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Can You Take a Tennis Racket on a Plane?

Many people are afraid to check racket items to avoid any possible damage during handling. Tennis fans should not have to give them away before a flight or pack them...

Many people are afraid to check racket items to avoid any possible damage during handling. Tennis fans should not have to give them away before a flight or pack them into their luggage that goes in the hold.

In this article, we cover the best ways to travel with your tennis racquets, specific airline regulations, and travel hacks for carrying them as hand luggage. If you want to play tennis during your holidays, but need to keep your prized tennis racquets intact, read this definitive guide.

The situation is less cut-and-dry than it might initially seem because, like with many other elements of air travel, there is some nuance to the class you are traveling in and the attitude of the people you interact with. But the key is to get a minimal & travel-friendly bag that will fit your racquets in the overhead locker with ease.

We put this age old question to the test  - carrying 3 tennis racquets as hand luggage in our Cancha Racquet Bag from London to San Francisco. Watch the video below to find out how we did it!


The Real Reason Checking Your Racquets Is Hard

Tennis rackets can be carried by hand on most airlines. However, as most tennis bags are big and bulky, they often exceed most airlines' hand baggage limits. There are some ways around this, however, including getting a travel-friendly and airplane-safe tennis bag.

 

Moving on...

Tennis racquets are acceptable hand luggage according to TSA regulations. Tennis rackets are accepted as carry-on luggage by equivalent organizations around the world (such as the EU). As a result, be aware that each airline determines whether or not you can bring rackets with you.

 

Major Airline Carry-On Policies

We investigated the regulations of the major airlines and discovered that the majority of them do not specifically mention tennis rackets. Given this, you must take into account the carry-on luggage dimensions that each airline specifies. The hand luggage regulations of several well-known airlines are listed in the following table.

Most international airlines' economy classes make it difficult to check luggage large enough to fit your rackets in. If you have good negotiation skills, a lot of charm, or a helpful check-in agent on your side, you might be able to smuggle a bag containing your rackets into the overhead bin.

The best course of action is to select a minimal and travel-friendly tennis bag big enough to accommodate your rackets, but small enough o be checked in as hand luggage. This will help you avoid having to wrap them in layers of bubble wrap inside your suitcase!

 

Airline: American Airlines

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in 56 x 36 x 23 cm

Max Weight: Not Specified 

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Air Canada

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 21.5 x 9 x 15.5 in 55 x 23 x 40 cm

Max Weight: Light enough to be stored unassisted

Reference to Tennis Rackets: Yes – allowed

 

Airline: Air France

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 15.5 in 55 x 35 x 25 cm

Max Weight: 12 kg / 26lbs

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: ANA

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 in x 16 in x 9 in55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm

Max Weight: 10kg / 22 pounds

Reference to Tennis Rackets: Yes

 

Airline: British Airways

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in 56 x 45 x 25 cm

Max Weight: Not specified

Reference to Tennis Rackets: Tennis rackets Prohibited 

 

Airline: Delta

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 9 in  56 x 35 x 23 cm 

Max Weight: Not specified 

Reference to Tennis Rackets: Yes – allowed 

 

Airline: EasyJet

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 8 x 10 in 56 x 45 x 24 cm

Max Weight: Not specified 

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Emirates

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 15 x 8 in 55 x 38 x 20 cm 

Max Weight: Not specified 

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Etihad 

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 19.6 x 15 x 9 in 50 x 40 x 25 cm

Max Weight: 7kg / 15lbs

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Lufthansa

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 9 in 55 x 40 x 23 cm

Max Weight: Not specified 

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Singapore Airlines

Hand Luggage Dimensions: The sum of length, width, and height can’t exceed 115 cm (45 in)

Max Weight: 7kg / 15lbs

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Quantas

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in 56 x 36 x 23 cm

Max Weight: 7kg / 15lbs

Reference to Tennis Rackets: Not specified - No 

 

Airline: Turkish Airlines

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 9 in 55 x 40 x 23 cm

Maximum Weight: 8kg / 18lbs

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: Virgine Atlantic

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in 56 x 36 x 23 cm

Max Weight: 10 kg / 22lbs

Reference to Tennis Rackets: No

 

Airline: United Airlines

Hand Luggage Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in 56 x 35 x 23 cm

Max Weight: Not specified 

Reference to Tennis Rackets: Yes – allowed

 

Problems Carrying Rackets 

As you can see, the majority of airlines do not include tennis rackets in their carry-on guidelines. The length of rackets is their main drawback when flying. Tennis rackets typically measure 27 inches (69 cm), which when you factor in the size of most bulky tennis bags, is longer than the majority of legal carry-on bags. The decision to let you carry on rackets can therefore be arbitrarily made by airline agents and security officers, but having a lightweight and compact bag, like the Cancha Racquet Bag, certainly helps!.

Additional issues will arise with overstuffed overhead bins on full flights. That being said, the more compact the tennis bag the better as it will certainly make it easier to fit.

While rackets cannot usually be stored behind the front seat, in contrast to a backpack, the backpack style of the Cancha Racquet Bag allows most travellers to get away with this. Long journeys tend to employ bigger planes, thus it's even easier to place your bag in the overhead locker. Bringing a racket on a shorter flight, though, can be challenging.

It's not Always necessary to check your tennis rackets

Yes, checking your tennis rackets on to the plane can help you avoid airline-specific issues. But even if you place yards of bubble wrap inside your suitcase for good measure, before and after the flight you cannot be guaranteed your rackets will be in the same condition. While you might think it's important to check your tennis rackets onto the plane, a backpack-style tennis bag will usually do the trick.

Traveling is never easy, and there are lots of tennis racket bags that you can choose from the in the market, but most won't help you travel on the plane. Traditional tennis backpacks leave your handles exposed, making it obvious you are carrying racquets, where as tennis duffle bags are far to big to go in the hold. Only Canchamakes lightweight and compact travel tennis bags for planes, trains, and everything in between.

Recommendations:

As you can see, carrying tennis rackets while traveling might be challenging, so be ready before you go. There are no set guidelines that the airline workers and security officials follow, therefore their decisions are always random. So, here is some guidance:

  • For information on the size of the overhead bins of the aircraft, you'll be traveling, do some research.

  • Know your schedule because it's possible to have a long flight and a short flight (on a smaller plane), and it may be difficult to store your rackets on the shorter part of the trip.

  • Verify your tennis bag is the right size, or consider getting a Cancha Tennis Bag to be more sure. While most Tennis luggage is frequently too big to be carried on, especially if you are traveling with four or more rackets, there are some bags that are better suited to travel.

  • Be prepared for arbitrary decisions regarding your ability to bring your rackets on board by researching the airline's policy.

  • It will be simpler to check your rackets if you are traveling with a lot of them, but be aware that there is no guarantee they will be safe. Before going to the airport, seal them in bubble wrap to give you peace of mind that they won't get damaged. It's also worth asking to place a 'Fragile' sticker on your luggage if you do decide to check the,.

  •  

If you want to check your tennis racket, be sure to follow the airline's guidelines for checked baggage size and weight and to adequately insure it.

You will be charged the regular fees for oversized and overweight luggage if you are flying with a large tennis racket, multiple articles, or huge and overweight items. However, a good tennis racket bag can help you avoid those charges.

Conclusion: Can You Take a Tennis Racket on a Plane?

Tennis is an international sport, therefore there are many opportunities for players to play on the courts when they are abroad. But it's not easy to travel with tennis rackets, and given how expensive they can be, it makes sense that anyone planning to do so would want to be sure they're doing it correctly.

This issue has confused us as well: occasionally, we have been permitted to bring a racket bag on board, occasionally, we have been required to inspect it, and occasionally, we have had to remove our rackets from the bag and manually bring them on board.

There are generally no restrictions or additional instructions for carrying a tennis racquet on board an airplane. However, due to the limited space, we highly recommend using a tennis bag that is designed for travel. Overall, it's wise to assume the worst and prepare for the best.

Try to bring your tennis racket as carry-on luggage, but leave some room in your bag just in case. Bring some bubble wrap with you in case the less-than-ideal scenario arises so you can protect your tennis racket before packing them last minute inside your suitcase.

 

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