Traveling with Tennis Racquets

TennisDawg

Professional
So, I'm going to Florida for a few weeks and want to get in some Tennis in my spare time. I haven't taken a tennis racquet on a plane as carry-on, in quite awhile, Does anyone know if they allow that nowadays? Seems they should but with TSA rules now I just don't know. Thanks for the help
 

Johnatan

New User
To be honest with you, I have never taken my racquets as cary-on just in case they would not allow it. I just pack it in my big luggage making sure that they don't break. However, I did see many people at the airport and in the plane with couple racquets. I guess it would depend on the company. To avoid any trouble and if you are taking a check-in luggage, I would recommend that you just fit it into.
 
Do you mean as a "carry on" ?
Yes.

Also, I’ve been traveling around South America a lot this year, and curiously many of the flights on I’m on have at least one professional touring pro on the flight. Last Friday there were 5 female pros traveling on my flight from Asuncion to Santiago, and every one of them had 3 or 4 loose matching racquets on board in the cabin.
 
My sister had her racket snapped in half when she checked her bag, so now I always carry them on. Last time I flew United I didn’t purchase a carry on and brought my rackets in my “personal bag”. They threw a stink because the handles were sticking out and were bigger than a personal item. I was so mad I swore I’d never fly United. They had a valid point that I was outside the dimensions for a personal item, but rackets are technically too long for a carry on too.

If they got technical on you I wouldn’t be surprised if they made you check it, but every time I’ve purchased a carryon they let me carry on rackets.

Hope that helps
 

Johnatan

New User
That's great to get your experiences, I will probably try to take them as a carry on next time. However, if you wrap your racquets correctly around your clothes it should be fine as for their "safety".
 
I still wouldn’t risk it with a checked bag- have you seen the way they toss those things around? If you’re bags on the bottom of 5, 50lbs bags you’re dead!

To be fair to United they bought my sister a new racket, but still not something I’m risking.
 
Thanks everyone. I've decided to go carry-on with the racquets.
I’ve carried my racquets loose as carry-on many hundreds of times, and never once had problem in US. I got hassled on two occasions by international airlines - once by a Chinese airline, and once by airport security in the Galapagos. But in both cases I was able to get my racquets on board by pleading, and in the latter case padding it inside a jacket and wrapped with duct tape to ‘de-weaponize’ it per the request of the airport security staff.
 

blablavla

Professional
traveled several times with my rackets.
low-cost within Europe.
"regular" airlines within Europe.
"regular" airlines transatlantic flights (Europe -> South America).
charter flights, part of holiday package from Europe to Africa / East.

Both types: checked luggage and cabin luggage.
I haven't experienced any issues when I had my rackets as cabin luggage. Also didn't experience issues when I took my umbrella in the cabin.
In the past I could as well easily place the rackets in the checked luggage, but several times I got my checked luggage with bumps, and one of them was significant. Luckily for my rackets, they were not there. So, since that experience, I don't place voluntarily my rackets in the checked luggage.

Additionally, I recall Monfils 1 or 2 years ago, on a short flight within Europe with a reputable carrier had all his frames destroyed in checked luggage.
Some other stories mention lost luggage, which is almost "as good" as opening your luggage to find the rackets destroyed.
So, long story made short, if there is a chance, I won't place in checked luggage important and valuable to me items, my tennis rackets being part of the valuable to me items.
 

blablavla

Professional
So, I'm going to Florida for a few weeks and want to get in some Tennis in my spare time. I haven't taken a tennis racquet on a plane as carry-on, in quite awhile, Does anyone know if they allow that nowadays? Seems they should but with TSA rules now I just don't know. Thanks for the help
in your specific case, if you want to be on the safe side, I would say contact the airline, in written form, and ask them if it is OK to have your rackets as part of your cabin luggage.
print the answer and have it with you.
P.S. no answer from this forum will be treated as an official document neither by the airline, nor by customs / airport authorities.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
I've traveled with my racket handle sticking out of my backpack and had no problems with carry-on.
I'm guessing if you ask they're likely to say no because the handle exceeds dimensions - so just avoid airline employees until you board, the stewardesses don't care lol.
 

Sardines

Professional
I carry at least 2 racquets held together by either rubber bands or tape, in a drawstring soft bag. TSA will X-ray them, so if you use lead pellets in the grip, like my buddy does, it may get double checked. Otherwise no probs.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
I travel internationally often and I have always packed my racquets. I wrap them separately in the original plastic bag they came in and then pack them in the center of my case surrounded by clothes. Never had an issue or any damage to my racquets.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
I travel internationally often and I have always packed my racquets. I wrap them separately in the original plastic bag they came in and then pack them in the center of my case surrounded by clothes. Never had an issue or any damage to my racquets.
Likewise. I've traveled all over the world with my racquets. I just pack them inside my checked luggage and make sure they're in the middle of the bag. I've never had a single problem.
 

blablavla

Professional
Likewise. I've traveled all over the world with my racquets. I just pack them inside my checked luggage and make sure they're in the middle of the bag. I've never had a single problem.
you guys must have really big luggage.
when I packed my frames in the checked luggage, there was no way to pack them in the middle, with enough room to be safe.
but it's true that there are bigger size luggage available
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
you guys must have really big luggage.
when I packed my frames in the checked luggage, there was no way to pack them in the middle, with enough room to be safe.
but it's true that there are bigger size luggage available
Well... if you're going to be traveling with your racquets... it stands to reason that you want to have luggage that's big enough to hold the racquets comfortably along with your other belongings. There are size limits to checked luggage so obviously you need to mind those. I think "big" in this case is "big enough to fit your racquet and other things." It sounds like your current luggage is of insufficient size to meet your objectives. I suggest a duffel bag or something similar.
 
I just traveled with a racquet a couple weeks ago. I put it in my backpack with the handle sticking out. When I got to my seat, I just put the racquet in the overhead bin on top of my roller bag. I only have one very large roller duffle bag thing that would fit a racquet. No way I would bring that on a short business trip.
 
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