Skates on a Plane

August 7, 2012 § 1 Comment

There will be times as a figure skater that you will need to go out of state. Fortunately, TSA allowed passengers to carry figure skates on board before allowing musical instruments. Before you go off rubbing this distinction in your musician friend’s face, here are a few potential obstacles if you are flying out domestically for a competition or for leisure.

McKayla's not impressed with you at all, Southwest Airlines.

McKayla’s not impressed with you at all, Southwest Airlines.

The first obstacle before you enter the local airport is how early to check in to your flight and how late you board. In order to avoid bag fees, fliers try to pack light and check in less luggage. If you are designated to board the plane later, overhead compartment space may be limited for garment and skate bags. Rest assured, there is generally space left to place your carry-on luggage, although not necessarily right above where you are sitting.

The security check does not pose much of a threat as long as figure skates are covered and not ready to be wielded for battle.They look funny on the x-rays and the TSA agents may give you a funny look if they do not think you look like a stereotypical figure skater, but TSA agents tend not to give you a hard time.

However, gate agents may be picky about the one large bag/one small bag carry-on rule to allow all passengers room to place their luggage in the overhead compartments. As long as you do not egregiously violate the carry-on rules and you do not unsheath your figure skates to solve an argument over aisle seats, Southwest Airlines will accommodate your special luggage needs. In the event that you hate Southwest and want to get away with another airline, be sure to check with customer service for alternative options in case they do not allow figure skates in the aircraft cabin. Smiling flight attendants will check your luggage at the gate in case there is not enough room. If those smiles are genuine, the flight attendants most likely did not charge an extra bag fee. If not AND they charged the bag fee, LOLyou.

The last potential obstacle is the type of bags you may use to bring your skates on board. Duffel and garment bags generally fit in the overhead compartments. Obvious statements are obvious, but if you house your skates in a Zuca bag with the collapsible handle and the wheels…

… it may or may not be a problem. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-700s have overhead compartments that are not necessarily kind to Zuca bags. It takes some choice words and some brute force but you may get your Zuca bag into the compartment before flight attendants try to move things along. Again, flight attendants will gate-check the Zuca bag if nothing else works, making sure you will not lose your skates and have to ice dance in rentals instead.

In case thefigureskatinglawyer has not allayed your fears over any concerns regarding your skates on a plane, comment below. If you want to thank thefigureskatinglawyer for making it seem easier to fly with your skates on board,


P.S.: If you enjoyed the overall quality of the post, please thank my friend Linda, who helped with proofreading. She writes awesome blog about plants and making yogurt.


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