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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 take musical instruments (except double basses) on board as part of (but not in addition to) your free hand baggage allowance, i.e. the number, size and weight of bags you can take in the cabin.

Please always transport musical instruments in a hard-backed case.

What's my hand baggage allowance?

 

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

  • Please check it 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), provided you notify us at least 24 hours before your flight.
  • 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

You can take your guitar with you on our aircraft as baggage checked into the hold. It will be counted as one item of baggage so please check your allowance.

All guitars carried on our aircraft must be packed in a hard case to prevent damage. We cannot accept a guitar in a soft case for travel. You will be asked to package it appropriately before it can be checked into the hold.

Guitars are not allowed in the cabin as hand baggage as they are too long for the available stowage space. You will need to check your guitar into the hold or you can buy an extra seat for it, subject to availability.

You can purchase an extra seat next to you to secure your guitar in the cabin, depending on availability. It's not possible to do this online so you will need to 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 appropriate seats available in your cabin of travel, you may be able to buy an extra seat. Otherwise you will need to check your instrument into the hold.

Securing your guitar 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.

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 recognised bicycle bag. Please ensure that you:

  • pack the bike in a protective case or bag
  • remove the pedals or fix them inwards
  • fix the handlebars sideways
  • deflate the tyres to reduce the risk of damage
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 as checked baggage, provided they are packed correctly and within your baggage allowance:

  • Only use a recognised ski or snowboard bag for your skis or snowboard – this can be up to 190cm in length
  • Pack your ski poles with your skis in the same bag – this will count as one item of baggage
  • Your ski or snowboard boots must be packed separately from your skis or snowboard – this will count as a separate item of baggage.

If you’re travelling with your skis/snowboard in a bag and your ski/snowboard boot-bag as well as your free checked baggage allowance, you will be charged for two extra bags.

If you're travelling on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare you will need to pay extra to take any additional bags, including those with your skis, snowboard or boots.

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

More about taking extra bags

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