If you’re an ice hockey player, figure skater, or speed skater who has plans to attend a camp, clinic, or competition, you’re probably wondering if you can bring your ice skates on your next flight.

In short, according to the TSA, you can pack ice skates in both your carry on and checked bags (the same applies to bringing roller skates on a plane, too).

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Can you also bring ice skates on international flights? Do different airlines have different regulations? What is the best way of packing your skates, so they arrive at your destination safely?

Let’s find out.

Bringing Ice Skates in Your Carry On

As mentioned, you can pack your ice skates in your carry on. However, this is only if the blades are attached to your skates.

If you attempt to bring ice skates with the blades detached through airport security, the blades will be confiscated, as they can be considered a weapon.

Bringing Ice Skates in Your Checked Bag

You can also bring ice skates in your checked bag.

Unlike your carry-on, you can detach the blades and store them in your checked bag.

Whether you detach the blades or not, you need to be make sure that your skates are packed in such a way so not to cause injury to baggage handlers, such as by using skate guards.

Airline Regulations

Airlines generally follow TSA baggage regulations regarding what you can and can’t bring on a plane.

With ice skates, you should be fine to bring them in both your carry on and checked bags, but if packed in your carry on, you may be forced to “gate-check” them.

This means that you won’t be able to bring your skates on the plane and keep them in the overhead, but you will be given a tag, so you can pick up your skates once your flight has landed.

Ice Skates on International Flights

If you are flying with a U.S. airline, such as Delta, American Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, or any other major or regional air carrier, you should be fine to bring your ice skates on a plane in either your carry on or checked bag.

However, when flying with an international airline or internationally with a U.S., carrier, this can change.

Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet, for example, will allow you to travel with your ice skates, but require you to check them in. United will allow you to pack your skates in your carry on if flying domestically, but make you check them in if you fly internationally.

It would be best to contact the airline you are flying with, either by calling, emailing, or sending them a message on social media, to get a definitive answer.

How to Pack Ice Skates for Flying

We recommend the following when packing your ice skates for your next flight:

  • Pack your ice skates in your carry on bag. This way you can always keep an eye on them and the chances that you lose them will practically be zero.
  • Just because your ice skates are permitted, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can chuck them in your bag and forget about them, your skates may be subject to additional screening. Make sure that you keep in a case or bag that is readily accessible in case a TSA officer wants to inspect them.
  • It can also be a good idea to pack your skates along with your competition or camp schedule, and membership card, so you can demonstrate why you’re traveling with your skates.
  • Try and pack your skates in a small bag. If small enough, they can count as your personal item, which means that you won’t have to pay extra.
  • Whether packed in your carry on or checked bag, make sure that the blades won’t pose a danger to baggage handlers or TSA agents.
  • If you have to check your skates, use an Apple Air Tag, so you can track them in case they get lost. This can help you get them back more quickly if the worst happens.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).