You can take sporting or musical items as part of your free baggage allowance, but you might need to pay extra if they're large or heavy. In addition, we may need you to tell us in advance, so we can plan space in the hold.
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.
You can take non-motorised bicycles of up to 190cm (75in) in length as part of your checked baggage allowance, provided:
When you have booked your flight, remember to call and let us know the size and weight of the bike you are bringing, so we can be ready to accept it.
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:
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.
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.
We will accept firearms and ammunition as hold baggage only under very specific conditions.
You can take your skis or snowboard equipment as checked baggage, provided it is packed correctly and within 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.
You can take surfboards and kayaks with paddles 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.
Larger surfboards, kayaks, canoes and paddles need to be sent as cargo with our partner IAG Cargo.
You can only take sports rackets and games sticks on our aircraft in your checked baggage in the hold. We recommend that they are packed in a bag or case that offers suitable protection.
Items such as tennis or squash rackets, fishing rods, billiard/snooker/pool cues and hockey sticks are not allowed as part of your hand baggage as:
Any racket or stick carried separately counts as one item of baggage so please check your baggage allowance.
Some sports and recreational equipment, such as Hover Boards, is restricted or prohibited, and you might need to contact us for approval first.
You can bring your musical instruments with you when you fly with us.
Please carry your instrument in a rigid protective case, whether it is travelling in the cabin or in the hold, and ensure you are properly insured. We cannot accept instruments for travel in soft cases, e.g. guitars, as we don’t want them to get damaged.
Instruments such as violins, violas or small wind instruments, can be carried in the cabin as part of, but not in addition to, your free hand baggage allowance, so long as the case is within the dimensions of 80 x 45 x 25cm [31 x 18 x 10in].
This means you can have a small handbag/laptop size bag as well as your smaller musical instrument case, up to 80cm in length, as your second piece of hand baggage. Our airport staff will make every effort to find space in the cabin for musical instruments within the above dimensions, as we know extreme temperatures and extra handling may cause damage in the hold.
An instrument in its case measuring up to 140 x 50 x 40cm [55 x 20 x 16in], such as a guitar, a larger wind instrument or a cello, can be carried in the cabin if you buy an extra seat for it by contacting us at least 24 hours before your flight - this is subject to seat availability. Otherwise, these instruments will travel in the hold as part of your checked baggage allowance . You can pay to take more checked bags in the hold than your allowance.
We’ll make every effort to accommodate a large instrument, such as a double bass, with dimensions in its case 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. 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 you are checking an instrument into the hold, please allow an additional 15 minutes so that the item can be safely and securely handed over to the airport baggage team.
Contact us about travelling with your musical instrument
Guitars are not accepted in the cabin as hand baggage as they are too big for the available stowage. You may be able to buy an extra seat, to ensure that your guitar travels next to you, if there are appropriate seats available. As it is not possible to do this online, please contact us or your travel agent at least 24 hours before your flight departs.
You can take your guitar as checked baggage. It must be packed into a hard or rigid guitar case to protect it as it will travel in the hold. It will count as one item of your checked baggage allowance. We cannot accept any guitar in a soft, non-rigid case in the hold as we want to ensure your instrument arrives safely. If you don’t have a protective hard or rigid guitar case, you must buy a seat for your guitar at least 24 hours before your flight.
On some direct long haul journeys, with no connections to short haul flights, we may be able to accept your guitar in place of your larger piece of hand baggage if you are travelling in our Club World or First cabin. However, there needs to be safe cabin stowage space available on the day so, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee it.
If you have bought a seat in the cabin for your guitar, you will need extra time to secure it in place. To avoid flight delays, you'll be able to board before other passengers. We recommend that your guitar is carried in a hard or rigid case for protection. Please make your way to your boarding gate as soon as it is announced and make yourself known to the gate team.
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.
If you have bought a seat in the cabin for your cello, you will need extra time to secure it in place. To avoid flight delays, you'll be able to board before other passengers. Please make your way to your boarding gate as soon as it is announced and make yourself known to the gate team.
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.
Baggage allowances and policies can vary by airline, even if you buy your flights through ba.com.
For other airlines, please refer to their websites or contact them directly.