Can You Take an Umbrella on a Plane? [2020]

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You never know when you might run into rain so it is a good idea to have an umbrella on hand when traveling. However, if you are going to carry-on your umbrella, some airlines will have restrictions on the types of umbrellas you can carry onto the plane. 

In this article, I will go over what umbrellas you can carry-on and cover a dozen or so major airline policies about carry-on umbrellas. Then I will explain different airport policies and if you are allowed to put an umbrella in your checked luggage.


Can you take an umbrella on a plane?

The short answer is yes, most airlines will allow umbrellas on board. From my research, the majority of major airlines allow you to bring an umbrella on board. However, some airlines and airports do prohibit umbrellas that are longer than the length of a carry-on (like golf umbrellas) or pointy-ended umbrellas.

Some airlines, like AirAsia, outright ban umbrellas onboard and require you to check them in. Luckily, most airlines permit umbrellas that are collapsible or foldable. Foldable umbrellas will certainly be okay to bring onto the aircraft inside or outside your carry-on baggage as they will be short enough to easily store.

In fact, most airlines see an umbrella as an accessory to your carry-on bags, which means the airlines don’t count umbrellas towards your carry-on or personal item allowance. However, other airlines, like Air Canada, will count an umbrella as a personal item.

Don’t worry, I go into more details for each airline below. 

What type of umbrellas can you bring on a plane?

The most common type of umbrella you can bring onto a plane with your carry-on baggage is a foldable umbrella. An umbrella shouldn’t exceed 20 to 24 inches. Otherwise, the airline has the right to refuse the umbrella. So, make sure the umbrella is no more than the requirements set by the airline for carry-on baggage. If the umbrella is too long, the airline might charge you a fee to gate check the umbrella.

Umbrellas with a pointy end might be allowed by some airlines and in some airports, but pointy objects can be considered by the TSA or other airports to be a prohibited item. I would recommend only bringing on an umbrella with a flat end to be on the safe side — even when the airline and airport say it’s okay. 

Alternative rain protection to umbrellas

While an umbrella is my go-to for protection from the rain, I still think rain ponchos or raincoats are great when you don’t want to lug around an umbrella. I did a comprehensive rain poncho article explaining the different types of rain ponchos available, what you should look out for, and then I listed off some of my favorite rain ponchos. I highly recommend reading the rain poncho article here


Airline policies for umbrellas

I researched a handful of major airlines to find out their umbrella policies. Some airlines don’t quote an umbrella policy, so I had to reach out to customer service to find out the answer. You might be surprised that the US carriers tend to have fewer restrictions for umbrellas than foreign carriers. 

Alaska Airlines

Umbrellas flying onboard Alaska Airlines must not exceed 22 inches. Umbrellas will not count towards your Alaska carry-on allowance. Umbrellas flying on Alaska can be stored under the seat, in the overhead bins, or in your carry-on bag.

American Airlines

Umbrellas flying in the cabin on American Airlines cannot exceed 22inches. Any umbrella 22 inches or less doesn’t count towards your carry-on allowance. Umbrellas flying on AA can be stored under the seat, in the overhead bins, or in your carry-on bag.

Delta Airlines

When you fly Delta Airlines, you can bring onboard an umbrella no longer than 22 inches. Umbrellas will not count towards your Delta carry-on allowance. You can store umbrellas under the seat in front of you, in the overhead bins, or in your carry-on bag.

JetBlue Airlines

JetBlue Airlines allows umbrellas up to 22 inches in length. Umbrellas do not count towards your JetBlue carry-on allowance. Umbrellas can be stored under the seat in front of you, in the overhead bins, or in your carry-on bag.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is more generous than other US carriers allow you to bring up to a 24 inch umbrella onboard. In comparison, other US carriers only allow 22 inch long umbrellas onboard. Plus, umbrellas do not count towards your Southwest carry-on allowance

You can place your umbrella under the seat in front of you, in the overhead bins, or in your carry-on baggage. 

Spirit Airlines

You might be surprised, but Spirit Airlines allows umbrellas to be taken onboard up to 22 inches in length, and the umbrella will not count towards your carry-on bag allowance.

When flying Spirit, you can place your umbrella under the seat in front of you. If you paid for overhead carry-on baggage, you can also place it in the overhead bins.

United Airlines

United Airlines allows umbrellas on board as long as 22 inches. Umbrellas carried onboard a United flight will not count towards your carry-on allowance. On United flights, you can store your umbrella under the seat in front of you, in the overhead bin, or in your carry-on bag. 

AirAsia

AirAsia does not permit umbrellas on board and will make you check an umbrella into the cargo hold. If AirAsia notices you are carrying an umbrella, be aware their policy is to make you check it.

Air Canada

Umbrellas are allowed to be taken on board Air Canada flights but will count towards your carry-on allowance when the umbrella isn’t in your bag.

When an umbrella isn’t inside your bag, the umbrella cannot exceed 21.5 inches in length. Umbrellas that are between 17 to 21.5 inches will be counted as a carry-on. Umbrellas between 10 to 17 inches in length are counted as a personal item. You can read more about Air Canada’s baggage policy here.  

Air France

If you are flying Air France, you can bring onboard an umbrella no longer than 22 inches. Umbrellas won’t count towards your Air France carry-on allowance. Umbrellas can go under the seat, in the overhead bin, or in your carry-on bag.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

If you are flying All Nippon Airways, you can bring an umbrella onboard without a length limitation. In fact, ANA categorizes umbrellas the same as a walking stick, meaning it won’t count towards your carry-on baggage allowance. Out of all the airlines I researched, ANA is the least restricted airline regarding umbrellas. 

British Airways

British Airways’ umbrella policy is similar to Air Canada’s umbrella policy meaning umbrellas will count towards your carry-on allowance when it’s not in your bag.

When an umbrella isn’t inside your bag, the umbrella cannot exceed 22 inches in length. Umbrellas between 17 to 22 inches are counted as a carry-on. Umbrellas between 10 to 17 inches in length are counted as a personal item. You can read more about British Airways baggage policy here.

Cathay Pacific

Umbrellas are welcomed onboard Cathay Pacific flights up to 22 inches in length. Plus, umbrellas won’t count towards your Cathay Pacific baggage allowance. Umbrellas can go under the seat, in the overhead bin, or in your carry-on bag.

China Eastern

Umbrellas are welcomed onboard China Eastern flights up to 21.6 inches in length. Plus, umbrellas won’t count towards your China Eastern baggage allowance. Umbrellas can go under the seat, in the overhead bin, or in your carry-on bag.

Emirates

Umbrellas are permitted onboard Emirates flights. Umbrellas must not exceed 22 inches. Umbrellas flying on Emirates in the cabin will not count towards your baggage allowance. 

KLM

KLM permits only one type of umbrella and it’s an umbrella with a flat end. Pointy end umbrellas will not be allowed on a KLM flight unless it’s in your checked luggage. Umbrellas can be no longer than 22 inches. Umbrellas won’t count towards your KLM carry-on allowance. Umbrellas can go under the seat, in the overhead bin, or in your carry-on bag.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa’s umbrella policy is similar to Air Canada and British Airways’ umbrella policy meaning, umbrellas will count towards your carry-on allowance when it’s not in your bag.

When an umbrella is not inside your bag, the umbrella cannot exceed 21 inches in length. Umbrellas between 15 to 21 inches are counted as a carry-on. Umbrellas below 15 inches in length are counted as a personal item. You can read about the Lufthansa baggage allowance here

Ryanair

Umbrellas are permitted to fly onboard Ryanair aircraft, but they will count towards your carry-on allowance. Umbrellas onboard below 15 inches in length will be considered a personal item. Umbrellas greater than 15 inches up to 21.6 inches in length will be considered a personal item. 

AirAsia KLIA2 (KUL) apron

Umbrella restrictions at different airports

While airlines might have their own policy about umbrellas, airports and governments might have different rules. Therefore, you should always check with the airport you are departing from to see if an umbrella is permitted to pass through security. 

US Airports

Every airport in the US is regulated by the TSA. Therefore, rules being enforced at one US airport will reflect what other airports in the US practice. Umbrellas are permitted to pass through security at any airport in the US — no matter if the umbrella has a pointy or flat end. 

For example, you can go through security at Detroit airport (DTW) with your umbrella, just like you can go through security at Seattle airport (SEA) with your umbrella.

DTW McNamara Terminal CLEAR TSA Pre-Check

Amsterdam Airport (AMS)

Umbrellas with flat ends are welcomed, but umbrellas with pointy ends are banned. Therefore, foldable umbrellas with a flat end will be allowed at AMS.

Dubai Airport (DXB)

Dubai welcomes all umbrellas, no matter if they have a pointy or flat end.

Hong Kong (HKG)

Any type of umbrella is allowed at HKG, but any umbrella that passes through security will be thoroughly screened. 

Shanghai Airports (PVG & SHA)

Any type of umbrella is allowed to be carried through security at PVG and SHA. Yet, I would like to note that security has made me take out umbrellas from my bag to have them separately scanned.

Tokyo Airports (HND & NRT)

Japan probably has the most relaxed laws when it comes to umbrellas. Any type of umbrella that is any length is allowed through security at either HND or NRT airports. In fact, other airports in Japan will allow umbrellas to pass through security without any problem. 

Tokyo Haneda (HND) D-runway

Can you check an umbrella?

Yes, you can check an umbrella. No airline or airport prohibits you to check an umbrella in your checked luggage. I personally never had any issues with an umbrella in my checked luggage. 

In the past, I was able to check umbrellas in regular checked luggage and sports equipment. No problems have occurred. You will definitely not have to worry about checking in your umbrella in your checked bag.


Final word

The handy umbrella can be used to protect you from the rain or sun. Knowing that you can take an umbrella on the aircraft can save you money from checking luggage or buying an umbrella at your destination. Luckily, most airlines allow you to take an umbrella onboard. If you prefer to check an umbrella in your checked luggage, there will be no issues about that too.

Even though most umbrellas will be fine to go through security, I would strongly recommend a flat end foldable umbrella as that will seem the least threatening to security.

UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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