If you are looking to travel by air and want to know which airlines let you take a skateboard on the plane as carry-on baggage, then you have come to the right place. It can be hard to know if an airline will take a skateboard as carry-on baggage due to the confusing wording of their skateboard policies but this article will help to decipher the rules.
The benefits of taking your skateboard on the plane with you as carry-on baggage is that there is no chance of it being lost. Checked baggage is lost all the time when flying and there is nothing worse than getting to your destination without your gear, especially your skateboard. You also risk having your skateboard damaged when it is checked in and I speak from experience when I say this.
Below is a list of the airlines that will let you take your skateboard on the plane free of charge. There is also a list of airlines that do not allow skateboards onboard as carry-on baggage. For the latter you will need to check your skateboard in as checked baggage. Note that this article only covers domestic travel in the United States.
Longboards and electric skateboards are not usually allowed as carry-on luggage. Airlines may require electric skateboard batteries to be removed.
Which Airlines Let You Take Your Skateboard On The Plane?
Airlines That Allow Skateboards On Planes
Southwest Airlines are one of only two domestic airlines in the USA who will let you take a skateboard on the plane as carry-on luggage.
On their website they state in the baggage policy that “skateboards may be substituted for a carry-on or a checked bag. If the skateboard fits under the seat, it does not need to be in a bag or covered, but it does have to be stowed with the wheels up so that it doesn’t roll”.
This seems like a pretty straight forward policy without any need to read hidden fine print, therefore you shouldn’t have any trouble taking your skateboard on a flight with Southwest Airlines. In addition, Southwest have a great reputation for having friendly and helpful staff along with a very good refund/flight change policy.
United Airlines is the other airline that allows you to take your skateboard on the plane as carry-on luggage.
You can read for yourself about their sports equipment policy here but basically they say that skateboards can be taken onboard as part of your baggage allowance however, if you take it in addition to your baggage limit you will be charged an excess baggage fee.
Here is the statement on the page:“We’ll accept only non-powered roller skates, rollerblades and skateboards as checked bags or carry-on bags. Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. Skating equipment carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags”.
Going off their statement I think it’s safe to say United Airlines will accept your skateboard as carry on luggage.
Airlines That Don’t Allow Skateboards On Planes
Now it’s time to get into the airline’s that have very confusing language surrounding their skateboard carry-on policy that might trick you into believing that your skateboard is allowed on the plane, when really it’s not (yes, we’re referring to you JetBlue).
We’ll also cover airline’s that have straightforward policies regarding their rules about skateboards only being transported via checked baggage.
JetBlue are a little sneaky with their rules regarding skateboards on planes. They state that you may bring your skateboard on the plane as carry-on baggage as long as it does not exceed their size restrictions.
The size restrictions are as follows “45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm) including handles and wheels and fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you”.
On average, most skateboard’s are 30 inches long exceeding JetBlue’s 22 inch maximum length. So technically skateboards are not allowed on JetBlue planes.
But JetBlue’s skateboard policy on the website reads “A skateboard or longboard will count as a carry-on or checked item, as long as it meets the size requirements. If checked, it will be accepted at the customer’s own risk. JetBlue will not be liable for damage, loss, or spoilage of conditionally accepted items”. Confusing right?
Below you can see a tweet from a customer asking JetBlue on Twitter if a skateboard that does meet the length requirements is accepted as carry-on baggage and the answer given is no. Even more confusing!
I think to be on the safe side it’s best to assume that no, you can’t take skateboards as carry-on baggage with JetBlue. Your first checked bag on JetBlue will cost you $35 unless your baggage is included with your ticket.
Unfortunately you may not take your skateboard as carry-on baggage with American Airlines. The statement on their sports equipment policy page found here says that specifically for skateboards: “Standard checked bag fees of your destination apply up to 50lbs/23kgs and 126in/320cm (length + width + height) and standard overweight fee applies from 51lbs/23kgs to 70lbs/32kgs”.
Several people have stated on social media that they have been able to take their skateboards onboard American Airlines without any trouble but my guess is it’s really up to the flight attendant and what mood he/she might be in. Sounds like a risky chance to take but it’s totally up to you if you want to try it.
And just so you know, your first checked bag with American Airlines will cost $30 unless baggage is included with your ticket.
Alaska Airlines are straight forward with their skateboard policy only allowing them as checked baggage. Their skateboard policy is as follows “We accept sports equipment items as checked baggage, provided each piece is properly packed in a soft- or hard-sided case designed specifically for the equipment. If your travel includes multiple airlines, different restrictions may apply”. A checked bag on Alaska with cost you $30.
Spirit is a budget airline however, much like JetBlue and American they state that skateboards can be carry on luggage but must be less than 22″ so basically you can’t bring a skateboard as carry on.
Spirit Airlines policy states “Sure you can bring it! We accept non-motorized/non-battery operated skateboards onboard as a carry-on or personal item provided the item is (Within Spirit’s carry-on or personal item size dimensions, and Stowed with wheels up to prevent rolling). Guests must stow the skateboard wheels up, preferably under the seat. Skateboards count towards a Guest’s bag allowance and carry-on bag charges apply, as applicable. A limited liability release form must be signed as well”.
Spirit being a budget airline actually charge $14 – $39 for a carry on bag! A checked bag will run you $21 – $65.
Delta have the same ridiculous antics as American, JetBlue and Spirit. They say skateboards are allowed as carry on if they don’t exceed 22″ which no standard skateboard does.
Delta’s skateboard policy is as follows “skateboards are allowed as checked baggage and standard baggage policies apply. Skateboards are allowed as carry-on baggage and standard carry-on size restrictions apply. In checked baggage, your board must be housed in a bag“.
A checked bag on Delta Airlines will cost $30.
Frontier is another budget airline that are straight forward with their skateboard policy that only allows skateboards to be checked in.
Frontiers skateboard policy reads “cannot accept skateboards with haz-mat stickers, Checked and carry-on bag prices are based on Fare Option purchased.
Overweight and oversize baggage will be charged if applicable. Skateboard, Checked: Yes, Carry-on: No“.
Checked baggage prices with Frontier Airlines depends on each individual flight.
How To Pack Your Skateboard For Air Travel
How To Break Down Your Skateboard For Carry-On Baggage
There are a few tricks you should know when it comes to taking your skateboard on the plane as carry-on baggage, especially if you are going to attempt to take your skateboard on an airline that does not allow skateboards as carry-on.
Firstly, make sure you take your trucks off your skateboard and put them in your backpack. Yes, taking your trucks off your deck is a little inconvenient but it’s also a little inconvenient being forced to check your skateboard in at the last minute because the flight attendant decides not to let you on with it for some unknown reason.
Secondly, you should strap your deck to your backpack rather than carrying it in your hands so that you do not draw attention to it. A skateboard backpack is a good investment if you plan on traveling by air with your skateboard.
How To Pack Your Skateboard For Checked-In Baggage
If you plan on checking your skateboard in, it’s best to pack it inside a duffel bag or a suitcase. Although you can check your skateboard in by itself, I highly recommend against this because a lot can go wrong.
It’s no secret that airline workers can be very careless with passenger luggage and you do not want to risk damaging your skateboard or having it go missing.
So Which Airlines Are Best For Skateboarders?
Southwest and United Airlines are the best choice for skateboarders who want to travel by air and you shouldn’t have any problems taking your skateboard on the plane with you as carry-on baggage.
That’s not to say it isn’t impossible to get away with taking your skateboard as carry-on baggage with the other airlines, but it is risky and could end up costing you more if you are forced to check baggage in at the last minute.
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