Can You Bring Tennis Rackets On The Plane?


Since I’ve been a professional player, I often carry multiple rackets with me when I travel. Unfortunately, the rules for carrying these items are not universal.

Sometimes, I was able to carry my bags without a problem, but other times, I had to check them with my luggage. Usually, the airlines did not have issues with carrying my rackets, but airport security would not let me go through with them.

Even though you are allowed to carry a tennis racket on your flight, sometimes carrying a racket can be a stressful experience. The most dread you can imagine is when you have to check your racket with the rest of your bags

TSA official guidelines: Bringing Tennis Rackets on the plane

Carry-On Policies On Major Airlines

Most major airlines do not allow tennis rackets on their carry-on luggage policies. This is a common mistake that many passengers make when planning their travel accommodations.

AirlineDimensions of Hand LuggageMaximum CapacityTennis Rackets are mentioned
AmericanAirlines22 x 14 x 9 in
56 x 36 x 23 cm
Not SpecifiedNo
Air Canada21.5 x 9 x 15.5 in
55 x 23 x 40 cm
Light enough toBe stored UnassistedYes
Air France21.7 x 13.8 x 15.5 in
55 x 35 x 25 cm
12 kg / 26lbsNo
ANA22 in x 16 in x 9 in
55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm
10kg / 22 poundsYes
British Airways22 x 14 x 9 in
56 x 45 x 25 cm
Not specifiedTennis racketsProhibited
Delta22 x 13 x 9 in
56 x 35 x 23 cm
Not specifiedYes
Easy Jet22 x 8 x 10 in
56 x 45 x 24 cm
Not specifiedno
Emirates22 x 15 x 8 in
55 x 38 x 20 cm
Not specifiedno
Etihad19.6 x 15 x 9 in
50 x 40 x 25 cm
7kg / 15lbsno
Lufthansa22 x 16 x 9 in
55 x 40 x 23 cm
Not specifiedno
SingaporeAirlinesSum of length, width and height can’t exceed 115 cm (45 in)7kg / 15lbsno
Quantas22 x 14 x 9 in
56 x 36 x 23 cm
Not specifiedNo
Turkish Airlines22 x 16 x 9 in
55 x 40 x 23 cm
8kg / 18lbsno
Virgine Atlantic22 x 14 x 9 in
56 x 36 x 23 cm
10 kg / 22lbsno
United Airlines22 x 14 x 9 in
56 x 35 x 23 cm
Not specifiedYes

Carrying Rackets Issues

Most airlines do not specifically state that they allow carry-on luggage for tennis rackets. Also, these items are generally longer than most acceptable carry-on luggage.

If you have to board the plane on the first group, you may have no space to place your rackets. Also, since the overhead bins are usually full, you may end up with no space to put them.

Many people avoid checking their bags since they think that their items might get damaged during the handling process.

Although I haven’t experienced any issues with checking my rackets, it is still a good idea to make sure that they are individually wrapped. Also, make sure that they are not too cold to damage their string.

  • Investigate the types of planes you’ll be traveling to determine the size of the overhead bins.
  • Know your flight schedule: you may have a lengthy flight and a short flight (smaller plane), and you may find it difficult to store your rackets on the shorter leg of your journey.
  • Check your tennis bag and take the rackets out one at a time. Tennis bags are frequently too bulky to travel with as carry-ons, especially if you have four or more rackets;
  • Research the airline’s policy and be prepared for arbitrary judgements about your ability to bring your rackets on board.
  • It will be easy to inspect your rackets if you are going with a large number of them. Before departing for the airport, cover them with bubble wrap.

Is It Possible To Bring A Tennis Racket As Hand Luggage?

Although airlines allow tennis rackets to be carried on board, it’s still a bit challenging to check the size of your bag before getting on an airplane.

It is important that you carry all of your Tennis equipment with you when traveling on smaller planes. This will help avoid getting delayed when traveling on regional airlines.

Although most airlines allow sporting equipment to be placed in checked luggage, make sure that the bag is checked correctly. Also, make sure that the racket is well protected.

If you bring a large tennis racket or multiple items of the same size, you will be subject to the same fees as overweight luggage.

Most US Major Airlines do not have issues with carrying tennis rackets in their carry on and checked baggage. However, some airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet may not allow you to carry your rackets on board due to their limited space.

Security Services Run By The Government

When flying to the US, you’ll most likely have to pass through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Although the carry-on bag section of the TSA website has green checks next to it, there is a caveat that states that it’s up to the discretion of the agent to check bags.

Although the TSA has partnered with international agencies to improve security protocols, it is still important that travelers check the safety standards before they go abroad.

The Airlines Are The Next Stumbling Block

Each airline has its own rules regarding what can and can’t be carried in carry-on luggage. For instance, some airlines allow tennis rackets, while others bar them in carry-on luggage.

Depending on how you travel, it’s possible that the overhead bin will accommodate more than one item.

If you have a tennis racket, it should not be placed under the seat. Also, it is not ideal to have it on a long flight.

If your bag fits inside the overhead bin, then it’s possible that you’ll have to limit how many items you can carry-on. If, on the other hand, it fits inside the bag, then it’s not allowed to carry-on.

Even if an airline allows you to carry-on tennis rackets, they will need to be sized correctly to fit in the overhead bin. Since most of them are 27 inches long, they will not fit in the bin’s 22 x 14 x 9-inch width.

Making A Calculation

If you’re planning on keeping your racket inside your carry-on bag, this tutorial will help you get it to fit. It uses the Pythagorean theorem.

It has been estimated that a standard tennis racket bag measures about an inch too short to store diagonally. In other words, if the bag’s total volume is less than 22, it can be thrown on top of another bag in the overhead bin.

When airlines allow tennis rackets, it’s up to the gate agents to decide if they should allow you to bring them on board. In order to get through security, you should pack a padded bag.

This bag design adds a level of risk to anyone who plans on transporting their rackets in a soft-sided duffel bag. If they fit diagonally, they might not be noticed by the cabin crew.

Follow Casey Neistat’s rule when it comes to skateboarding through airports. When he gets called out, he gets off the board and continues on foot.

When asked to check his or her racket, be courteous and polite to the staff. It can be stressful to deal with this situation, so try to act like a polite person.

Considering A Check

It’s also important that the straps on your bag are secured to the objects in place.

You can organize your rackets in a large case by filling it with soft clothes and wrapping them in bubble wrap.

If you’re traveling with a lot of rackets, it might be smart to pack them in your checked luggage. Since bags with large amounts of space are usually not allowed to be checked, carrying these items in your checked bag will protect them from getting damaged.

Flights In Between

Having all of these factors in mind, some professional players may feel more comfortable carrying their equipment into their checked bag.

Although it’s technically allowed by the Transportation Security Administration, carrying a tennis racket on an airplane can be a hassle depending on the situation.

If you check a bag, chances are good that it will make it to its destination. However, if it gets lost, it can be a real pain to travel with.

Having your rackets checked before you travel is also a great way to minimize potential hang-ups.

Other Sporting & Camping Items Allowed on the Plane

ItemCarry OnBaggageSource
Aerosol InsecticideNoYes (Special Instructions)TSAOpens in a new tab.
Air Mattress with Built-in PumpYes (Special Instructions)YesTSAOpens in a new tab.
AntlersYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Baseball BatsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Basketballs/Baseballs/Footballs/Soccer BallsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bear BangersNoNoTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bear sprayNoNoTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bicycle ChainsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bicycle PumpsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
BicyclesCheck with AirlineCheck with AirlineTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bocce BallsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bowling BallsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bowling PinsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Bows and ArrowsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Boxing GlovesYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Camp stovesYes (Special Instructions)Yes (Special Instructions)TSAOpens in a new tab.
Canoe/Kayak PaddlesNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Cast Iron CookwareNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
CO2 Cartridge for Life VestYes (Special Instructions)Yes (Special Instructions)TSAOpens in a new tab.
Cooler (empty)YesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Cowboy SpursYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
CramponsYes (Special Instructions)YesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Cricket BatsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Divot ToolsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Fishing poleYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Foam Yoga BlocksYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Football HelmetsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Golf BallsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Golf ClubsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Golf TeesYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Hand WarmersYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
HelmetsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Hiking PolesNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Hockey SticksNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
KubatonsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Lacrosse SticksNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
LongboardsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Martial Arts WeaponsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
MassagersYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Navigation GPSYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
NunchucksNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
ParachutesYes (Special Instructions)Yes (Special Instructions)TSAOpens in a new tab.
Pool CuesNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
RocksYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
RopeYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
SandYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Shoe/Snow SpikesNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
SkateboardsYes (Special Instructions)YesTSAOpens in a new tab.
SkatesYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Ski PolesNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Sleeping BagYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Small Compressed Gas CartridgesNoNoTSAOpens in a new tab.
Small Fishing LuresYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Snow CleatsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
SnowboardsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
SnowshoesYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Spear GunsNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Sports CleatsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Tennis RacketsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
TentCheck with AirlineCheck with AirlineTSAOpens in a new tab.
Tent Spikes and PolesNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
TrophyYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
UmbrellasYes (Special Instructions)YesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Vacuum Sealed BagsYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Walking SticksNoYesTSAOpens in a new tab.
Yoga MatYesYesTSAOpens in a new tab.

Conclusion

Tennis is a global sport, and there are plenty of ways to play it anywhere in the world. However, traveling with a tennis racket can be a bit challenging, especially since it comes with a lot of expenses.

Although tennis rackets are allowed on airplanes, they’re not allowed to be carried on board unless accompanied by an official travel companion. This is mainly due to the size and security measures of the airlines.

James Newman

James Newman is an air travel fanatic. From the fear of flying, TSA regulations, and saving money on flights & airlines, James has extensive knowledge when it comes to air travel. He hopes to make your air travel experience a better one with his blog flyingcomfortably.com.

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