Can I take my ice skates on a plane? If you fly a lot or have cause to do it at any time, you may be wondering, can I take ice skates onboard a flight as hand luggage? That’s just the beginning of your search. There may be connecting flights to consider and different airline partners with different permissions. You have to be certain where they would go if you could take them with you; the hold or hand luggage.  Ice skaters prefer to hold their skates on a plane as carry-on luggage because of the possibility that the skates may be delayed or destroyed. If you have researched this information, you may be confused about the answers. This article attempts to simplify the answer and address subsequent concerns you may have, thereby easing your decision making process.

Which Airliners Allow Ice Skates as Hand Luggage?

From our research, it’s 50/50. We have come to the conclusion that you definitely can take your figure or hockey ice skates on a plane – but a lot of airlines won’t allow it, for example, EasyJet see them as dangerous goods. Check ahead and make sure you know the individual airline rule before you arrive at the airport. We have also included a Virgin Atlantic response and you may be able to pick out the clues on when you can bring ice skates on board the flight.

EasyJet won't allow Ice Skates on a plane as hand luggage.
EasyJet will not allow Ice Skates on board the plane
Virgin Airways says that ice skate boots are not allowed as hand luggage

Airlines differ (American, Virgin Atlantic, etc) when it comes to carriables, allowing skates on the place is common.  Whilst most airlines don’t have a binary answer on their websites, you can send them a message on Twitter and they will respond. Here is another example from America Airlines. We’ve also shown the term “Ice Skates” in the Transport Security Administration (TRA) website being approved for hand luggage (USA). Just follow this link to check What Can I bring.

American Airlines say on twitter that you can bring ice skates in the hold of the airplane.

USA website approving ice skates on the plane that can go in the hold as hand luggage

Some airlines regard ice skate blades as sharp objects that could be used as weapons, so they don’t allow them on a plane. There seems to be a USA and UK / EU split of opinion. In the US, the TRA will approve, but if flying in Europe forget it. Do consult with your airline for their specific guidelines. It is necessary to get in touch because even if you’ve been told its okay to take ice skates on a plane, an overzealous airport employee at the gate may tell you that you have to be checked. 

For airlines that might not allow your ice skates to be carried on to the plane, some make provision for such items to be “gate-checked.” Gate-checked items are put in a different part of the plane than checked items. You’ll have to take it to the plane’s entry door where it’ll be loaded onto the plane. When you exit the plane, the gate-checked items are offloaded and picked up at the plane’s entry door, instead of the baggage claim. Ice skaters don’t like this method as it doesn’t guarantee the security or safety of the skates. What would you do if you travelled for a competition and your skates went missing?

Should I Travel With Proof of My Event?

If you have to travel with your ice skates on a plane, then the skates must have a purpose to serve in your destination. This is why you should travel with proof of the event or competition in which you are participating. Although there is no rule that mandates this, it has its own benefits. 

First, travelling with your skating documents shows the airport officials why you need to move with your ice skates. Apart from the permission you have obtained from the airline, it helps to make the officials understand the necessity of this item. Such information can ease your interaction with passport control or immigration officials and save you both time. 

Another benefit, which is more general, is that there is a measure of assurance that comes with having your details at hand. You will understand this better if you’re travelling to an unfamiliar destination. Check your tickets, passport, documents and boarding passes over and again before you get onto the plane. Here are the factors you should consider when taking ice skates onto a plane.

How to Pack My Ice Skates For Travel?

You may not find information about how to pack your ice skates from airlines or forums. But consider that the last person who has the approval on whether to allow your skates on a plane is the checkpoint officer.  After confirming with your airline that it’s okay to take ice skates on board, notify them about it as they are the ones to determine if it’s securely covered or not.  

Usually, when you’re travelling, ensure your skate guards are ready and cut them to length to make them more compact for the bag. It is advisable to wash your skates first before putting them in the bag. You can place your soakers over the top of the guards.  The reason you need to take your soakers is because you will need to potentially walk around the rink in them whilst abroad. You will also still want to put them on after skating. Moreover, it shows that you have taken every precaution to cover the blades. Here is the guideline to pack your ice skate for travelling on a plane:

Cover Your Blades

Before you board a plane, it is recommended that you should put the skate blades inside skate guards or thick fuzzy soakers. This is one way the airline TSA authorities will not be overly concerned by the blade’s sharpness or the big toe picks. We selected strongly reviewed Skate Guards and Soakers online at Amazon, click them to see what you think. These are necessary for all transport of figure skates.

Pack Skates in a Small Bag

If you pack the skates in a small skate bag, (an absolute recommendation from on Amazon) they may be considered as a personal item and you’ll be allowed to carry it on the plane. However, there is no guarantee that this will always be the case even if you have had it work for you sometime in the past.

Before you arrive at the airport, mark the skate bag clearly with your name, email address, cell phone number, and destination. If the airline decides to examine your skates, double check to ensure that the bag that you marked is the one marked for your final destination. Keep the receipts for the checked bag in a safe place. We next discuss how best to pack for the hold.

How to Protect My Skates on the Plane

Another concern you may have is how to protect your ice skates from other luggage on a plane, especially with the way items are thrown around in the hold, potentially causing heavier bags to rest on them. You should try to pack a layer of clothing to cushion the skates above and beneath. That way, no matter how jostled it gets, you can be sure of the safety of the main item. The clothes will soften the impact from any other luggage that may be stacked on your ice skates. What out for zips and buttons which may mark your boots, so wrap any potential harmful jeans, jackets in plastic bags.

If it happens that you don’t have ice skate blade guards, consider packing the ice skates with the blades placed inwards. Although they fit better into the case if you pack them with the blades facing outward, you have to consider every factor, and without your skate guards, the blades could pierce your own case. Pack your skating costume well too, learn here about the time and dedication that goes into Making a Figure Skating Dress.

Does the Weight of My Ice Skates Matter for Airlines?

The weight of your ice skates matter. As usual, you need to check with your airline, especially if you’re planning to pack your ice skates in your hand luggage. This is because of the weight and size restrictions imposed by some airlines on hand luggage. Other airlines have only size restrictions. If you fly with an airline that has limitations on weight, you should know the weight of your ice skates before booking your flight or getting on board. 

Ice skates weigh between 1kg-5kg. they also come in have different weights, sizes and models. There are light weight versions that are made of light weight blades. Whenever you’re travelling, consider your ice skate weight and remember to make room for it with your other luggage. 

Can My Zuca Bag Serve as a Carry-On Luggage?

Now whilst a Zuca provides the best protection when travelling, will it get on board? Yes and no. The reason both answers are true is because it depends on the airline you’re using. Some will accept ice skaters as hand luggage while others limit them to the check-in luggage. The challenge with taking your ices skates as hand luggage is that many airlines already specify the kind of items that classify as hand luggage. Examples of such items include:

  • Cameras
  • Jewellery
  • Accessories
  • Toiletries
  • Change of clothes
  • iPods

All airlines ban taking weapons as carry-on luggage, and because some see the sharp tooth of ice skates as potential weapon, they ban it from being carried as a hand luggage. The challenge is that airline stipulations are sometimes vague and a lot of your experience becomes the decision of the officials you encounter during your check-in. When it comes to hand luggage, airlines usually stipulate a maximum height, depth and width. These guidelines are fixed and non-negotiable. From our research, we discovered that some airlines would take the total of all the items in your bag against the pre-set maximum total linear length (the addition of the height, width and depth).  

At the end of the day, this may influence your decision on what airline to fly with. Fortunately, it is a piece of information you can find on the internet. Airlines regularly publish the acceptable weight and other variables depending on your type of ticket and luggage allowance. If you’re unsure how to interpret the information you find, contact the airline.

Can I Insure My Skates When Flying With Them?

Insuring your ice skates is definitely a brilliant idea for the plane. It helps to preserve the value of the skates and also gives you a calm demeanour in worst case scenarios. Even more exciting is the fact that your travel or holiday insurance will generally cover your luggage. There are specialist sports insurers out there if you want specific protection for the skate, skating injury and loss of earnings. If you want to follow that separate section up with recommend

My Ice Skates Got Damaged on the Plane!

If you arrive at your destination airport and when you went for your baggage, you discovered that it’d been damaged, report the situation immediately before you leave the airport. When you report the case, you’ll have to do some paperwork; the Property Irregularity Report which you can use to make a claim against your travel or holiday insurance. While at it, take a few snapshots of your baggage and ice skates clearly showing the damage done. 

My Ice Skates and Baggage have been Stolen 

Now, this is a situation no one desires – a kind of worst case scenario that hits quite hard. If you discover that your baggage or ice skates have been stolen, don’t panic. Report the theft immediately to the local police.  You need to get this done because some insurance companies have an exclusion clause in their policy concerning how quickly you reported the theft while others have a time limit. When you report to the local police, get your crime reference number as you may need it to make a claim. Note that you may not qualify for pay-out if you were not minding your baggage when the item was stolen. You should always pay attention to your baggage when flying.

If you flew for a figure skating competition and find yourself in that situation, notify the organisers immediately. They may be able to help. If you have a spare pair back home, consider shipping from home with a 24 hours worldwide courier as a backup plan. It’s always advisable to have some in reserve if you’re participating at an event you can’t afford to miss.

Lost ice skates at the airport, this is why you need them as hand luggage

My Ice Skates and Baggage are Delayed at the Airport.

Your travel insurance generally wouldn’t cover a situation where your baggage is delayed. Some airlines would pay for items like clothing and toiletries until your baggage arrives. However, this does not solve a skater’s most dire problem. The only thing you can do is to report the delay before you leave the airport. You may be compensated for the delay but this is where your Plan B (shipping extra pair) may come in useful. Give yourself plenty of travel time prior to any competitions incase of hick-ups like this.


Can I take my ice skates on a plane as hand luggage? If flying to the USA or within, you can take your ice skating boots on the plane as hand luggage, but not to the EU or within. Do your utmost to check not just the 1st leg of your flight but all connecting flights so you can prepare. Pack your ice skates with guards on and use twist ties to secure them within a small bag with soakers. Make sure your ice skates are included in your travel insurance policy for loss or theft and have a 2nd set as backup ready to ship if required. Whether you’re flying for a competition, participating in an event or simply going to have a wonderful time, check and pack accordingly. Wouldnt you love to ask these top 4 ice skaters how they achieved it – maybe they had a personal jet.