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Sporting goods and musical instruments

Sporting goods and musical instruments.

You can take most items as part of your free baggage allowance, but might need to pay extra if they're large or heavy.

Musical instruments on British Airways

You can bring your musical instruments with you when you travel with us.

You can take small musical instruments in the cabin as part of (but not in addition to) your free hand baggage allowance, subject to the space available. We will make every effort to accommodate your violin or viola in its hard case in the cabin, even if the case is slightly larger than our maximum baggage size, as we know temperature and pressure can damage these instruments in the hold.

Larger musical instruments, such as guitars and cellos, can be carried in the hold or you can buy an extra seat to carry them with you in the cabin.

Please always transport musical instruments in a hard case. We cannot accept instruments, such as guitars, in soft cases as we don’t want them to get damaged.

What's my hand baggage allowance?

If your musical instrument in its case is larger than 56 x 45 x 25cm (22 x 18 x 10in):

  • It will be checked into the hold as part of your checked baggage allowance.
  • Where possible, we'll try and accommodate instruments of up to 190 x 75 x 65cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5in) in the hold, provided you notify us at least 24 hours before your flight.
  • You may be able to buy an extra seat for your instrument if you wish it to travel in the cabin
  • If your instrument weights more than 23kg you might need to pay an overweight baggage charge. The maximum weight of musical instruments we can carry is 45kg (99lb).
  • If required, you can pay to take more checked bags than your allowance.
  • If you are checking in a large instrument, please allow an additional 15 minutes so that the item can be safely and securely handed over to the Baggage staff.

Contact us about your musical instrument

collapsedshowGuitars

Guitars are not accepted in the cabin as hand baggage as they are too big for the available stowage space.

You can take your guitar packed into a hard guitar case as checked baggage which will travel in the hold. It will count as one item of your checked baggage allowance. We cannot accept any guitar in a soft case as we want to ensure your instrument arrives safely.

You can buy an extra seat, depending on availability, to ensure that your guitar travels on the seat next to you. As it is not possible to do this online, please contact us or your travel agent at least 24 hours before your flight departs. If you purchase an extra seat, please come forward at the start of boarding to secure your guitar in the cabin.

On short haul flights or connecting journeys your guitar will always travel in the hold.

On some long haul flights, we may be able to accept your guitar in the cabin if there is safe stowage space available on the day, but this will be an exception and we cannot guarantee it.

collapsedshowCellos

Depending on availability, you may be able to purchase an extra seat next to you to secure your cello. It's not possible to do this online so please contact us or your travel agent at least 24 hours before your flight departs.

If you arrive at the airport and haven't booked an extra seat in advance, please speak to a British Airways representative. If there are seats available in the cabin you are travelling in, you may be able to buy an extra seat. Otherwise you will need to check your instrument in.

Securing your cello requires additional time so to avoid flight delays, you'll be able to board before other passengers. Please check information screens in the departures area and make your way to your boarding gate as soon as it is announced. Your cabin crew will be on hand to assist if needed.

How to secure your cello on board

collapsedshowDouble basses

We cannot accommodate double basses on board so please check them into the hold. This will be part of your checked baggage allowance and extra bag charges may apply. Please contact us at least 24 hours before your flight departs to discuss your requirements.

Sporting goods on British Airways

You can take many types of sports equipment as part of (but not in addition to) your free checked baggage allowance:

If your equipment isn't listed below or you have any questions, please contact us.

collapsedshowBikes

You can take non-motorised bicycles of up to 190cm (75in) in length as part of your checked baggage, provided they are packed in a protective bicycle bag.

To reduce the risk of damage to your bicycle, please ensure that you:

  • Pack your bike in a protective cover, such as a heavy-duty polythene bike bag, padded case or hard shell.
  • Remove the pedals or fix them inwards.
  • Fix the handlebars sideways so they don't stick out.
  • Deflate the tyres.
collapsedshowDiving equipment

You can take the following diving equipment as part of your checked baggage, provided it is packed in a recognised kit bag and does not exceed the maximum dimensions and weight restrictions for checked baggage:

  • scuba regulator
  • tank harness
  • tank pressure gauge (pressure-sensitive devices may need special packaging; refer to the manufacturer for advice)
  • face mask
  • fins
  • buoyancy control device
  • snorkel
  • weight belt
  • cylinder tank (must be empty and presented at check-in for inspection)
  • spear guns and harpoons (must be unloaded with the spear/harpoon packed separately)

If you need to take diving lamps, please contact us at least 24 hours before you travel to get approval. Once approved, please remove the bulb or fuse and pack it separately from the power source in your hand or checked baggage.

collapsedshowGolf clubs and umbrellas

You can take your golf equipment as part of your checked baggage, provided it does not exceed the maximum weight restrictions for checked baggage and is packed in a recognised bag or case to safeguard against damage. This bag can be up to 190 x 75 x 65cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5in).

If you carry your golf umbrella or parasol separately it will count as one item of your checked baggage allowance.

collapsedshowFirearms, guns and ammunition

We will accept firearms, guns and ammunition only under very specific conditions.

Guidance on carrying guns and ammunition

collapsedshowSki and snowboarding equipment

You can take your skis or snowboard equipment as checked baggage, provided it is packed correctly and within your baggage allowance.

  • Use a bag made for skis or snowboards to carry your equipment. This bag can be no longer than 190cm in length due to airport and aircraft baggage systems restrictions.
  • Your skis/snowboard and boots can be packed in the same checked baggage with your clothes as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum dimensions of 190 x 75 x 65cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5in) and weighs no more than your weight allowance. If the weight is exceeded, you’ll be charged extra at the airport.
  • If you pack your boots separately from your skis or snowboard, your boot-bag can be carried as cabin baggage if it fits into our hand-baggage gauge. If it doesn't fit, it must be checked in, so make sure you know your baggage allowance.

If you're travelling on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare you will need to pay extra to check in any additional bags. It doesn't matter what is in these bags, if they're being checked in, you will have to pay extra.

For safety reasons you are not allowed to board the aircraft wearing your ski boots.

collapsedshowSurfboards

You can take surfboards as part of your checked baggage provided they don't exceed the maximum weight restrictions, are max. 190 x 75 x 65cm (75 x 29.5 x 25.5in) and packed in a recognised bag or case to safeguard against damage.

If your bag weighs more than your allowance you may need to pay an overweight baggage charge.

collapsedshowSporting rackets and sticks

You can only take sports rackets and games sticks on our aircraft in your hold checked baggage. Items such as tennis or squash rackets are not allowed as part of your hand baggage on flights into or out of the UK. This is a security policy issued by the UK Department for Transport. Many other airport authorities will not allow these items through their airport security points so you will be asked to check them in on all our flights, even if they would normally be allowed as hand baggage in other parts of the world. Any racket or stick carried separately counts as one item of baggage so please check your baggage allowance.

If you're travelling on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare, you will need to pay extra to take your rackets or sticks.

More about taking extra bags

collapsedshowBanned and restricted sports equipment

Some sports and recreational equipment, such as Hover Boards, is restricted or prohibited, and you might need to contact us for approval first.

More about banned and restricted items

Travelling on other airlines

Baggage allowances and policies can vary by airline, even if you buy your flights through ba.com.

Check your hand baggage allowance on American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia and Japan Airlines.

For other airlines, please refer to their websites or contact them directly.

Find out which airline you are flying with in Manage My Booking