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Skateboards in Hand Luggage: a Dangerous Game!

Skateboard in Hand Luggage

 

 

Can you bring your skateboard in your hand luggage?

In the EU and in Europe in general, skateboards are not allowed in hand luggage. The two main reasons for this are:

Firstly, most skateboards do not comply with the maximum permitted dimensions for hand luggage.

Secondly, skateboards are classified as “potentially dangerous items” according to the 2010 EU regulation, or prohibited in carry-on baggage, as it could be used as a weapon. Annex 4-C of the Regulation, which refers to prohibited articles in hand luggage, states that blunt items which could be used as a weapon are not permitted in hand luggage. At first glance, this may seem a bit exaggerated, but if you think about it a little more carefully, you can understand that such a skateboard could cause quite devastating damage if it were to be swung wildly through the air by a (crazy) passenger.

Moreover, some people think that they can simply carry their skateboard as a personal item (in the same way as a laptop or a handbag) or as an accessory (instead of an umbrella, crutches or reading material, etc.); however, the truth is that skateboards do not qualify as such items. 

In the US, however, skateboards are generally allowed in hand luggage (see the TSA rules here, as long as the size and weight restrictions, as defined per the airlines, are not violated. 

 

In the EU and Europe in general, skateboards are forbidden in hand luggage BECAUSE...

EU Regulation No. 185/2010, which among other things defines the list of prohibited items, states:

The following items are prohibited in hand luggage (Annex 4-C): e) blunt items – items which, when used as a striking weapon, can cause serious injury, including baseball and softball bats, clubs and batons such as blackjacks, martial arts equipment;

Comment: Skateboards are not explicitly listed here, but definitely fall into this category and are therefore prohibited in hand luggage. In the General terms & conditions of some airlines, skateboards are directly referred to as prohibited items in hand luggage. This is the case with Ryanair (see 8.4.7), for instance. 

via GIPHY

As you see in this picture, skateboards truly could be used as a weapon. So in Europe and the EU, they are generally not allowed in hand luggage.

 

Skateboards in hand luggage in the US

We have seen that skateboards are usually not tolerated in hand luggage. The reasons for this are manifold: Skateboards are usually too big, the security personnel classifies them as potential weapons, and so on and so forth. But is this true for the US as well?

No. In the US, skateboards are actually allowed in hand luggage. The TSA, which makes the hand luggage rules, states on its website that skateboards are fine, both in hand luggage and in checked luggage.

However, it seems that when it comes to skateboards in hand luggage, not all the US airlines follow these guidelines by the TSA and enforce stricter rules for skateboards. It is, therefore, always best to double-check with your US airline if you can really take it into the cabin or not.

 

Can I strap the skateboard on my backpack?

In some cases, this might be tolerated, but this is generally forbidden. Your skateboard must either BE your carry-on or it must be inside of your carry-on bag*. But you can’t bring both separately or the skateboard strapped on your backpack. In some cases, you might get lucky and get through with it, but we definitely don’t recommend trying. A skateboard is not considered a personal item such as a handbag or a laptop bag or an accessory such as an umbrella, crutches or reading material, so you are generally not allowed to bring this in addition to your carry-on bag.

*This is of course only true in circumstances where skateboards in hand luggage are allowed in the first place (mainly in the US!)

 

If not in/as hand luggage, then where?

Of course, you can take your skateboard with you on your journey, either in your checked baggage, which you check in at check-in, or as sports baggage (also called bulky baggage or special baggage, depending on the term), if the skateboard cannot be accommodated in your checked baggage due to its dimensions (e.g. a longboard).

If you have to check in the board as bulky baggage/special baggage/sports baggage, you will usually have to pay a fee. The fees vary depending on the airline and can usually be found on the airline’s official website.

Some airlines divide such bulky baggage into categories such as small/medium/large by applying a weight concept where the various items are divided into categories according to weight and then the fee to be paid is determined.

If you check-in your skateboard as sports baggage, you will usually have to register your skateboard. In this case, you must register the item with the airline in good time in order to obtain a permit to carry it. With Condor, for example, this is possible up to 8 hours before departure.

 

Should I disassemble my skateboard?

In general, it’s a good idea to disassemble the skateboard because it increases your chances of getting through security. In some cases, security personnel will only let you pass if you remove the wheels and the other components and carry them separately in your hand luggage.

However, even if you disassemble your skateboard, there is no guarantee that it will pass the security check. As we have seen earlier, the situation presents itself as follows:

  • In Europe and the EU, skateboards are generally not tolerated in hand luggage. In some cases, you might get lucky though and you can bring your skateboard in hand luggage. If you disassemble your skateboard, this will definitely increase your chances to get through airport security with it. But we would still not recommend doing so because it is definitely a game of fire.
  • In the US, skateboards are generally allowed in hand luggage. You would not necessarily need to disassemble your skateboard, as long as the board does not violate the size & weight restrictions for hand luggage as defined by the airline.

 

Be an Early Bird!

In order to further increase your chances of taking your skateboard on board, you should arrive at the airport as early as possible and check in and board the aircraft as soon as possible.

It is not unusual for staff to decide spontaneously whether or not your skateboard is allowed on board. And this decision heavily depends on the question of whether and how much space there is (still) on board. Because you must be able to stow the skateboard either in the overhead bins or (if it is a very small skateboard) under the front seat. If you are the last passenger to board the plane, you have already lost in advance.

 

What about electronic skateboards in hand luggage?

Well, here the rules are at least clearer than with traditional skateboards in hand luggage. Here it is quite clear that they are not allowed to bring such electronic skateboards on board.

Generally, lithium-ion-powered personal electric vehicles are not accepted for transport under any circumstances, both in checked and in hand luggage. Sorry for the bad news, guys 🙁

And even if your electronic skateboard powers a lithium-battery that is within the allowed range for personal electronic devices, (max. of 160 watt hours), the answer is still no because electronic skateboards are personal electric vehicles and not considered as personal electronic devices such as laptop batteries or powerbanks. Sorry again.

via GIPHY

Have a good flight everybody, be it with or without your skateboard!

 

Related Questions

 

What about a Skateboard on American Airlines Flights?

Skateboards in hand luggage are generally allowed in the US. However, it seems that there is some controversy whether this also applies to American Airlines flights. On the internet, you will find many skateboarders saying that they experienced trouble with American Airlines in this regard. However, I just reached out to American Airlines on Twitter and their official statement was: “A skateboard can be taken on board either as your carry on or inside of you carry on bag, but you can’t bring both separately.”

 

Can you Bring Your Skateboard in Your Carry-on when Flying Domestically in the US?

Yes, this is generally possible because the TSA allows skateboards in hand luggage. Make sure to observe the size & weight restrictions as defined per the airlines.

 

Can you Take a Skateboard on a Plane in Australia?

In most cases, the answer would be no. You generally need to check-in your skateboard when flying domestically in Australia or when flying internationally FROM Australia.

 

Can You Take a Skateboard on Ryanair?

No. You can’t bring a skateboard as carry-on luggage when flying with Ryanair. Why not? First of all, Ryanair has just adjusted their hand luggage regulations. Now, when travelling on a standard fare ticket, you can only bring a personal item (handbag or laptop bag) on board the aircraft. So a skateboard definitely does not qualify as such. And even on more expensive fares (plus, flexi plus, family plus), you can not bring a skateboard in your hand luggage with Ryanair.

 

Can you Take a Skateboard on Lufthansa?

You could bring a skateboard in your checked luggage when flying with Lufthansa. In hand luggage, however, a skateboard is generally not allowed with Lufthansa. Same goes for all the airlines and flights in Europe.

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