Can You Bring A Tennis Racket On A Plane? (2024 Rules)

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Staying active is an important part of people’s lives whether you are a professional athlete, or a lover of tennis and other physical activities. If you’re  traveling, you may be wondering, Can you bring a tennis racket on the plane?

Yes, the TSA and the CTSA allow tennis rackets to be in your carry-on  bag or checked luggage. However, different airlines may have other rules, as a tennis racket is generally too big to fit within carry-on size limits. Some domestic airlines such as United Airlines explicitly allow tennis racquets as a carry-on. Other international & domestic carriers don’t, so it would need to be put in your checked luggage. 

With airlines becoming more strict about what you can / can’t bring on a plane, it’s important to know the rules, limits, and your options for bringing a tennis racket on a plane.

In talking with experienced local tennis players who travel, and confirming airline and security administration rules, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide for bringing tennis rackets on a plane. 

Including a handy list of US, Canadian & International Airline rules around tennis racquets.

Ready to make a racket? Let’s go!


TSA Policies on Tennis Rackets

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the United States allows tennis rackets to be brought on a plane in either your carry-on or checked luggage. According to TSA regulations. 

Tennis Bags or tennis backpacks are common ways people protect and carry their rackets, especially for travel lovers.

As each airline regulates the size, weight and number of items each traveler is allowed to carry on the plane they also recommend reaching out to your specific airline to confirm as well. See our handy airline baggage policy chart below. 

As always it’s important to note that it is up to the TSA officer as to whether an item is allowed through the airport security checkpoint for all carry-on items.

For all your specific  TSA questions, and TSA rules you can ask on their Twitter account @AskTSA.

Or you can email them for the most up to date info and ask any questions here.

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website

CTSA Policies on Tennis Racquets

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) allows sports equipment for racquet sports such as balls and and racquets to go in either checked or carry on luggage. 

As with the US, each Canadian airline has its own rules as to size and weight restrictions for carry-on and checked luggage, so it’s best to confirm with your airline if unsure.  See our handy airline baggage policy chart below. 

Racket vs Racquet – both refer to the same thing. Canada uses British spellings generally which accounts for the difference. 

Here is a screenshot from the CTSA website

CTSA Baggae Airline rules for Sports racquets and balls. Yes for carry on and checked baggage.
Tennis racket, and luggage icons.

EU Policies on Tennis Rackets

The EU prohibits carrying on blunt instruments or objects capable of causing serious harm when hit like baseball bats and martial arts equipment. These items will either have to be surrendered at the security checkpoint or you will have to pack them in your checked luggage.

They don’t specifically list tennis rackets, however many EU & UK airlines don’t allow tennis rackets as carry-on luggage. These include Air France, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and  RyanAir.

Tennis racket, ball and bag.
Tennis Bag and Tennis Gear | Photo: “Syda_Productions / depositphotos”

More travel tips: Can you bring water bottles on a plane?

How To Take A Tennis Racket On A Plane

The easiest way to bring a tennis racket on a plane is to put it in your checked luggage rather than cabin baggage. 

You’ll want to protect it from potential damage by wrapping your racket in bubble wrap just in case. Place it in a protective tennis bag, and surround the racket with clothes to add an extra layer of protection. Make sure to pack it in a hard suitcase to reduce the risk of damage.

Just make sure you purchase luggage that is long enough to fit your tennis equipment and tennis racket (most common size is 27 inches (69cm).

If you send it separately it may count towards your baggage limit, and certain airlines may require you to pre-register it as sporting equipment.

Tips for taking tennis rackets on a plane:

  • Common sizes: The maximum length of a racket allowed in competitive tennis is 29in (74cm). The most common tennis racket size is 27in (69cm). Both are longer than carry-on sizes for most airlines. 
  • Carry-on Limits: The average carry-on size limit is 22 inches in length (22 x 14 x 9 inches). All tennis racket bags are larger than this size. A tennis backpack that fits one or two rackets may work, depending on the size, airline and the day. 
  • Carry-on: If your airline allows tennis rackets in carry-on, place your tennis racket in a separate bin for the screening process, when going through security checkpoints. It’s best to remove it from its tennis racket bag or covering, unless the TSA Officer  / Security Officer tells you otherwise.
  • Multiple Airlines one trip: We suggest using the strictest baggage rules if you’ll be traveling on more than one airline during your trip. Check the specific rules with airline agents or on their official websites.  International flights often have smaller carry-on sizes, especially in Europe. 

⭐️ More travel tips: How to save money on flights

Major Airline Policies on Tennis Racquets in Carry-On Luggage

We’ve listed the major airline policies and current rules for carry-on items and tennis rackets below. 

All airlines listed below allow tennis racquets in their checked luggage. 

  • For carry-on, the main thing to note is it really is up to the discretion of security personnel, the airline, and airports whether you’ll be allowed to bring your tennis racket as a carry-on item or hand baggage.

  • Often Business and First Class tickets have a greater baggage allowance, but still place limits on the size of carry-ons. 

We’ve heard many times that oh, American Airlines or Delta etc. usually let it just pass, but on this particular flight they wouldn’t. 

If your tennis gear doesn’t fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, they may need to be checked.

Or if there’s full flights, and they are being strict about carry-on size limits you may need to gate check your tennis racket or put it in checked luggage. 

So there’s no guarantee, if you do risk taking it as carry-on. So plan accordingly. 

Boy holding a tennis racket.
Tennis is a fun thing to do on holiday | Photo: “boggy22 / depositphotos”

US Airline Rules for Tennis Rackets

AirlineCarry-on SizeCarry-on WeightPersonal Item SizeFit Carry-on Criteria?Link to Baggage Policy
American Airlines22 x 14 x 9 in
Not specified18 x 14 x 8 in
No, but often ok for domestic flightsView

Sports Equipment
Delta Airlines22 x 14 x 9 inNone except China & SingaporeNot specifiedNo, but often ok for domestic flightsView

Sports Equipment
United Airlines22 x 14 x 9 inNot specified17 x 10 x 9 inOne tennis racquet case with racquet & balls allowedView

Sports Equipment
Southwest Airlines24 x 16 x 10 inNot specified16.25 × 13.5 × 8 inNoView

Sports Equipment

Canadian Airline Rules for Tennis Racquets

AirlineCarry-on SizeCarry-on WeightPersonal ItemFit Carry-on Criteria?Link to Baggage Policy
Air Canada21.5 × 15.5 × 9 inNone. Must be able to lift overhead yourself17 x 13 x 6 inNo but often ok or as an exceptionView

Sports Equipment
West Jet21 x 15 x 9 inNone. Must be able to lift overhead yourself16 x 13 x 6 inNoView

Sports Equipment

International Airlines

AirlineCarry-on SizeCarry-on WeightPersonal ItemFit Criteria for Carry-on?Link to Baggage Policy
AirAsia22 x 14 x 9 in15 lbs15.7 × 11.8 × 3.9 inNo - must be in checked luggagView

Sports Equipment
Air China22 x 16 x 8 in11 lbsNot specifiedNo - must be in checked luggageView
Air France21.6 x 13.7 x 9.8 in26.4 lbs 15.7 x11.8 x 5.8 inNo - must be in checked luggage

British Airways22 x 18 x 10 in51 lbs16 x 12 x 6 inNo - must be checkedView

Sports Equipment
Cathay Pacific22 x 14 x 9 in15 lbs16 x 12 x 6 inNo View

Sports Equipment
Easy Jet22 x 17 x 9.8 in33 lbs17.7 x 14 x 7.9 inNo View

Sports Equipment
Emirates Airline22 x 15 x 8 in15 lbs1- piece only economy

1st & Business: 22 x 15 x 8 in
Lufthansa21 x 15 x 9 in17.6 lbsOnly 1 item for economyNoView

Sports Equipment
Quantas22 x 14 x 9 in15 lbsNot specifiedMust fit allowancesView

Sports Equipment
Qatar Airways20 x 15 x 10 in15 lbs1 piece in economyNo - must be checkedView

Sports Equipment
Ryanair21.6 x 15.7 x 7.9 in22 lbs15 x 9.8 x 7.8 inYes, but must fit within cabin bag allowance or be checkedView
Saudia Airline58 linear inches
15 lbsN/ASports equipment must be checkedView
Singapore Airlines22 x 14 x 9 in15 lbsNot specifiedMust fit allowancesView

Sports Equipment
Virgin Atlantic

22 x 14 x 9 in22 lbsNot specifiedNoView

More travel tips: Can You Bring Magnets on a Plane?


Does a tennis racket fit in a checked bag?

Yes a tennis racket will fit in a checked bag as long as your luggage is  more than 27 inches (69cm) in length. Which is the average size of a tennis racket.

How do you pack a tennis racket in a suitcase?

The best way to pack a tennis racket in a suitcase is to first wrap the tennis racket in bubble wrap. Then place it between layers of your clothing. Always use a hard-sided suitcase for extra protection.

Can you take a racket in hand luggage? 

You can take a racket in hand luggage if it fits your carry-on baggage allowance. However, most rackets for adults are too long length wise to fit within the size limits. 

Are tennis balls allowed in hand luggage?

Yes you can bring tennis balls in hand luggage, as long as you stay within your airline’s rules and baggage allowance. 

Can tennis rackets go through TSA?

Yes, tennis rackets can go through the TSA (US Transportation Security Administration), as their policies do allow tennis rackets to be brought on a plane in either your carry-on or checked luggage. However, airlines have their own baggage size allowances which may prevent a tennis racket from fitting in your carry-on allowance.

Can you put a tennis racket in checked luggage?

Yes, according to the TCSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and EU Aviation Policies, a tennis racket can be put in checked luggage. Just make sure you use a hard sided suitcase for extra protection, and that the luggage is longer length wise than your racket (the average size is 27 inches).

Final Thoughts: Can You Bring Tennis Rackets on a Plane

Taking your tennis racket on a plane depends on the airline’s regulations, so always check beforehand.

Most airlines allow tennis rackets in checked baggage, but carry-on policies can vary. To ensure a seamless tennis holiday, consider investing in a travel-specific racket case to protect your equipment.

Tennis lovers need not fear flying; a bit of planning ensures you can practice your serve wherever your travels may take you.

Embrace your passion and keep swinging, no matter the destination! Safe travels and may your tennis adventures be full of aces.

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