USA and Canada
According to the TSA and the CATSA-ACSTA, you can bring your skates in your carry on luggage. Skate blades that are not attached to boots, on the other hand, must be in your checked luggage. Whether your skates are in your carry on bag or are in your checked luggage, make sure to pack them so that they will not be damaged if they make contact with each other or with tools and protect them from being bent if your luggage is crushed.
Most other International Transportation Security Agencies do not allow skates in your carry on bag. If you are flying outside of the USA or Canada, you should remove your blades from your boots, carry your boot on the plane with you, and check the blades. If you luggage is lost, you may be able to purchase or borrow blades when you get to your destination, but it is unlikely that you will be able to find boots that will fit you.
Short Track Skates
If you have to remove your short track blades from your boots, remove the blades from the cups and leave the cups attached to the boots in your carry on bag. That way, you won’t have to set up or adjust your blades when you reattach them when you get to your destination.
Long Track Blades
If you have to remove your long track blades from your boots, remove the blades from the bridges and leave the bridges attached to the boots in your carry on bag. That way, you won’t have to set up or adjust your blades when you reattach them when you get to your destination.
Luggage Gets Lost
If you are travelling to a competition, it is a good idea to have a spare pair of skates or blades with you in case of damage during the competition. If you have to check your skates or blades, you can prepare for the case where your luggage gets delayed or lost by trading your spare blades with another friend. The odds that BOTH of your bags will get lost or delayed is less and that way you (or your friend) will at least have your backup blades with you when the competition starts.
Protecting your Blades
There are several ways that you can protect the blades that are checked in you luggage. Some common methods are:
- Pack your Short Track blades in a box like this one from SKATE-TEC:
- Pack your Long Track blades in a case like this one from SKATE-TEC:
- Put your blades in the middle of your foam roller:
- Pack your blades in a drawing tube:
- Make your own case using PVC or ABS pipes and end caps:
Your tools are also subject to travel restrictions. While the TSA allows tools as long as 7″ long, the CATSA-ACSTA only allow tools that are under 2.4″ long and other International Transportation Security Agencies have their own rules. Since some tools might be interpreted as being weapons, it is probably always best to pack your tools in your checked luggage.