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Flying With Your Hockey Gear

Flying With Your Hockey Gear

So you're planning a hockey trip! Whether you're travelling for a hockey tournament or bringing your gear along on a bucket list trip to a frozen lake, there's a number of things to consider before you start packing your bags. 

Every airline has a very specific policy regarding hockey equipment and sticks, what can go in the bag, how they must be packed, and what it will cost.

We've done a deep dive on the 5 major US airlines and 2 Canadian airlines, these airlines combine for over 80% of passengers in North America.  Note that each airline may have subsidiaries operating under a different name, often with different policies.  Information gathered and summarized as of July 23, 2021, and subject to change.  For the most up-to-date information, check your airline's website for the fine print!

Can I bring my hockey bag onto the airplane?

Yes, you may travel with your hockey bag as a checked bag, most airlines typically count your hockey bag and sticks as one checked item.

What is the largest hockey bag I can check into an airline?

All Conway+Banks Hockey Bags are acceptable as checked baggage on the largest US and Canadian airlines.  Most airlines are quite generous with the dimensions of the bag. American Airlines allows a maximum linear length (L + W + H) of 126", while both Delta and Alaskan Airlines offer a max of 115". All are sufficient for a typical hockey bag and even goalie bag.  Airlines do have weight restrictions - typically 50lb without additional cost. You can often pay extra to check a bag up to 70lb and even 100lb on some airlines, handy if you are carrying many pucks or additional training equipment.  See table below for full details.

May I use my hockey bag as luggage and carry other items in it?

Not recommended. Most airlines will allow you to travel with your hockey gear and exempt you from paying oversize bag fees up to 50lbs.  If you choose to pack other items in your bag, they may charge you an additional fee for your oversized bag.

What is the cost to check a hockey bag?

Most airlines will charge you the same fee as regular checked-luggage. However, drop off and pickups may require special handling at the oversize drop off and pickup points.

What happens if my equipment is damaged?

Most airlines do not cover damage for equipment and sticks damaged in transit. While some have been lucky to be reimbursed, not everyone will be.  We recommend wrapping your sticks with a yoga mat or padding inside your stick bag if possible.  You may also transport your sticks by taping them together, but you will risk a higher chance of damage in transit.

Can I bring my skates into the cabin?

Various airlines may have different policies regarding skates being carried onboard, but removing the steel blades will up your chances. Some may allow you to bring your skates onboard as long as it stays in your carry-on bag.

Does a hockey bag and sticks count as two checked bags?

No. Most airlines will count your equipment bag and sticks as one item.

Do I need to tape my sticks to the bag?

No. Most airlines will accept sticks and bag separately, and tagged accordingly.

Is a hockey bag considered oversized?

No. Most airlines will accept hockey bags without additional charge as long as they are under 115" linear length (L + W + H), and under 50lbs.

 

American Carriers

American Airlines Delta Airlines Southwest Airlines United Airlines Alaskan Airlines
Maximum Bag Size L + W + H = 126" or 320cm L + W + H = 115" or 292cm N/A N/A L + W + H = 115" or 292cm
Maximum Weight 50lb / 23kg 50lb / 23kg 50lb / 23kg 50lb/23kg or 70lb/32kg for Business, First, Polaris customers & all Premier customers 50lb / 23kg
What Counts as 1 Checked Item 1 equipment bag + 1 stick bag 1 equipment bag + 2 sticks taped together 1 equipment bag + 1 stick bag (or 2 sticks taped together) 1 equipment bag + 2 sticks taped together
1 equipment bag + multiple sticks taped together
What it counts as Standard checked bag Standard checked bag Standard checked bag Standard checked bag Standard checked bag
Can I Put Non -hockey Equipment Inside No. Extra fees may apply if you do N/A N/A N/A N/A
Standard Checked Bag Fee $30 domestic for first checked bag under 50lb $30 domestic for first checked bag under 50lb Free - Southwest permits 2 checked bags per ticketed customer $35 domestic for first checked bag under 50lb
$30 for first bag, $40 for 2nd. $100 each additional
Oversize Restrictions Up to 70lb / 32kg Up to 100lb / 45kg and 80" L+W+H Up to 100lb and 80" L+W+H Up to 70lb / 32kg N/A
Overweight/size Fee $150 51-70lb = $150
71-100lb = $200
L+W+H 63-80" = $200
$75 51-70lb = $100-200
71-100lb = $400
L+W+H 63-115" = $200
N/A

 

Canadian Carriers

Air Canada Westjet
Maximum Bag Size N/A N/A
Maximum Weight N/A 100lb
What Counts as 1 Checked Item 1 equipment bag + 2 sticks taped together or in it's own bag
1 equipment bag + sticks taped together or in it's own bag
What it counts as Standard checked bag
Standard checked bag
Can I Put Non -hockey Equipment Inside Must not contain clothing or personal items N/A
Standard Checked Bag Fee Basic & Standard fare: $30 first bag, $50 second bag. Comfort and Flex fares free first bag. Latitude fares free first and second bag.
1st bag: Free for EconoFlex, Premium and Business. $30-35.40 for Basic, Econo, or Member Exclusive fares
Oversize Restrictions
Up to 100lb
Overweight/Size Fee 51-70lb and/or 63-115" = $100-115
Free if contents are equipment only
Note Skates without removable blades may be carry on but cannot be removed from bag. Skates with removable blades must be checked, no carry on allowed.
In the event bag is lost, guest will be reimbursed for baggage fee in addition to settlement for loss of baggage up to $3000

 

The above information was gathered, interpreted, and summarized by a hockey player, and not a lawyer.  Your interpretation and use of the information provided above at your own discretion.  Conway+Banks Hockey Co. will not be liable for any losses that may incur from the use of this article. 

Please refer to your airline for the most up-to-date information before you travel!

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