I am a figure skater. I have been since I was 7 years old and I really try to keep up with it now, even while traveling. If I am to be in any one place for a significant period of time, I take my skates with me. As of this moment, I have taken my skates to South Korea, Scotland and England, and now Colorado (where I currently am!). For each of these adventures I have flown. This is how I took my ice skates on a plane.
Let me tell you how to do it!
Despite what one might first assume, there are not a lot of restrictions on traveling with skates of any kind, be they roller or ice skates. There isn’t a lot of information online to explain this, however, so that’s why I have decided to give a bit of a run-down.
You can travel with your skates in your checked baggage, your carry-on, or as your personal item. It seems odd given that they are sort-of less sharp kitchen knives attached to shoes but whatever. God I hope the TSA doesn’t see this and have a conniption… My argument has always been that you’d have better luck bludgeoning someone over the head with a pair of skates than trying to cut someone anyways.
I do have a few tips though.
You want to make them look as non-threatening as possible so that security doesn’t feel like giving you a hard time. I would make sure my skates have completely dried (no rusting allowed!) and then put guards on. If they’ll fit, I’d even put soakers over the guards.
While a lot of places will talk about them being your “personal item” this isn’t really necessary. When going to the UK I simply put them in my carry-on and didn’t have a problem. It doesn’t make sense to waste baggage on just skates. I did have a minor heart-attack when the TSA pulled my bag aside, but it turned out to be my sour patch kids. No problem with skates, but candy? Now how did I ever overlook that?
I took my skates to Seoul, South Korea in my checked luggage but I honestly wouldn’t recommend that. You never know when your luggage will be lost and you’re out $1700 for skates. Yeah.
People honestly aren’t very sure when it comes to skates, there’s a lot of “ummms” “yeah…” and “…sure” comments. It doesn’t tend to fill one with confidence but I haven’t really had a problem yet. As always, check with your airline if you’re not sure. I tend to fly American Airlines as that’s where a lot of my points are and they actually fly out of Wichita, where I’m currently based. However, it’s not really about the airline and more about the security. If you don’t give them a reason to look in your bag and you’re in a bigger airport I doubt they’ll look twice.
I also recommend checking with the TSA just before you fly on the off chance they see this post and decide to be mean-er than they already are (if you’re US). Although, they do not specify the kind of skates which is not terribly helpful. Anyways, this is how I do it! Good luck with taking your ice skates on a plane <3