Traveling to a rainy country? Then don’t forget to bring your umbrella, so you don’t get completely soaked.
If you’re traveling without a checked bag, you’ll have to carry your umbrella in your hand luggage. And if it doesn’t fit inside – in your hand.
Before you do that, we suggest you read this article. Some types of umbrellas are banned from specific airlines and airports, which is why you should try avoiding them.
Here’s everything you need to know about traveling with umbrellas.
Can You Bring an Umbrella on a Plane?
Most of the times, you’ll be allowed to take an umbrella on the plane, especially if it’s a small, foldable one. Generally, if your umbrella is under 20 inches and easily fits in the overhead compartments or under the front seat, you should be good to go.
Also, most of the times, you’ll be allowed to bring an umbrella in addition to your hand luggage free of charge because they aren’t counted towards your personal item and carry-on allowances. Though, that heavily depends on which airline you’re flying with. On most U.S. airlines, umbrellas can be brought in addition to hand luggage, which lets you save some space in your carry-on.
That said, specific types of umbrellas are banned on some airlines and airports.
Which Umbrellas Are Banned on Planes?
Umbrellas with pointy ends are banned in some airports and on some airplanes. Out of all the ones we researched, pointy-end-umbrellas are banned on Turkish Airlines, and in the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The rest don’t mention umbrellas with pointy ends specifically, so our guess would be that it heavily depends on the security agent you’re faced with. Though, most people said that they hadn’t had any issues with pointy-end umbrellas.
The next type of banned umbrellas is long umbrellas that are larger than the specific airlines carry-on limit. Most of the times, if the umbrella is longer than 21-24 inches, it has to be checked-in for an additional fee. That said, if the airline’s policy is that umbrellas are free to bring in addition to hand luggage, sometimes they’ll check-in long umbrellas for free.
So always make sure to get a short, foldable umbrella without any pointy ends. By doing that, you won’t have any issues in the future. If you don’t already own one, we would recommend getting the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon coating, which was rated as the Best travel umbrella of 2019 by TripSavvy.
Umbrella Restrictions Between Different Airlines
Not all airlines allow umbrellas. Most of the times, they’re limited in length, and sometimes, umbrellas with pointy ends are banned. Also, on some airlines, you’re allowed to bring umbrellas for free and on some not.
Here’s what the most popular airlines have to say about carrying umbrellas on board:
On American Airlines, umbrellas shouldn’t exceed 22 inches in length. Umbrellas aren’t counted towards your carry-on and personal item limit.
On Delta Airlines, umbrellas can’t be longer than 22 inches in length and aren’t counted as carry-ons or personal items.
On Southwest Airlines, umbrellas shouldn’t be longer than 24 inches in length and aren’t considered as carry-ons or personal items.
On United Airlines, umbrellas have to be shorter than 22 inches in length and aren’t counted as personal items or carry-ons.
If umbrellas are taken separately (not inside your hand luggage or backpack,) they’re counted as a carry-on or a personal item. On Air Canada, umbrellas shouldn’t exceed 21.5 inches in length. 10-17 inch long umbrellas are counted as personal items, and 17-21.5 inch long umbrellas are counted as carry-ons.
On Alaska Airlines, umbrellas aren’t counted in your carry-on and personal item allowance. They should be small enough to fit in the overhead compartments, under the front seat, or in your suitcase. Passenger umbrellas shouldn’t exceed their 22-inch carry-on length limit.
On JetBlue Airlines, umbrellas don’t count towards your carry-on and personal item allowance, but they’re subject to available space on the airplane. They shouldn’t exceed 22 inches in length.
On Spirit Airlines, umbrellas are allowed and don’t count as a personal item or a carry-on. However, they shouldn’t exceed the 22-inch carry-on limit in length.
On Lufthansa, umbrellas are allowed, but they count as personal items if not packed inside your hand luggage. They shouldn’t exceed the personal item length restriction of 15 inches. Or, if you aren’t bringing a carry-on, you can count your umbrella as a carry-on, in which case it shouldn’t exceed 21 inches.
Many people said that Lufthansa had confiscated their umbrellas because they were too large.
On Air France, umbrellas can’t be longer than 21.7 inches and aren’t counted towards your carry-on and personal item allowance.
On Ryanair, umbrellas are allowed, but they’re counted as a personal item or carry-on. They shouldn’t exceed the carry-on length limit of 21.6 inches.
On British Airways, umbrellas are permitted. However, they’re counted as an additional piece of hand luggage if not stored inside the luggage. Depending on the size, they’ll be counted as a personal item or carry-on. 10-16 inch umbrellas are counted as personal items, and 17-22 inch umbrellas are counted as carry-ons. Umbrellas longer than 22 inches are prohibited.
On Wizz Air, umbrellas are allowed, and shouldn’t exceed 21.6 inches in length. They’re not counted as a personal item or carry-on and can be brought in addition free of charge.
On Turkish Airlines, only umbrellas without a pointy tip are allowed. They aren’t counted towards your hand luggage allowance and are free of charge. They shouldn’t exceed 21.6 inches in length.
Umbrella Restrictions Between Different Airports
Security isn’t enforced only by the airline. Actually, most of the times, you’re walking through the airport security, not airline security. This means that you should also check the rules for airports, not only the airline.
In some airports, umbrellas are additionally screened, or the ones with pointy ends banned completely. However, most of the times, airports allow all umbrellas and let the airlines decide which ones they’ll allow.
Here’s what the most common airports in the world have to say about umbrellas in hand luggage:
Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Atlanta Airport is regulated by the TSA, and no additional rules for umbrellas have been enforced, which means that umbrellas are allowed.
Beijing International Airport (PEK)
We didn’t find any additional rules about umbrellas from the Bejing International Airport. People said that umbrellas are allowed there, but some reported that the security agents asked a lot of questions and didn’t like them. Also, you’ll have to take out any umbrellas out fo your bag when going through the security.
Dubai International Airport (DXB)
On the Dubai International Airport’s prohibited items list, umbrellas aren’t mentioned, which means that they’re allowed.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Los Angeles Airport is regulated by the TSA, and no additional rules for umbrellas have been enforced, which means that umbrellas are allowed.
Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
In the Tokyo Haneda Airport, umbrellas are allowed.
London Heathrow (LHR)
Umbrellas are allowed, but they have to be able to fit into your carry-on. Heathrow Airport is very strict about the UK Department of Transport’s rule that each passenger can have only one carry-on bag, so any additional items must be stored inside hand luggage or checked luggage.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKA)
Although umbrellas are allowed at the Hong Kong International Airport, everyone who carries an umbrella is exclusively screened. That’s because of the umbrella movement and the recent protests.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Umbrellas are welcome at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
In Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, umbrellas with pointy ends are banned. Although small, foldable umbrellas are allowed, we found people on Twitter who said that the airport security confiscated them.
Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Umbrellas are welcome at the Frankfurt Airport.
Are Umbrellas Allowed in Checked Luggage?
Umbrellas are safe to be packed in checked luggage. We didn’t find a single airline or airport in the world that has banned umbrellas from checked luggage. Umbrellas are only additionally inspected because they have a pointy end and the inside frame is made out of sharp metals, which are restricted in hand luggage, but not in checked luggage.
That said, some extra long umbrellas might be denied from checked luggage. Some airlines don’t allow checked bags that are longer than 32 inches. If your umbrella is longer than that, the chances are that you’ll have to use the postal services.
Other Items That You Can Take on a Plane for Free (Just like Umbrellas)
Just like umbrellas, a lot of airlines (Especially in the U.S.) don’t count various objects towards the carry-on and personal item limit. Most of the times, these are assistive, medical, and childcare devices, and other common personal items. They vary from airline to airline, but here are the most common ones that you can bring for free.
- Assistive devices
- Walking canes
- Food that’s meant to be used on the airplane.
- Child seats and child car seats
- Duty-free items
- Pet carrier cages
Usually, you won’t have a hard time traveling with umbrellas. Especially if you’re traveling domestically or flying with a U.S. airline.
That said, you should always try to bring an umbrella that’s not too long and doesn’t have a pointy end. If you don’t have a solid travel umbrella already, we suggest you go get one. TripSavvy rated the Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon coating as the best travel umbrella in 2019, which would be a rock-solid choice.