I often see this question coming up so I did some digging and decided to make a list of all airlines in the US and their rules regarding bringing a skateboard on an airplane. Good news! Many airlines allow skateboards on a plane as long as you follow the rules.
You can bring your skateboard on a plane as long as you bring it as a carry-on or checked baggage. For carry-on, the length may not exceed 62 inches and should weigh less than 50 pounds. If your skateboard fits under the seat you don’t need a bag. Wheels should be facing up under the seat to prevent it from rolling.
If stowed in an overhead bin you need to cover the wheels using a trash bag. This only apply to a small number of airlines. Most of the airlines don’t allow you to carry on your skateboard and require you to check them in instead. Looking at these regulations it means that shorter longboards, like mini cruisers can also be carried on a plane.
In most cases, you can’t bring an electric skateboard or electric longboard on a plane, unless you remove the batteries. If you’re confident enough there are a few ways to bend the rules a little.
List of Airlines & Rules Regarding Carrying Skateboards
The policies vary most airlines allow you to take your skateboard on a plane as long as you stick to the regulations. Here’s a list of common US airlines and their policy. Make sure to check their websites as things may change.
|Airline||Carry on or checked||Airline carry on policy|
|Alaska Air||Checked baggage||Accepted as checked baggage, provided a skateboard is properly packed in a soft- or hard-sided case designed specifically for the equipment. Fees may apply.|
|Allegiant AirChecked baggage||Checked baggage||Skateboards on the plane are accepted as long as it’s in a container or case and not longer than a Penny board. This means you can’t bring your regular skateboard. Policy (scroll down to 60.11).|
|American Airlines||Checked baggage||American Airlines doesn’t allow you to bring your skateboard on a plane as carry on. You’ll need to check it in and might be charged the same fee as the 1st or 2nd bag fee of your destination. Your board shouldn’t weigh more than 50 lbs (lol) and can’t be longer than 62 inches Policy|
|Air Canada||Carry-on||Air Canada allows you to bring your skateboard as a carry on. Just remember that 1 board or 1 bag containing your skateboard counts as one piece of luggage towards the maximum number of checked bags allowed. Max 50 lbs. and 62 inches Policy|
|Delta Air Lines||Checked baggage||Skateboards are allowed as checked baggage and standard baggage policies apply. Delta states that skateboards are allowed as carry on but it shouldn’t exceed 45 linear inches. In theory, this means you can’t bring in as carry on. Policy (scroll down)|
|Frontier Airlines||Checked baggage||Some people report a disassembled board and in a bag was fine as a carry-on, assembled still needs to be checked in. Their policy doesn’t really state anything specific about skateboards so prepare to pay fees.|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Checked baggage||Hawaiian Airlines only allows carry on baggage with a maximum size of 45 linear inches (9x14x22) and 25 pounds. This means you need to check-in your skateboard, extra fees may be charged. Policy|
|JetBlue||Checked baggage||Jetblue accepts skateboards as long as they don’t exceed 22 inches. This basically means that they don’t accept skateboards as carry-on because skateboards are around 32″. Policy|
|Ryanair||Checked baggage||Ryanair doesn’t allow bringing a skateboard as carry on, you can check in the baggage and fees may apply. Policy (listed under 8.4.7)|
|Southwest Airlines||Carry-on||If the skateboard fits under the seat in front of you (good luck with that) you can place it there without the need of bagging it. You need to stow it with the wheels facing up to prevent it from taking off and possibly causing harm to passengers or crew. If it doesn’t fit under a seat you can stow it in an overhead bin. Make sure the wheels face up while keeping the wheels covered (trash bag is fine). This is to prevent the board from damaging other peoples property.
Policy (click on the Sports equipment tab at the bottom)
|Spirit Airlines||Checked baggage||When flying Spirit Airline checked baggage fees may apply. You also have to sign a limited liability release form and hand over your left kidney.
You can’t bring electric skateboards and hoverboards for on the plane period.
|United Airlines||Checked baggage||Just like JetBlue, United Airlines seemingly accept carry on skateboard BUT they can’t exceed the standard baggage dimensions of 45 linear inches (22 x 14 x 9 in) or 115 centimeters (56 x 36 x 23 cm) this includes handles and wheels. Be prepared to check them in! United Airlines only accepts non-powered skateboards so you won’t be able to bring your electric skateboard. Keep in mind that first or second checked bag service charges could apply.
Policy (info at the bottom)
|Virgin America||Checked baggage||Some get away with it and others have to check it in. Assume you have to check it on but you’re not charged any extra fees because it’s a piece of sports equipment. Virgin America is now part of Alaska Airlines.|
Make sure to double check the policies as in time the rules may change over time. Give them a call to be certain and prevent extra charges. many airlines claim you’re allowed to take you skateboard as a carry on but size restrictions tell otherwise! This post was made on Oct. 18th-2018. Check for yourself just to be sure!
Don’t Worry Too Much About the TSA
Make sure to inform yourself properly and know the regulations of each airline. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises when you go through security. In general, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) allows skateboards on a plane or in the cargo hold.
The TSA website states that “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint“. They don’t want the hassle of checking a skateboard deck at the gate and if they stop you try to negotiate and be polite.
Careful with Connecting Flights Abroad
This is where it gets a bit more complicated. Once you fly abroad different rules may apply, even if you’re catching a connecting flight. From what I could find is that London (UK). Frankfurt (Germany) and Sydney (Australia) won’t allow you to carry on a skateboard.
You’ll need to go outside of the airport and check in your skateboard, which could potentially mean missing your flight. I tried my best to find the exact policy but haven’t succeeded, I’ll be sure to update this post if I can find out more.
How to Pack a Skateboard for Air Travel
The best way to get your skateboard in a plane is by disassembling. Carry your trucks in a backpack and attach your deck using straps, assuming you have a skateboard backpack. If you don’t have a bag, check out some duffel bags with straps on or look for backpacks with straps.
The staff doesn’t have time to deal with a deck that’s just a bit oversized and won’t bother you unless they’re having a bad day. Just make sure you’re in front of the line, meaning you have to get through the gate a bit earlier and get in front of the queue.
Make sure to pack your board in the best stowable way possible and the crew won’t bother you. Like I said, be friendly, compliment the crew when you can and they won’t give you any trouble (depending on the airline).
If you don’t have a bag with straps and you’re forced to check in your skateboard just firmly tape your bag and cover it with plastic wrap. You don’t want your deck to go missing, strapping your trucks to your shoes isn’t an option, or is it? Just make sure you can show your luggage is one single piece.
If someone at the check-in counter is giving you a hard time, tell them “excuse me, I don’t understand. I’ve been traveling the world and this is the first time I’ve heard of this. I checked your site and it didn’t mention anything about this being prohibited” (keep smiling and stay polite).
The safest way is to get a bag that fits your skateboard. A normal skateboard would fit perfectly and the staff won’t really give you a hard time. They might ask what’s in there and you just say my clothes and my skateboard, no problem.
Don’t expect to get all these questions on a domestic flight though, they won’t give you any trouble. If they do (domestic and international) just force it while maintaining your cool. I’m not talking about security (avoid arguing with them) but the men and women at the desks.
Most Skateboard-Friendly Airline
And the winner is… South-West Airlines! They provide the most accurate information without having to dig through their website and many skateboarders only have positive experiences bringing their skateboard on board (heh). They don’t charge any extra fees and you’ll have no issues going through security. Cheers guys!
Disassemble Your Skateboard and Bend the Rules
Sometimes it helps to disassemble your skateboard. Now, this isn’t a very practical solution but it might save you some money in case they charge you fees.
Just remove your trucks and put them in a backpack, your deck doesn’t take up too much space and can be stowed in an overhead bin. Alternatively, you can put in under the seat in front of you or wedge it between the seats.
If you have a window seat you could put it on between you and the seat fuselage. As a last resort, strap it on your luggage and put your skateboard deck in the overhead bin. I can’t guarantee this will always work but if you act polite and friendly nobody of the cabin crew will bat an eye.
Put on your most confident face and stow your skateboard on the plane as soon as you can. The early birds always get their bags on the plane. Oh and if you’re wondering, you can ride your skateboard in the airport. Just make sure not to run anyone over or get in the way. Security might ask you to stop though.
Electric Skateboards on a Plane
Bringing an electric skateboard on a plane is difficult. Most airlines have strict regulations and won’t allow E-boards because of fire hazards. There are people who claim you can bring your electric skateboard when you disassemble it and carry the batteries in your backpack but curb your enthusiasm.
According to Thetechieguy the TSA doesn’t mind e-boards going through security as long as the board’s battery meets the lithium-ion requirements.
However prepare to be disappointed, almost all airlines won’t allow you to transport your board even if you disassemble it. You can try your luck but it might end up getting you in trouble. No legal trouble, but what if they refuse to take it on the plane? Are you going to trash your board?
So can you bring an electric skateboard on an airplane? No, they’re a fire hazard. Some people remove the batteries and get away with it but you’ll risk losing your expensive equipment.
Can I Take My Skateboard on a Train or Bus?
Yes, you can bring your skateboard on a bus or train, no problem. Amtrak and Greyhound allow you to bring it along. You can even bring your electric skateboard! As long as your skateboard isn’t gasoline-powered you will be fine. Happy travels!
Airplane seat image credits: Pexels