Can You Carry an Umbrella on a Plane?

Can You Carry an Umbrella on a Plane?
Photo by Katherine Kromberg on Unsplash

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Would it not be easy if you could just sing ‘rain rain go away’ and get rain to stop ruining your trips? Since there is no point in sulking at something that is impossible, you can find a workaround against rain protection. And what better workaround than an umbrella.

So, can you carry an umbrella on a plane? On most occasions, you can, but there’s a lot more detailing than goes into it. Let us learn more about carrying umbrellas on a plane in this article.

Can you carry an umbrella on a plane?

Yes, you can carry an umbrella on a plane. Is that where it ends? No. Most often, you will find yourself hassled by countless rules when it comes to carrying not just an umbrella but almost anything on a plane. Below is an elaboration on more of whether you can carry an umbrella on a plane or not.

In Hand Luggage:

Carrying an umbrella in hand baggage is subjective to airlines. On a general note, if it is any comfort, US-based airlines are much less strict about passengers carrying an umbrella in the hand baggage, in contrast to the foreign airlines. 

Most airlines, especially US airlines, allow passengers to carry an umbrella as a part of their hand luggage. Here is the catch: 

First of all, there is ALWAYS a size restriction on the umbrella (if they are allowed in the hand luggage, that is). This means you may be disallowed from carrying an umbrella that exceeds the airline’s size allowance for umbrellas.

Secondly, umbrellas are not considered as personal items or carry-ons by most airlines, which means that you will need to fit them into the hand baggage, and/or keep them in the cabin bin or under the airplane seat.

Lastly, countless airlines consider pointy umbrellas, or umbrellas with frameworks that are sharp, as dangerous items and may ban them from being boarded as a part of the hand luggage.

In Checked-In Luggage:

Yes, you can carry an umbrella in your checked-in luggage on a plane. However, varying airlines have varying rules imposed on carrying an umbrella in the hand luggage; as per our research, no airline prohibits umbrellas from being carried in the checked-in baggage. 

If you have an umbrella that has a pointy end, or an inner framework made of sharp metals, it may be inspected and then given a green signal to be boarded onto the cargo hold. 

That does not mean you can bring behemoth-sized umbrellas (we are not sure anyone would own those, either) in your checked-in luggage. In events when you are carrying an extra-long umbrella as a part of your checked-in baggage, it might be denied or banned. 

Since some airlines have a size restriction on checked baggage, which is usually 32 inches, carrying an umbrella any longer than that might require you to abandon it at the airport. 

 

Carrying an umbrella on a plane (based on shape and size)

While most airlines do not bat an eye on the shape of an umbrella, there are size restrictions for carrying an umbrella on almost every airline. Let’s look at a few common shapes and sizes of umbrellas and whether they are allowed on a plane or not.

Umbrellas with pointed ends

Umbrellas with ferrules, which is another term for the pointed ends of the umbrellas, are banned in some airports and by some airlines. Although the trend is not very common, as per our research, pointed umbrellas or umbrellas with ferrules are banned on Turkish Airlines. When it comes to airport regulations and bans, pointy-ended umbrellas are banned in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that although the other airlines or airports do not govern the allowance of which shapes of umbrellas are allowed, whether you can carry your pointy-ended umbrella on a plane or not is at the discretion of the security officer you are faced with. 

The best piece of advice we could give you on this is that it is best to leave your pointy-ended umbrella hanging back at home (pin intended) to skip incoherent hassle at the airport.

Long, Straight Umbrellas

Okay, so you thought carrying a long straight umbrella could be a workaround for pointy-ended umbrellas. Well, you are almost there! If your long, straight, class umbrella does not come with a pointed end, it is most likely to be given a ‘go’ through security screening. 

However, it still might be banned on a few airlines. Why? Because it is too long. If the regular long umbrella you are carrying exceeds the size limit, either as a part of the hand luggage or checked-in baggage, or both, it is very likely to be banned from being boarded on the plane.

Usually, the general size allowance for an umbrella in the hand luggage is 21-24 inches, while the size allowance for checked-in items is 32 inches. Doing the maths, it would not be hard to figure out that your ‘long’ umbrella should only be long enough to abide by the airline’s size allowance.

Short, Foldable Umbrellas

The only umbrella that’s allowed 100% of the time is a short, foldable umbrella with no pointed ends. So if you can, try sticking to these types of umbrellas, and you won’t have any issues in the future.

This one is the favorite amongst all airlines, like the super popular guy on the swim team, in some high school. Short and foldable umbrellas have no pointed ends and are actually built, keeping trips and travel restrictions in mind. Every airline allows these umbrellas, both as hand luggage as well as a checked-in item.

 

Airline policies about carrying an umbrella on a plane

Most airlines quote an umbrella policy when it comes to carrying umbrellas on an airplane. The rules might vary a little, but they mostly bear the same resemblance at the core. Most airlines allow umbrellas as an item in the hand baggage based on two major factors:

  • Size of the umbrella
  • The shape of the umbrella

What is the ‘umbrella policy’ most airlines follow?

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, Air France, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates follow the same policy revolving around umbrellas that goes as:

Umbrellas flying in the cabin of the plane must not exceed 22 inches in length. Umbrellas are considered a part of the hand baggage and do not count towards your carry-on allowance. When carrying an umbrella on board, you can store them under the seat, in the overhead cabin holds, or in your carry-on bag.

Other airline policies for umbrellas:

Below is a list of airlines (and their quoted umbrella policy) that follow a slightly different policy:

Southwest Airlines

The only point of difference (on a brighter side) when it comes to Southwest Airlines is that, in contrast to the usual 22 inches, Southwest Airlines allows bringing up to 24 inches of umbrella onboard.

Besides this generosity, it is the same for Southwest Airlines, as it is for the airlines mentioned above, meaning that umbrellas are not considered as carry-ons, and they can be placed in the overhead bins, under the seat, or in the hand-baggage you are carrying.

AirAsia

AirAsia does not permit umbrellas on board and will make you check an umbrella into the cargo hold. If AirAsia notices you are carrying an umbrella, be aware their policy is to make you check it.

Unfortunately, AirAsia does not permit umbrellas in the hand luggage, or in the airplane cabin, in general. They are allowed in the cargo-hold, meaning they are free to go in the checked-in luggage, as long as they do not exceed the size restrictions.

Air Canada

Air Canada counts the umbrella towards your carry-on allowance when it is not inside your hand baggage. However, it should be noted that your umbrella can only be counted towards your carry-on allowance when it does not exceed 21.5 inches in length. 

Umbrellas between 17 to 21.5 inches are allowed towards the carry-on if they are not being carried inside the hand baggage. Umbrellas sizing between 10 – 17 inches in length are counted towards personal items.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

This is one airline that is least restricted to carrying umbrellas onboard. Surprisingly, All Nippon Airways categorizes umbrellas the same as walking sticks, which means that there is no length restriction on the size of umbrella that you carry. Umbrellas, however, can not be counted towards your carry-on baggage allowance when flying with ANA.

British Airways

British Airways has a policy similar to that of Canada Airways regarding umbrellas. This translates to umbrellas being counted as carry-on allowances when they are not in the bag. The umbrella must not exceed 22 inches in length to be considered a carry-on. Similar to Canada Airways, British Airways counts umbrellas as personal items if they are 10-17 inches in length.

China Eastern

China Easter flights allow umbrellas sizing up to 21.6 inches in length onboard. Again, umbrellas are not counted towards carry-on allowances and can be kept under the airline seat, in the overhead bin, or in your carry-on bag.

KLM

Everything about KLM’s umbrella-in-the-cabin policy (we just made that up) resonates with the general policy regarding umbrellas followed by most airlines. The point of difference is that KLM only permits one type of umbrella, i.e., umbrellas with flat ends. 

Pointy-ended umbrellas or umbrellas longer than 22 inches are not allowed on a KLM flight.

Lufthansa

According to Lufthansa, umbrellas are counted towards carry-ons if they are not inside your carry-on bag. The umbrella must not exceed 21 inches in order to be counted towards carry-on allowance when not in the bag. Umbrellas below 15 inches are counted as personal items, while umbrellas between 15 inches to 21 inches are counted as carry-ons. 

Ryanair

Ryanair allows umbrellas towards carry-on allowances, as long as they do not exceed 21.6 inches in length. Umbrellas that are shorter than 15 inches in length are allowed as personal items on all Ryanair flights.

 

What can you carry instead of an umbrella?

Traveling to bipolar destinations such as Australia? Well, the weather will definitely not be your friend, and if you think that carrying an umbrella is too much a hassle, you can try alternatives.

If you are thinking of carrying an umbrella on a plane for the purpose of rain protection, you can do with raincoats and rain ponchos as great water repellents.

If you are carrying an umbrella to beat the heat on some island, you should consider packing a hat and, of course, your favorite Ray-Bans.

 

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