Can You Take an Umbrella On a Plane: Carry On Baggage Rules & Regulations

Last Updated on September 12, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Generally the TSA permits umbrellas in both checked baggage and carry on baggage
  • Umbrellas with spikes might be considered to be potential weapons and prohibited
  • Some airlines require your umbrella to be packed inside your luggage making a folding compact umbrella more suitable
  • Other airlines allow you to carry an umbrella on the the plane in your hand as a personal item

You should have no problems getting through airport security with an umbrella.

But whether you need to pack you umbrella inside your carry-on luggage depends on which airline you are traveling with.

If you use a folding umbrella and pack it inside your carry on luggage allowance you will have no problems taking it with you inside the cabin.

But sometimes a folding umbrella doesn’t quite give you the shelter from rain that you need.

What if you want to carry on something larger like a golf umbrella or a walking cane umbrella?

US Airline Policies For Umbrellas

Often airlines allow you 1 carry on suitcase and 1 personal item such as a handbag or a briefcase. They sometimes also specify other items that are permitted on-board in addition to the one bag, one personal item allowance.

Let’s take a look at what the most popular airlines in the US have to say about umbrellas:

  • Alaska Airlines – Umbrellas “may be brought onboard without counting toward your carry-on limit.” But they must be a “compact size that easily fits into an overhead bin, under the seat or in a suitcase”
  • American Airlines – American Airlines don’t mention umbrellas in any of their documentation. We have reached out to American Airlines for comment. They do not provide any information regarding carrying on umbrellas. UPDATE FROM AA Customer Service: “Umbrellas are allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed. It would be placed in the overhead bin and would not be considered an additional item, so no charge. Just like having a cane. Customer Relations AA Ref#1-28594064881″
  • Delta“The following items do not count as personal items (they’re freebies): A jacket and/or umbrella”. So you can carry your umbrella on to a Delta flight and it doesn’t need to be inside your case.
  • Frontier – You don’t get any special allowance for an umbrella with Frontier. It needs to be under 18 inches to fit inside your personal item bag i.e. bring a compact umbrella that fits inside your handbag.
  • Jetblue – JetBlue claim on their website that you are allowed to take an umbrella in addition to your carry-on and personal item. However, there are some reports on Twitter of umbrellas being refused boarding. To be on the safe side i’d take a compact umbrella.
  • Southwest“Walking canes or umbrellas are not considered carry on bags or a personal item and don’t count against the “one-bag plus one personal-type item” limit.” So you can take your walking cane or umbrella on Southwest. Also Southwest are all over Twitter saying you can bring your umbrella so long as you can fit it inside the overhead bin laying on top of other luggage. Though I did find one Twitter reply saying that your umbrella will count as your personal item if it can’t fit inside your personal item bag.
  • Spirit Airlines – Spirit charge for carry on bags. They are not included in the basic fares. However they do say. “You can bring one personal item and bring items like an umbrella, camera, infant diaper bag, assistive devices, outer garments (e.g., coats, hats and wraps), reading material and food for the flight for no additional charge.” On Twitter is seems some gate staff don’t always follow these rules. I would try to take a compact umbrella with these guys though. They’re generally more restrictive with carry on baggage than other companies.
  • United Airlines“In addition to your one carry-on bag and personal item, you can bring… an umbrella.” No umbrella rage to be found on Twitter. It seems like you are good to go on United with your umbrella.

Here are some of the customer service tweets that we discovered during our research:

Randy discovered that Frontier enforces an 18” length limit for free umbrellas:

That’s because Frontier count your umbrella as your personal item meaning you can’t bring a purse and an umbrella.

International Airline Umbrella Policies

There are too many airlines worldwide to list all the rules.

As a rule of thumb expensive international flights will allow carry on umbrellas.

Cheaper budget airlines are trying to squeeze more people on their flights and allow less free luggage.

If your flight is with a budget airline you might not be able to take an over-sized umbrella. Check with your airline.

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