Sports equipment

Whether you want to hang 10 or hit a home run, we’re happy to accept most sports equipment. Select an item below to find out more about our policies.

Specific guidelines and packaging requirements may apply to the items listed below. We’ll accept them as checked bags as long as you pack them in suitable containers that are within the size and weight limits of your checked bag allowance. Oversized and overweight items will be subject to standard fees for oversized and overweight bags.

When you get to the airport, please bring your sports equipment to the check-in counter and pay for any service charges there. You won’t be able to pay for the service charges online when checking in to your flight.

  • We’ll accept one item of archery equipment per customer as a checked bag. An item of archery equipment consists of:

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

    All of these items must be properly encased in a suitable container.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. Archery equipment carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

    We’re not liable for damage to archery equipment that’s not contained in a hard-sided case.

  • We’ll accept one bag of baseball equipment per customer as a checked bag.

    We don’t allow baseball bats in carry-on bags.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. Baseball equipment carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

    Baseball equipment is subject to applicable charges for overweight and oversized bags.

  • We’ll accept non-motorized bicycles with single or double seats (including tandem) or up to two non-motorized bicycles packed in one case as checked bags.

    If the bicycles are packed in a container that’s more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and/or 62 total linear inches (158 centimeters) (length + width + height), they’ll be subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Service charges for first, second and extra checked bags may apply.

    If the bicycles are packed in a container that’s less than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and 62 total linear inches (158 centimeters), they won’t be subject to service charges.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

    There are a few restrictions to traveling with bicycles:

    • The handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed, or all loose items must be enclosed in plastic foam or similar protective material, or the bicycle should be transported in a sealed box
    • If your itinerary includes a United Express® flight, please contact us for information about limits with space on the aircraft
    • We’re not liable for damage to bicycles that don’t 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: We won’t accept bicycles during certain periods when oversized, overweight and extra bags aren’t allowed.

  • We’ll accept one boogie, skim and speed board, or one board bag containing up to two boards, per customer as a checked bag.

    We’re not liable for damage to boogie, skim and speed boards.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. A boogie, skim or speed board carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

  • We’ll accept one set of bowling equipment per customer as a checked bag.

    A set of bowling equipment consists of:

    • One to three bowling balls (we’ll permit up to three bowling balls in one bag)
    • One bowling bag
    • One pair of bowling shoes.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. Bowling equipment weighing more than 50 pounds will be subject to current charges for overweight bags.

    We’re not liable for damage to bowling equipment.

  • We’ll accept camping items as checked bags. Camping items include but aren’t limited to the following:

    • Tents
    • Backpacks or knapsacks
    • Sleeping bags

    We’ll accept certain items as fragile items. This includes items made of materials that are easy to tear, like cloth, plastic or vinyl, and items that have aluminum frames, outside pockets, straps, buckles and other protruding parts.

    We won’t accept lanterns, stoves and heating equipment that use liquid fuel, propane, butane or similar fuels unless these items are brand-new, the fuel source is removed or the fuel has been purged. If the fuel has been purged, the equipment must be accompanied by a letter from the company that purged the fuel. Visit our page about dangerous items to learn more.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

  • We’ll accept fencing and kendo equipment as a checked bag. You must securely encase fencing and kendo equipment in a suitable container or packaging. We’ll allow one kendo bag containing kendo equipment and one bamboo sword.

    Fencing or kendo equipment in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags for a single piece, whether or not it’s presented as a single piece.

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

    Fencing or kendo equipment containers measuring greater than 62 total linear inches (158 centimeters) (length + width + height) that contain other items in addition to, or in place of, appropriate fencing or kendo equipment will be subject to the applicable service charge for oversized checked bags.

    We’re not liable for damage to fencing or kendo equipment.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

  • We’ll accept shooting equipment as checked bags in hard-sided, securely locked firearms cases or containers. Locked cases that can easily be opened aren’t permitted. All firearms cases must meet the following safety criteria in order to be accepted for travel:

    • Firearms will be accepted only from a customer who is 18 years of age or older.
    • The regulations below refer to all firearms (or items that may resemble a firearm), including airsoft guns, BB guns, paintball guns and any antique trophy guns or weapons.
    • If you're traveling with a firearm, you must check in to your flight at the airport counter. You won’t be able to check in through the United app, united.com or an airport kiosk. Curbside check-in of a firearm is also not permitted.
    • International firearm regulations and laws vary by destination and transiting country. Contact appropriate consulates or embassies to obtain specific entry requirements applicable to destination(s). United is not liable for any assistance or information relating to such regulations or compliance with such laws provided by any United employee or agent to any customers, or for the consequences to any customer resulting from his or her failure to comply with such regulations or laws.
      • Firearms are not accepted to and from Bahrain, Cuba, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, Palau, Philippines, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
      • 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.
      • Customers traveling to or through Milan, Italy (MXP) or Rome, Italy (FCO) with checked firearms/ammunition are subject to police clearance at their first point of entry into Italy. Security staff will take the firearms/ammunition to the police office for inspection. Firearms and ammunition must be packed in separate containers.
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • Firearms must be packed in a hard-sided container with a lock. The container must be locked at the time of acceptance by United Airlines and the key or combination must remain in the customer's possession. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can easily be opened will not be accepted for travel. Using a TSA-approved lock can help speed up the security screening process for firearms.
    • Handguns must be packed in a hard-sided container with a lock. The container must be locked at the time of acceptance by United Airlines and the key or combination must remain in the customer's possession. The locked hard-sized container holding the handgun may be placed inside an unlocked soft-side piece of luggage. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can easily be opened will not be accepted for travel.
    • Customers may only pack up to five firearms in any case or bag. However, there is no limit on the number of cases or bags they are permitted to check.
    • 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.
      • The 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.
      • Loaded ammunition magazines or clips must be removed from the firearm, and must be securely packed in boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition and must fit over any exposed ends of the magazine or clip.
      • Ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectile will not be accepted.
      • Black powder, for black powder arms, is considered hazardous material and will not be accepted as checked baggage.

    First or second checked bag service charges may apply.

    Note: Customers must sign and date a Firearm Declaration Tag declaring the firearm is not loaded.

  • We’ll accept one item of fishing equipment per customer as a checked bag. An item of fishing equipment consists of the following:

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

    You must properly encase all items in a suitable container. The container can’t be greater than 115 linear inches (292 centimeters) (length + width + height) and 50 pounds (23 kilograms).

    We won’t accept fishing equipment greater than 80 inches (203 centimeters) in length as a checked bag on any itinerary involving a United Express® flight.

    First or second checked bag service charges may apply. The items will be subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags.

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

    We’re not liable for damage to fishing equipment.

  • We’ll accept one item of golf equipment per customer as a checked bag.

    An item of golf equipment consists of:

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

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

    We’re not liable for damage to golf equipment that’s not contained in a hard-sided case.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

    Golfing bags measuring more than 62 total linear inches (158 centimeters) (length + width + height) that contain golf equipment won’t be subject to any applicable service charges for oversized checked bags. However, charges for overweight bags are applicable. Golf bags that don’t contain golfing equipment will be subject to any applicable service charges for oversized and overweight checked bags.

    Note: You might experience a delay in receiving your golf bag at baggage claim. This is because of the way we’re required to load and unload oversized items.

  • We’ll accept one item of gymnastic equipment per customer as a checked bag. You must securely encase gymnastic equipment in a suitable container or package.

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

    Gymnastic equipment weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) that contain other items in addition to, or in place of, appropriate gymnastic equipment will be subject to the applicable service charge for overweight checked bags.

    We’re not liable for damage to gymnastic equipment.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

  • We’ll accept hang gliding equipment as checked bags up to your maximum checked bag allowance. You can generally pack individual pieces of hang gliding equipment in separate bags.

    These items will be subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Service charges for first, second and extra checked bags may apply. The combined weight for all parts of the hang gliding equipment can’t exceed 99.9 pounds (45.4 kilograms).

    The maximum length of the hang gliding equipment we allow varies by aircraft type. We can’t accommodate hang gliding equipment that’s more than 72 inches (183 centimeters) in length on Boeing 737 aircraft. We also can’t accommodate hang gliding equipment that’s more than 108 inches (274.4 centimeters) in length on Airbus A319 or Airbus A320 aircraft. On all other United aircraft, the maximum dimension we allow is 115 inches (292.1 centimeters).

    If you’re traveling with hang gliding equipment, please allow an extra 30 minutes at check-in.

    We won’t accept hang gliding equipment as checked bags on United Express flights or on all flights when there’s an embargo for excess bags in place.

  • We’ll accept one hockey or lacrosse bag plus up to two hockey or lacrosse sticks taped together per customer as one checked bag.

    We’re not liable for damage to hockey or lacrosse sticks.

    Service charges for checked bags may apply to hockey or lacrosse equipment.

    Hockey or lacrosse sticks carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at current charges for excess bags.

    Note: We’ll treat a duffel bag containing hockey equipment as a normal checked bag. A duffel bag containing hockey equipment is subject to applicable charges for overweight, oversized and extra bags.

  • We’ll accept javelins as checked bags. You must properly encase javelins in a hard-sided container.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

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

    We’re not liable for damage to javelins.

  • Unfortunately, we don’t accept kayaks or canoes as checked bags.

  • We’ll accept one kiteboard or one bag containing equipment used in kiteboarding as a checked bag.

    If the kiteboard or kiteboard container is more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) or is greater than 62 total linear inches (158 centimeters) (length + width + height), the item will be subject to additional service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Service charges for first, second and extra checked bags may apply.

    If the kiteboard or kiteboard container weighs less than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and is less than 62 (158 centimeters) total linear inches, standard bag service charges may apply.

    The kiteboard must be well padded. If it’s not, you must properly encase it in a suitable container to avoid scratching.

    We’re not liable for damage to a kiteboard or kiteboard equipment.

    Note: On United flights, we won’t accept kiteboards greater than 115 linear inches (292 centimeters) in length. On United Express flights, we won’t accept kiteboards greater than 80 linear inches (203 centimeters) in length.

    We won’t accept kiteboards when there’s an embargo for excess bags in place. However, we’ll accept kiteboards to Costa Rica during these embargoes.

  • Visit our dangerous goods page for information about traveling with life jackets.

  • We’ll accept one pair of oars or one oar case containing up to two oars per customer as a checked bag.

    We’re not liable for damage to oars.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

    Oars carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

  • Paintball guns aren’t allowed as carry-on bags.

    However, we do accept one bag containing equipment used in the paintball sport as a checked bag. A paintball gun may be checked in an unlocked soft or hard-sided case.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

    Paintball equipment in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

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

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

    Unopened paintball air canisters in original plastic packaging are sold empty, so customers don’t need to demonstrate that the canisters are empty.

    We’re not liable for damage to paintball equipment.

  • We’ll accept sport parachutes and parasails as checked bags. If you take a parachute or parasail on board the aircraft, it’ll have to meet carry-on size restrictions. You’ll also have to put it under the seat in front of you.

    If you travel with parachutes or parasails as checked bags, all charges for oversized, overweight and extra bags will apply. Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

  • We’ll accept one pole vaulting case as a special item at standard oversized and overweight service charges. Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. This is in addition to any charges that may apply for extra bags.

    The vaulting pole must be properly encased in a suitable container. Depending on the aircraft type, we may not be able to accept the equipment. Contact us for maximum length restrictions for your flight.

    We’re not liable for damage to a vaulting pole.

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

    Note: We won’t accept vaulting poles when there’s an embargo for excess bags in place.

  • We’ll accept one pool cue case containing pool cues per customer as a checked bag.

    We’re not liable for damage to pool cues.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

    Pool cues carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

  • We’ll accept one dive bag containing diving or scuba equipment as part of your standard checked bag allowance. A dive bag containing scuba equipment that exceeds the standard checked bag allowance will be charged as an oversized or overweight bag.

    We’ll accept dive bags containing dive equipment over 50 pounds and/or 62 linear inches as sporting equipment. However, special item charges will apply.

    We’ll accept dive bags as pieces of sporting equipment as long as they contain equipment related to diving.

    Service charges for first or second bags may apply.

    An empty dive tank or up to three rebreather tanks won’t be included in determining the bag allowance and will be subject to a service charge of $150 each way for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A service charge of $200 USD each way applies for all other travel. The empty dive or rebreather tank must have the regulator valve completely disconnected from the tank. The tank shouldn’t 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 agent.

    Note for rebreather equipment: We’ll accept soda lime that’s 4% Sodium Hydroxide or less in checked bags. We won’t accept soda lime that’s 4.1% Sodium Hydroxide or more in checked bags.

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

    We’re not liable for damage to scuba diving equipment.

  • Ice skates

    We’ll accept ice skates as checked bags on all flights. For flights within the U.S. only, we’ll accept ice skates in carry-on bags.

    If you check ice skates as an individual item, we’ll count it as part of your bag allowance.

    Rollerskates/rollerblades/skateboards

    We’ll accept only non-powered roller skates, rollerblades and skateboards as checked bags or carry-on bags.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. Skating equipment carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

    Skating equipment is subject to applicable overweight and oversized excess bag charges.

    Visit our dangerous goods page for the latest information about powered skating equipment.

  • We’ll accept one item of ski or snowboard equipment per customer as a checked bag. Equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container. An item of ski equipment consists of:

    • Water skis
    • Up to two snowboards in one bag and one snow boot bag
    • Up to two pairs of snow skis and associated equipment in one bag and one ski boot bag
    • If the combined weight of the ski bag and boot bag is over 50 pounds (23 kg), applicable overweight charges apply.
    • A boot bag without an accompanied ski bag is considered one bag and normal baggage fees apply.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply.

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

    Ski and boot bags weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) or that contain other items in addition to appropriate ski equipment will be subject to the applicable service charge for overweight checked bags. Ski and boot bags that don’t contain ski-related items will be subject to any applicable service charges for oversized and overweight checked bags.

    We’re not liable for damage to water ski, snow ski, or snowboard equipment.

  • We’ll accept surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards checked as special items as long as they’re packed in appropriate board bags and don’t weigh more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kilograms). These items are subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Fees for first, second and excess checked bags may apply.

    For customers traveling to and from California, we’ll waive oversized bag charges for surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards. Travelers with a connection through California aren’t eligible. Fees for first, second, excess and overweight bags may apply.

    The skeg or fin must be removed or well-padded. The entire board must be encased in a suitable container to avoid scratching. We’re not liable for damages.

    We won’t accept boards and board bags weighing more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kilograms) combined.

    Note: On United flights, we won’t accept surfboards, wakeboards, paddleboards and board bags that measure more than 115 linear inches (292 centimeters). For United Express flights, we won’t accept surfboards, wakeboards, paddleboards and board bags that measure more than 80 linear inches (203 centimeters). These items are also subject to the aircraft's load capacities. When there’s an embargo on excess bags, we won’t accept surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards, with the exception of surfboards on flights to Costa Rica.

  • We’ll accept one item of tennis equipment as a checked bag or carry-on bag. An item of tennis equipment consists of one tennis racket case containing tennis rackets and balls.

    You’ll have to properly protect your tennis equipment or sign a limited liability form.

    Service charges for first or second checked bags may apply. Tennis equipment carried in addition to the bag allowance will be assessed at the current charge for excess bags.

    Tennis equipment is subject to applicable charges for overweight and oversized bags.

  • We’ll accept one wave ski or one bag containing equipment used in wave skiing as a checked bag. The item will be subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Fees for first, second and excess checked bags may apply.

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

    On United flights, we won’t accept wave skis greater than 115 inches (292 centimeters) in length. On United Express flights, we won’t accept wave skis greater than 80 inches (203 centimeters) in length. We’ll transport wave skis depending on how much space there is on United Express flights.

    We won’t accept wave skis when there’s an embargo for excess bags.

  • We’ll accept one piece of windsurfing equipment per customer. This equipment shouldn’t weigh more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kilograms) and you should check it as a special item. These items are subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Fees for first, second and excess checked bags may apply. An item of windsurfing equipment consists of:

    • One windsurfing board (less than 115 linear inches or 292 centimeters)
    • One boom
    • One mast
    • One sail
    • Necessary hardware

    Windsurfing equipment must be padded and enclosed in a suitable package that will protect it from scratches, dents or other damage during normal handling. We’re not liable for damage to windsurfing equipment.

    We won’t accept windsurfing equipment on any United Express flights.

    Note: We won’t accept windsurfing equipment when there’s an embargo on excess bags.

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