Whenever planning to take a trip or vacation, it is always wise to prepare by packing all of the essential items which you will need on your travels. Some vacationers will rightfully wish to bring an umbrella along with them in case they run into some bad weather. However, this may cause some to wonder, are umbrellas allowed on planes?
Umbrellas are allowed on planes. However, certain types of umbrellas, such as long, pointy, cane style umbrellas, will not be permitted to be carried onto a plane, as they can be too easily weaponized and pose a danger while in flight. The TSA has the ultimate say on what is allowed and what is not.
In this article, we will look at the rules that airlines have outlined regarding which items a passenger is permitted to carry onto the plane with them. We will also discuss the difference between carry-on and checked-in luggage. Lastly, we will present the reader with some potential alternatives to umbrellas, which may better suit their needs, so keep reading!
The Rules for Airplane Carry-On Items
Any time you plan to board an airliner, it is highly recommended that you do a little bit of research into what they do and do not allow on the flight beforehand. Airplane security is considered a very serious issue, and sometimes, items that you might believe to be innocent and harmless may be disapproved for reasons which are not immediately obvious.
At one time, the Office of Transportation Security had disallowed passengers traveling aboard airliners to carry on with them umbrellas. This was because many umbrellas are long, sharp, and can easily be implemented as a weapon in the wrong hands, which would pose a serious flight risk.
Small umbrellas have since been permitted to be carried on flights, provided they are not able to be used as a weapon. If you do bring an umbrella on board with you, never open it up inside the plane as this can cause a disturbance to staff and other passengers.
Compact folding umbrellas can be carried onto planes and stored in the overhead compartment, but cane-style umbrellas, on the other hand, cannot. So we may conclude that, in regards to whether or not an umbrella is allowed on a plane, it comes down to the type of umbrella we are carrying.
Ultimately though, the TSA officers (transportation security officers) have complete discretion as to what is permitted on the plane, and they possess the authority to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
In order to determine what items you are permitted to fly with, visit the Transportation Security Association’s website for a complete list.
Penalties for Airplane Rules Violations
Oftentimes, people may be unaware that they have violated a rule, and this is understandable; but this is why it is wise to check the TSA website beforehand, just to be safe.
Luggage infractions, depending on the blatancy and severity, may lead to confiscation, fines, flight ejection, or arrest.
Keep in mind that, as stated earlier, you may check with the TSA website in order to confirm or deny the eligibility for certain items to be carried on a plane with you, the TSA officers are not required to abide by this list in a strict sense, and do possess the power to turn away whichever items they see fit regardless if the website permits it.
Do not attempt to challenge or argue with TSA agents as this can lead to a worsening situation for all parties involved.
Carry-On Luggage vs. Checked-In Baggage
When traveling by airplane, there are two ways in which you may transport your luggage and other items. The first is what is referred to as carry-on luggage, and the second is known as checked-in baggage.
In this section, we will define the two categories and explain the difference between them, so that you can make intelligent judgement calls as to which each part of your luggage will fall under.
Knowing what luggage to carry on board and what luggage to check in with customs prior to your arrival at the airport will save time and confusion, and will make your travel experience much more relaxing and enjoyable.
As the name implies, carry-on items are items that may be brought directly aboard the plane with you, to your seat, and stored in the overhead compartment. These are typically smaller bags and belongings, such as knapsacks, pillows, and microelectronics.
Overhead compartments are designed to be accessed while in flight. However, passengers will have to share these compartments, and storage is extremely limited, so carry-on items should be reserved only for the bare essential items.
Carry-on items may include:
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Hair combs or brushes
- Cell phone chargers
Checked-in baggage is baggage, which is processed and retained by customs throughout the duration of the flight. These items are larger and cannot be carried onto the flight. Commonly checked-in items may include bulky suitcases and pets.
Umbrellas, which are deemed unsafe to be carried onto a plane, may be checked in at customs and stored in the plane’s luggage compartment.
Luggage, which is checked in through the customs department, is scanned through a series of x-ray machines in order to ensure safety and security and are then loaded into the storage compartment located underneath the plane.
Alternatives to Using an Umbrella
If you are planning to travel via airplane and avoid the hassle of carrying and storing an umbrella, some alternatives exist that may be more feasible.
The number one most effective alternative to umbrellas is a waterproof rain jacket.
The advantage of swapping your umbrella for a rain jacket is that it can be worn like everyday clothing, eliminating the dilemma of transportation and storage.
If you do not already own a rain jacket, I recommend trying on this Charles River Nylon Rain Jacket. It is 100% waterproof, it’s lightweight, it doubles as a windbreaker, and it is available in over a dozen different colors. For the price, it can not be beaten.
Airplanes can get pretty crowded at times, and many individuals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with flying in the first place, so it is important to always exercise basic airplane etiquette whenever traveling.
- Never use strong deodorant, cologne, or perfume in the air as this may act as an irritant for fellow passengers who suffer from allergies.
- Never play music or movies loudly because this may upset passengers who are trying to sleep or just simply relax.
- Always consider how much space you are taking up. Never lean or lay on people sitting next to you, and never carry onto the plane any more items than necessary. Failure to do so may create an overly claustrophobic environment.
We sought to clarify whether or not umbrellas are allowed on airplanes. The answer is that at the time of writing this article, umbrellas are currently permitted on airplanes. However, certain types of umbrellas, particularly cane umbrellas, are not allowed to be carried onboard a commercial aircraft due to their ability to become a weapon and create a flight risk.
The good news is that even if your umbrella is deemed ineligible to be carried onto the plane, it is still able to be checked in at customs and transported in the plane’s luggage compartment.
Ultimately the TSA officers will have the discretionary power to decide on an individual basis what is permissible and what is not. So, always plan ahead and do your due diligence before traveling.