it’s your first time traveling with a skateboard or your first time since the pandemic has started, be sure to brush up on common rules, regulations, and etiquette. Follow our tips below to help ensure the travel process is smooth for everyone, especially you!
Can I bring my skateboard on the plane?
In general, yes, most airlines will allow you to fly with a skateboard. Whether or not you can bring it as a carry-on item or have to check it in depends on the airline.
Which airlines allow skateboards?
As a general rule, we always recommend calling the airline yourself or referring to their website directly. But as a general overview, here are the skateboard policies for several domestic US airlines and what is allowed on the plane, according to their websites.
- Alaska Airlines: Skateboards must be checked in as baggage and are subject to standard checked baggage fees and waivers.
- American Airlines: One skateboard per ticketed passenger is allowed on the plane. Standard checked bag fee applies.
- Delta Airlines: Skateboards may be brought on the plane as carry-ons if space is available. Otherwise, they can be checked as baggage, with applicable fees and policies.
- JetBlue: Skateboards may serve as carry-on or checked items as long as they meet the size requirements.
- Southwest Airlines: A skateboard may be substituted for a carry-on item or checked bag. If the skateboard fits on the plane underneath the seat in front of you, it does not need to be covered, but must be stowed with the wheels up. If the board is stowed in the overhead compartment, it must be stowed wheels up with the wheels covered (a trash bag is acceptable).
- Spirit Airlines: Electric or motorized skateboards are not allowed. Non-motorized skateboards may substitute a carry-on or checked item as long as it meets the size requirements. Skateboards must be stowed wheels up.
- United Airlines: Non-powered skateboards are accepted as checked bags or carry-on items.
- International Airlines: Check directly with international airlines for their skateboard policies on planes. If you have a domestic flight connecting to an international flight, rules between airlines may differ.
Should I carry on or check my board?
If your airline allows it, we highly recommend bringing your board on the plane as a carry-on item. Bringing it onboard with you allows you to keep an eye on it at all times. If your skateboard is checked into cargo, it is it at the mercy of baggage handlers. In the event that damage does happen, the compensation process can be complicated and lengthy.
How to Prep Your Board for Flying
If You’re Checking Your Board
If you’re checking your skateboard into cargo, there are a few things you can do beforehand to minimize the risk of damage along the way. It can be extremely helpful to consolidate everything into one checked bag. Condensing everything into one checkable item keeps all of your things together and can help protect them from getting mangled during transport.
You may want to consider disassembling your board before packing it into a bag, if possible. If you do disassemble your board for flying, consider bringing tools to reassemble it at your destination, or locating a skate shop at your destination beforehand that is willing to help you dis and reassemble your board there.
If You’re Bringing Your Board as a Carry-On
First, double check that your airline does indeed allow you to carry-on your board. Then, confirm that your boat meets the sizing requirements. Double checking beforehand can help you save time at the gate and prevent any last-minute confusion before flying with a skateboard.
Be advised that due to logistics, space, or other reasons, you may be asked to check your board at the gate, even if the airline generally does allow boards as carry-on items. Please be respectful and courteous with airline staff, they’re just doing their job!
Many airlines will require that you stow the board with the wheels up, and some may require the wheels to be covered.
Can I ride my board in the airport?
We understand that traveling can be a long, monotonous process. From standing in lines to waiting to board, you’ll likely find yourself in moments where you have a lot of time on your hands. If you’re bringing your skateboard as a carry-on item, it can be tempting to want to pass the time by riding around in the terminal.
The answer here is tricky, as there isn’t a concrete one. On the broadest level, it depends on the rules and regulations of each airport. If there appear to be no laws or rules banning skateboarding on the premises, it very well may be fair game (however, just because a rule isn’t prominently displayed, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist).
If you do choose to skate around, don’t be surprised if you are asked to stop or given some puzzled or even disapproving looks. Airports are busy environment filled with lots of people and skateboarding through crowds can be a safety hazard. Whatever you decide to do, be mindful of people around you, and listen to airport security or staff if asked to stop. Unfortunately, most often you’ll be asked to stop.
We hope our guide on how to fly with a skateboard has been helpful in preparing for your next trip!