Can You Bring an Umbrella on a Plane?
Ever stepped off a plane into a downpour and regretted not having your brolly?
Maybe you weren’t sure if you could bring an umbrella on a plane in the first place. Below, we’ll clear things up and discuss the general restrictions, while looking at specific airline and airport policies around the world.
Can You Bring an Umbrella on a Plane?
In most cases the simple answer is yes. Almost no airline prohibits umbrellas from checked luggage.
However, if there are size restrictions in place regarding the size of your bags, your umbrella will also have to meet these limitations. But, keeping your brolly stashed away in a suitcase doesn’t help much if it’s raining cats and dogs when you land.
Fortunately, many airlines also allow an umbrella on board with your carry-on luggage. However, there are some that have an outright ban on umbrellas in the cabin.
We’ll take a look at the specifics below, but for the most part there are only limitations in place in terms of length.
What Type of Umbrella Can You Take on a Plane?
Umbrellas come in various shapes and sizes, from the convenient and compact foldable umbrella, to those long umbrellas with a pointy end, more commonly known as golf umbrellas.
Almost all airlines will allow you to bring a foldable umbrella onboard with you as hand-luggage. These are generally preferable, as they’re smaller and far more likely to fit in overhead storage, bags, or under the seat.
Having said that, the vast majority of airlines will also allow long umbrellas on board, as long as they don’t exceed 20-24”. It’s important pointing out that even though an airline might allow long umbrellas with a pointy end, airport security might not.
Umbrellas with a pointy end are the most likely to be held up by security staff. This is because pointy objects can be considered a prohibited item by TSA rules, as well as airport security around the world. It often comes down to the decision of the officer on duty. To be safe, it’s best to pack a flat-bottomed, foldable umbrella.
Airline Policies for Umbrellas
Of course, there’s no firm and fast rule regarding whether you can bring an umbrella on a plane. Indeed, the final decision typically comes down to the policies of individual airlines.
While it’d be impossible to list every single airline, we’ve had a look at the policies of some of the most popular airlines globally.
US Airline Umbrella Policies
U.S. airlines tend to have less stringent restrictions on umbrellas than their foreign counterparts:
- Alaska Airlines: have a generous policy, and don’t count towards your carry-on allowance, even if they’re not in your bag. Umbrellas should fit either in the overhead compartments, under your seat, or in your bag, and cannot exceed 22”.
- American Airlines: are another airline that doesn’t count an umbrella toward your carry-on or personal item limit. With a size limit of 22”, they should fit either in the overhead compartments, under your seat, or in your bag.
- Delta Air Lines: limit the size of umbrellas to 22”, and do not count them as carry-on or personal items. Again, they must fit either in the overhead compartments, under your seat, or in your bag.
- JetBlue Airlines: as a low-cost airline, you might expect their umbrella policy to be rather strict. However, they match other airlines and don’t count an umbrella as a carry-on or personal item. They also limit the length to a maximum of 22”.
- Southwest Airlines: slightly more generous than other carriers, Southwest allows umbrellas up to 24” long. Despite the extra length, umbrellas still do not count towards your carry-on or personal item allowance.
- Spirit Airlines: are another budget airline with a fair umbrella policy. Umbrellas shouldn’t exceed a 22” carry-on limit, and must be stored under the seat in front of you, or in a bag if you haven’t paid for overhead carry-on luggage. Again, it will not count towards your carry-on or personal item allowance.
- United Airlines: like most US airlines, umbrellas can be up to 22” in length, and are not counted as carry-on or personal items. They can be stored in the overhead compartment, under your seat, or in a carry-on bag.
Global Airline Umbrella Policies
Umbrella policies vary widely around the world, with some airlines prohibiting umbrellas from the cabin altogether. Others are less restrictive, and while we’ve provided a brief list below, it’s always worth checking your airline to be sure.
- AirAsia: only allow umbrellas in checked luggage, so you cannot bring one into the cabin. If you do try to bring one on board, be advised that you’ll be made to check it, or abandon it.
- Air Canada: has a rather comprehensive umbrella policy. They are allowed on board as hand luggage, with umbrellas that are 10-17” long being counted as personal items. Anything between 17-21.5” is considered a carry-on item. They can also be stored in your carry-on bag.
- Air France: you can bring an umbrella on board up to 21.7” in length. It doesn’t count towards your carry-on allowance, and should be stored in the overhead compartments, or under your seat if it’s not in your carry-on bag.
- All Nippon Airways (ANA): this Japanese airline allows any size umbrella on board. Categorized the same way as a walking stick, umbrellas are also not counted towards your carry-on or personal item allowance.
- British Airways: umbrellas up to 22” are allowed onboard. However, if it’s not kept in your bag, it will count towards your carry-on allowance. Anything between 10-17” in length is considered as one of your personal items. Umbrellas that are 17-22” long are considered a carry-on item.
- China Eastern: umbrellas are allowed in the cabin, with a size limit of 21.6”. They don’t count towards your carry-on or personal item allowance. You should store them in the overhead compartment or under the seat.
- Emirates: like most US carriers, Emirates allows umbrellas up to 22” long in the cabin. They don’t count them as carry-on or personal items.
- KLM: this Dutch airline does not allow umbrellas with a pointy end in the cabin. However, if your umbrella has a flat end, it can be up to 22” long and allowed on board. Additionally, it won’t count towards your carry-on or personal item limit.
- Lufthansa: similar to British Airways, umbrellas are allowed on, but are counted as either a personal item when up to 15” long, or a carry-on item between 15-21”. If they’re stored within your carry-on bag, this does not apply. Be sure of the size, as many customers have had their umbrellas confiscated for exceeding size limits.
- Ryanair: this budget airline is known for charging for ‘extras’, and it’s perhaps no surprise that while umbrellas are allowed on board, they will count towards your personal item or carry-on allowance. Umbrellas up to 15” are classified as a personal item, and anything between 15-21.6” a carry-on item. Of course, when stored in a carry-on bag they don’t add to your allowance.
- Turkish Airlines: don’t allow umbrellas with a pointy tip, though flat-bottomed ones are accepted. They shouldn’t exceed 21.6 inches in length and don’t count towards your hand luggage allowance.
- Wizzair: as another European budget airline, you might think their policy would be similar to Ryanair’s. However, umbrellas up to a maximum length of 21.6” are allowed onboard free of charge. They do not count towards your carry-on or personal item allowance.
Airport Policies Around the World
Even if your airline does allow you to bring an umbrella on board, it’s important to check out the policy of the airport you’re flying from.
This can vary around the world and may still prohibit you from bringing certain types of umbrellas past airport security.
Regulated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), all US airports allow umbrellas to pass through security. Even umbrellas with a pointy end are allowed through according to TSA rules.
In the majority of European airports, umbrellas are allowed through airport security without issue. There are exceptions, however. At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), umbrellas with a pointy end are prohibited. In the UK, umbrellas are allowed, but they must fit in your hand luggage and cannot be carried separately.
Security rules across Asia differ slightly, but for the most part, all types of umbrellas are allowed through airport security. In some airports, such as Hong Kong (HKA), Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG & SHA), security is stricter. You’ll be required to have your umbrella scanned separately. On the other hand, in Japan, rules are far more lax, and you’ll rarely have an issue.
For the most part, umbrellas are allowed through security at Australian airports. However, some airports, such as Brisbane (BNE) require you to remove your umbrella from your carry-on luggage to be scanned separately.
From lighters to laptops, it’s not always easy to know what is and isn’t allowed on a plane.
So, if you’ve been wondering if you can bring an umbrella on a plane, the answer is for the most part yes.
In general, a smaller, foldable umbrella that fits in your hand luggage is a safe bet. But, be sure to check the specific policies of your airline and the airport you’re flying from.