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Sports equipment

United Airlines will accept most sporting equipment items. Specific guidelines and packaging requirements may apply. Select an item below for more information.

Archery equipment

United accepts one item of archery equipment per customer as checked baggage. All items must be properly encased in a suitable container. An item of archery equipment consists of:

  • One bow case containing bows
  • One quiver with arrows
  • Maintenance kit of sufficient strength to protect items from accidental damage.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply. Archery equipment carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

United is not liable for damage to archery equipment that is not contained in a hard-sided case.

Baseball equipment

United accepts one bag of baseball equipment per customer as checked baggage.

Baseball bats are not permitted in carry-on baggage.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply. Baseball equipment carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

Baseball equipment is subject to applicable overweight and oversize excess baggage charges.

Bicycles

United accepts non-motorized bicycles with single or double seats (including tandem) or up to two non-motorized bicycles packed in one case as checked baggage. If the bicycle(s) are packed in a container that is over 50 pounds (23 kg) and/or 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), a $100 service charge applies each way for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a $200 service charge applies each way for all other travel. If the bicycle(s) are packed in a container that is less than 50 pounds (23 kg) and 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), there is no bicycle service charge, but the first or second checked bag service charges may apply.

The following are bicycle restrictions:

  • Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed, or
  • All loose items must be enclosed in plastic foam or similar protective material, or
  • Bicycle should be transported in a sealed box.
  • If your itinerary includes a United Express flight, please contact United for information regarding aircraft cargo hold limits
  • United is not liable for damage to bicycles that do not have the handlebars fixed sideways and pedals removed, handlebars and pedals encased in plastic foam or similar material, or bicycles not contained in a cardboard containers or hard-sided cases.

Note: Bicycles will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo when no excess baggage is allowed.

Boogie/skim/speed boards

United accepts one boogie/skim/speed board, or one board bag containing up to two boards per customer as checked baggage.

United is not liable for damage to boogie/skim/speed boards.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for boogie/skim/speed boards.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply. A boogie/skim/speed board carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

Bowling equipment

United accepts one set of bowling equipment per customer as checked baggage.

A set of bowling equipment consists of:

  • One to three bowling ball(s). United will permit up to three bowling balls in one bag.
  • One bowling bag
  • One pair of bowling shoes.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply. Bowling equipment weighing more than 50 pounds will be subject to the current overweight baggage charges.

United is not liable for damage to bowling equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for bowling equipment.

Camping equipment

United accepts camping items as checked baggage. Camping items include but are not limited to the following:

  • Tents
  • Backpacks or knapsacks
  • Sleeping bags

Certain items made of cloth, plastic, vinyl or other easily torn material and those having aluminum frames, outside pockets, straps, buckles and other protruding parts will be accepted as fragile items. United is not be liable for fragile items. Lanterns, stoves and heating equipment which use liquid fuel, propane, butane or similar will not be accepted as baggage in accordance with dangerous goods regulations.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Fencing equipment

United accepts fencing equipment as checked baggage. Fencing equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container or packaging.

Fencing equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage service charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece.

Fencing equipment containers weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kg) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate fencing equipment will be subject to the applicable overweight checked baggage service charge.

Fencing equipment containers measuring greater than 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + H + W) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate fencing equipment will be subject to an oversize checked baggage service charge.

United is not liable for damage to fencing equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for fencing equipment.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Firearms

United accepts one item of shooting equipment per customer as checked baggage. One item of shooting equipment is defined as one hard-sided shooting equipment case containing up to five firearms, with or without scopes, up to 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, and articles used in the firearm sport.

  • Firearms will be accepted only from a customer who is 18 years of age or older.
  • International firearm regulations vary by destination and transiting country. Contact appropriate consulates or embassies to obtain specific entry requirements applicable to destination(s).
    • Firearms are not accepted to and from Bahrain, Israel, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
    • For travel to and from the United Kingdom, pistols, rifles and shotguns must be packed in a hard-sided rifle case. Customers must have the appropriate license or certificate in addition to a British Visitor's Permit (BVP). A Great Britain resident will need to act as a sponsor and submit a BVP application to their local firearms licensing department on your behalf.
    • Customers traveling to or through Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) with checked firearms/ammunition must obtain permission from the Netherlands Consulate/Embassy in their country of origin prior to departure. Weapons are subject to confiscation in Amsterdam unless the owner can show all required permits. Customers traveling on military orders with checked firearms may do so without prior consent from Dutch Customs. Checked military ammunition is forbidden.
    • Customers traveling to Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) with checked firearms and/or ammunition must be in possession of a gun import license or a temporary transportation permit, which must be certified and validated by a Guatemalan Consulate. Customers traveling with checked firearms and/or ammunition through Guatemala City do not require a permit as long as their bag does not leave the airport controlled area. Customers must ensure they have all the necessary documents required at their final destination.
  • Curbside check-in of a firearm is not permitted.
  • The firearm must be packaged in a hard-sided container capable of being locked. The container must be locked and the key or combination must remain in the customer's possession. If a hard-sided container is needed, see the container section of this site.
  • Handguns must be packed in hard-sided lockable luggage. Baggage containing handguns must be locked at the time of acceptance by United Airlines and the key or combination retained in the passenger's custody.
  • The firearm will be transported in a section of the aircraft that is inaccessible to the customer. Proof of registration is not required.
  • Firearms carried in addition to the free baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.
  • No more than 11 pounds of ammunition may be carried. The ammunition may be packed in the same container as the firearm or in a separate container. Ammunition must be packed in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood or metal containers. The ammunition inside the container must be protected against shock and secured against movement.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Note: Customer must sign a Firearm Declaration Tag.

Fishing equipment

United accepts one item of fishing equipment per customer as checked baggage. An item of fishing equipment consists of the following:

  • Two rods
  • One reel
  • One landing net
  • One pair of fishing boots
  • One tackle box

All items must be properly encased in a suitable container not to exceed a total of 115 linear inches (L + W + H) and 50 pounds (23 kg).

Fishing equipment greater than 80 inches in length will not be accepted as checked baggage on any itinerary involving a United Express flight.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Fishing equipment carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece.

United is not liable for damage to Fishing equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for Fishing equipment.

Golf equipment

United accepts one item of golf equipment per customer as checked baggage.

An item of golf equipment consists of:

  • One golf bag containing 1 set of golf clubs
  • Golf balls
  • One pair of golf shoes

All items must be properly encased in a suitable container. The golf bag must be covered or enclosed in a heavy, rigid carrying case.

United is not liable for damage to golf equipment that is not contained in a hard-sided case.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for golf equipment that is not contained in a hard-sided case.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Golfing equipment containers measuring over 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + H + W) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate golf equipment will be subject to an oversize checked baggage service charge.

Note: All customers, including MileagePlus® Premier® members, who check a golf bag will experience a delay in receiving their bag at the baggage claim due to the manner in which oversized items and sports equipment are required to be loaded, unloaded and delivered to baggage claim.

Gymnastic equipment

United accepts one item of gymnastic equipment per customer as checked baggage. Gymnastic equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container or packaging.

Gymnastic equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece.

Gymnastic equipment bags weighing over 50 pounds (23 kg) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate gymnastic equipment will be subject to the applicable overweight checked baggage service charge.

United is not liable for damage to gymnastic equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for gymnastic equipment.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Hang gliding equipment

Individual hang gliding equipment components can generally be packed in separate bags for each component. United will accept a maximum of two items per bag for a set of four component bags for a service charge of $100 (each way) for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and $200 (each way) for international travel. The combined weight for all hang gliding equipment components cannot exceed 99.9 pounds (45.4 kg).

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for hang gliding equipment.

Maximum length allowed varies by aircraft type. Hang gliding equipment that is more than 72 inches (183 cm) in length cannot be accommodated on 737 series aircraft. Hang gliding equipment that is 108 inches (274.4 cm) in length or more cannot be accommodated on Airbus A320 or Airbus A319 aircraft.

Allow an extra 30 minutes at check-in.

Hang gliding equipment is not accepted as checked baggage on United Express flights.

Hang gliding equipment will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo.

Hockey/lacrosse equipment

United accepts one hockey or lacrosse bag plus up to two hockey or lacrosse sticks taped together per customer as one piece of checked baggage.

United is not liable for damage to hockey or lacrosse sticks.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for hockey or lacrosse sticks.

If applicable, checked baggage service charge applies to hockey/lacrosse equipment.

Hockey or lacrosse sticks carried in addition to the free baggage allowance will be assessed at current excess baggage charges.

Note: A duffel bag containing hockey equipment is treated as a normal checked bag. A duffel bag containing hockey equipment is subject to applicable overweight and oversize excess baggage charges.

Javelins

United accepts javelins as checked baggage. Javelins must be properly encased in a hard-sided container.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Javelins carried in addition to the checked baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

United is not liable for damage to Javelins.

Kayaks/canoes

United will accept a kayak or canoe checked as a special item for a service charge of $100 (each way) for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and $200 (each way) for international travel. The maximum weight allowance is 99.9 pounds (45.4 kg). Maximum length allowance is 156 inches (396 cm).

United is not liable for damage to kayaks/canoes.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for kayaks/canoes.

Note: On United flights, kayaks and canoes more than 156 inches (396 cm) in length will not be accepted. Kayaks and canoes are not accepted on United Express flights.

Kayaks/canoes that are more than 72 inches (183 cm) in length cannot be accommodated on 737 series aircrafts. Kayaks/canoes that are 108 inches (274.4 cm) in length or more cannot be accommodated on Airbus A320 or Airbus A319 aircraft.

Kiteboards

United Airlines will accept one kiteboard or one bag containing equipment used in kiteboarding as checked baggage.

If the kiteboard or kiteboard container is over 50 pounds (23 kg) or is greater than 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), a $100 service charge applies each way. The service charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply, but first or second bag charges do not apply.

If the kiteboard or kiteboard container weighs less than 50 pounds (23 kg) and is less than 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), the $100 service charge does not apply each way, but first or second checked bag service charges may apply.

The board must be well padded or the entire board must be encased in a suitable container to avoid scratching. United Airlines is not liable for damage to a kiteboard or kiteboard equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for a kiteboard or kiteboard equipment.

Note: On United Airlines flights, kiteboards greater than 115 inches (292 cm) in length will not be accepted. On United Express flights, kiteboards greater than 80 inches (203 cm) in length will not be accepted.

Kiteboards are not allowed during excess baggage embargo periods when no excess baggage is allowed. Kiteboards will be accepted to Costa Rica during an embargo period.

Oars

United accepts one pair of oars or one oar case containing up to two oars per customer as checked baggage.

United is not liable for damage to oars.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for oars.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Oars carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at current excess baggage charges.

Paintball equipment

Paintball guns are not permitted as carry-on baggage.

United does accept one bag containing equipment used in the paintball sport as checked baggage. A paintball gun may be checked in an unlocked soft or hard-sided case.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Paintball equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

Paintball ammunition must be packed in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in a container that will protect the paint balls from breakage.

Compressed gas cylinders must be empty and have the regulator removed to allow for a visual inspection by a TSA Security Screener.

Unopened paintball air canisters in original plastic packaging are sold empty and customers do not need to demonstrate that the canisters are empty.

United is not liable for damage to paintball equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for paintball equipment.

Parachutes and parasails

United accepts sport parachutes and parasails as checked baggage. A parachute or parasail taken on board the aircraft must meet carry-on size restrictions for placement underneath an aircraft seat. When transported as checked baggage, all excess, oversize and overweight charges will apply. First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Personal human transporter

Subject to aircraft size and load conditions, United will accept one two-wheeled battery powered personal human transporter per customer in lieu of one piece of checked baggage. A personal human transporter is not permitted as carry-on baggage.

A personal human transporter is subject to a $150.00 service charge each way. The personal human transporter service charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply.

United Airlines is not liable for damage to a personal human transporter. Excess Valuation may not be purchased for personal human transporters.

A personal human transporter is not generally categorized as a mobility assistance device. Exception: if a Passenger verifies to United's satisfaction that the Human Transporter is required as an alternative to a wheelchair, United will accept it without service charge and Contract of Carriage Rule 28(C)(8) will apply as to claims for loss, damage or delay.

Note: In all cases, the customer will not be allowed to operate the personal human transporter through or past the airport security checkpoint due to safety and operational concerns.

Pole vaulting equipment

United accepts one vaulting pole as checked baggage. Vaulting pole must be properly encased in a suitable container. Acceptance is restricted by aircraft type. Contact the United Customer Contact Center for maximum length restrictions for your flight. For travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, vaulting poles have a service charge of $100 (each way) for each pole presented. This charge is in addition to any excess baggage charge that may apply. United Airlines is not liable for damage to a vaulting pole. Contact the United Customer Contact Center for international service charge rates.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for vaulting poles.

Pole vaulting equipment will not be accepted as checked baggage on any itinerary involving a United Express flight.

Note: Vaulting poles will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo.

Pool cues

United accepts, per customer as checked baggage, one pool cue case containing pool cues.

United is not liable for damage to pool cues.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for pool cues.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Pool cues carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at current excess baggage charges.

Scuba equipment

United accepts one dive bag containing equipment used in the scuba-diving sport as checked baggage. Scuba equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece.

Dive bags weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kg) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate dive equipment will be subject to the applicable overweight checked baggage service charge.

Dive bags measuring greater than 62 linear inches (158 cm) that contain other items in addition to or in place of dive equipment will be subject to the applicable oversize charge.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

An empty dive tank or up to three rebreather tanks will not be included in determining the baggage allowance and will be subject to a service charge of $100 (each way) for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A service charge of $200 (each way) applies for all other travel. The empty dive/rebreather tank must have the regulator valve completely disconnected from the tank. The tank must not be sealed (i.e., the tank has an open end). The tank must have an opening to allow for a visual inspection by a TSA Security Screener.

Note for rebreather equipment: Soda lime that is 4% Sodium Hydroxide or less will be accepted in checked baggage. Soda lime that is 4.1% Sodium Hydroxide or more will not be accepted in checked baggage.

An item of scuba equipment consists of one empty scuba tank, up to three rebreather tanks, or one dive bag containing equipment used in the scuba-diving sport. The empty scuba/rebreather tank and a separate dive bag containing scuba equipment will be charged as two separate pieces.

United is not liable for damage to scuba diving equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for scuba diving equipment.

Skating equipment

Ice skates

United accepts ice skates as checked baggage.

Ice skates are not permitted in carry-on baggage.

If the ice skates are checked as an individual item, it will be counted as part of the baggage allowance.

Rollerskates/rollerblades/skateboards

United accepts roller skates, rollerblades and skateboards as checked baggage or carry-on baggage.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply. Skating equipment carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

Skating equipment is subject to applicable overweight and oversize excess baggage charges.

Ski and snowboard equipment

United accepts one item of ski or snowboard equipment per customer as checked baggage. Equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container. An item of ski equipment consists of:

  • Water skis
  • Snowboard
  • Up to two pairs of snow skis and associated equipment in one bag and one ski boot bag. (Note: If ski boot bag contains other items in addition to or in place of boots, it will be subject to the applicable checked baggage service charge or excess baggage service charge.)

First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

Ski equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece.

Ski and boot bags weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kg) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate ski equipment will be subject to the applicable overweight checked baggage service charge.

United is not liable for damage to water ski, snow ski, or snowboard equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for water ski, snow ski, or snowboard equipment.

Surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards

United accepts surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards checked as special items as long as they are packed in appropriate board bags and do not weigh more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kg). The service charge for a surfboard, wakeboard or paddleboard is $100 (each way) for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and $200 (each way) for all other travel.

The skeg/fin must be removed or well-padded. The entire board must be encased in a suitable container to avoid scratching. United is not liable for damages. Excess valuation cannot be purchased for a surfboard, wakeboard or paddleboard.

Boards and board bags weighing more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kg) combined will not be accepted.

Note: On United flights, surfboards, wakeboards, paddleboards and board bags longer than 115 inches (292 cm) will not be accepted. On United Express® flights, surfboards, wakeboards, paddleboards and board bags are subject to the aircraft’s load capacities, and items longer than 80 inches (203 cm) will not be accepted. Surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo, with the exception that surfboards will be accepted on flights to Costa Rica.

Tennis equipment

United accepts one item of tennis equipment as checked baggage or carry-on baggage. An item of tennis equipment consists of one tennis racket case containing tennis rackets and balls.

Tennis equipment must be properly protected or a limited liability form must be signed.

First or second checked bag service charges may apply. Tennis equipment carried in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.

Tennis equipment is subject to applicable overweight and oversize excess baggage charges.

Wave ski

United Airlines will accept one wave ski, or one bag containing equipment used in wave skiing, checked as a special item. A wave ski or a bag containing equipment used in wave skiing is subject to a $100.00 service charge (each way) for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and $200 (each way) for international travel.

The board must be well padded or the entire board must be encased in a suitable container to avoid scratching. United Airlines is not liable for damage to a wave ski or wave ski equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for a wave ski.

Note: On United Airlines flights, wave skis greater than 115 inches (292 cm) in length will not be accepted. On United Express flights, wave skis greater than 80 inches (203 cm) in length will not be accepted.

Wave skis will be transported subject to load capacities of the aircraft on any itinerary involving a United Express flight.

Wave skis will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo.

Windsurfing equipment

United Airlines accepts, per customer, one piece of windsurfing equipment not exceeding 99.9 pounds, checked as a special item. Windsurfing equipment is not a part of the baggage allowance. Windsurfing equipment is subject to a $100.00 service charge (each way) per item for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and a $200 service charge for all other travel. This charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply. An item of windsurfing equipment consists of:

  • One windsurfing board not to exceed 115 inches in length
  • One boom
  • One mast
  • One sail
  • Necessary hardware

Windsurfing equipment must be padded and enclosed in a suitable package sufficient to protect from scratches or dents or other damage during normal handling. United Airlines is not liable for damage to windsurfing equipment.

Windsurfing equipment will not be accepted on any itinerary involving a United Express flight.

Note: Windsurfing equipment will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo.

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