When you travel, you might find that you’ll enter different climates in a single day! So, can you bring an umbrella on a plane?
Can You Bring an Umbrella on a Plane?
Most of the time, 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, sometimes, 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 or carry-on allowances. 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 Type of Umbrella Should You Bring?
Umbrellas with pointed ends
Umbrellas with pointed ends, which is called a ferrule, are banned in some airports and on some airplanes. Out of all the ones we researched, pointed-end umbrellas are banned on Turkish Airlines, and in the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The rest of the airports don’t mention umbrellas with pointed ends specifically, so it would likely depend on the security agent you’re faced with. Most people said that they haven’t had any issues with these kinds of umbrellas. Our recommendation would be to skip umbrellas with pointed ferrules, as they may cause some headaches when going through the security from time to time.
Long, Straight Umbrellas
Even if a regular, classic umbrella doesn’t come with a pointed end, it might be banned on airlines, only because it’s too long. If the umbrella is longer than 21-24 inches (depending on the airline,) 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. And if your umbrella is extra-long, you might not even be able to check it in, as some airlines require checked items to be shorter than 32 inches. So our advice would be to skip long umbrellas when traveling.
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. 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.
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 pointed end and if the inside frame is made out of sharp metals. These 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.
Umbrella Restrictions Between Different Airlines
Not all airlines allow umbrellas. Most of the time, they’re limited in length, and sometimes, umbrellas with pointed ends are banned. Also, on some airlines, you’re allowed to bring umbrellas for free. 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 also be brought, free of charge.
On Turkish Airlines, only umbrellas without a pointed 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 but also by the airport. You can still be stopped when walking through an airport by their 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 pointed ends banned completely. However, most of the time, 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 any umbrellas out of your bag when going through 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)
Umbrellas are allowed in the Tokyo Haneda Airport.
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. 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 pointed 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.
Advancements in Umbrella Technology
Did you know that there companies working on perfecting the umbrella? If you’re someone who tends to lose their umbrella, you might want to take a look at the Kisha Umbrella. It comes with a mobile app that will notify you when you leave it behind! If you don’t hear your phone, you can use the map inside of the app to find it, too. It also has a built-in weather app so you can be sure that you will never be caught in the middle of a rainstorm unprepared again.
Another company that is revolutionizing the umbrella is Xiaomi. They’ve begun crowdfunding to create an umbrella that also protects you from the sun. It automatically unfolds inward in the middle into the beautiful shape of a lotus flower and is capable of protecting two people sharing it at the same time! Not only that, but there’s also a built-in LED flashlight in the handle. It’s a great option for adventurous people that enjoy traveling.
Other Items That You Can Take on a Plane for Free
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. Generally, 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 pointed 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.
If you want to invest in a better umbrella, consider taking a look at smart umbrellas. You can be sure that you won’t ever lose another umbrella if you decide to go with Kisha. Or, you can help crowdfund Xiaomi Youpin platform to get in on the top of the line products.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
We get questions about bringing items on planes all the time. So we’ve written a lot of other guides where we answer the most commonly asked questions.
You can check them out over here: