Can I Take a Metal Cane or Walking Sticks On a Plane? (TSA Rules)

So can you take a metal cane on a plane?

Walking sticks or canes are considered a necessary aid for some people, mainly elderly people or passengers with medicinal issues, but traveling with canes or walking sticks is a bit complicated.

Airport authorities in the US like the TSA have special and different policies on traveling with canes and walking sticks on planes and through the security checkpoint.

A walking stick is a weapon in the eyes of the TSA and it can be used as a bludgeon to hit someone in the head.

Here is the short answer:

Passengers can take walking canes or sticks on board the airplane when used for mobility aids only, and they won’t be counted toward your carry on luggage, passengers who want to bring a walking stick as a souvenir or for someone else they will need to place it in checked luggage during the flight.

Let us dive right in.

Can I Take a Metal Cane On An Airplane-02

Take Walking Sticks and Metal Canes through the Security Checkpoint and on Board the Airplane

According to the TSA (The Transportation Security Administration), you can carry your walking stick or metal cane through the security checkpoint if you use it for medical conditions and it does not matter if it is metal stick or a wooden stick or made from other materials.

Just make sure that the cane does not have some type of weapon shape or there is something hidden inside the hand especially sharp items ( like a sword or knife ), these types of items are mostly built in antique walking sticks.

The TSA will not approve these types of walking sticks even if used for medical purposes.

You will have to place your walking stick in the X-ray belt, and you can kindly  ask the TSA agent if you need any help until you get reunited with your walking stick.

 Here is what the TSA has to say about traveling with walking sticks and canes.

They have separated info about walking sticks and canes; you may notice that walking sticks can have some type of pointed or sharp head.

You may notice that some people even use trekking and hiking poles / sticks for medical reasons, and the TSA allows them.

Therefore, I feel like we need some real answers from the TSA. to know people’s opinions about traveling with a walking stick so I searched Twitter and here is what I found.

Carla asked the TSA on Twitter about her father’s 47” walking stick which uses for walking assistance.

The AskTSA customer service replied that Walking sticks used as mobility aids are allowed through the checkpoint.

Where Do I Put My Cane On an Airplane?

Taking medical walking canes through the security checkpoint is permitted on most airports security checkpoints, but you may face a slight measurement issue with the airline if your cane is not foldable.

It is better to travel with a foldable walking stick that you can place effortlessly under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment, but if you travel with a regular walking stick you can ask the flight attendant to assist you find a good place for your walking stick and mostly in the overhead compartment.

Passengers who want to transport other types of canes and sticks, for decoration or for any other purposes are still permitted but only in checked luggage.

Meagan asked The TSA about these costume canes, and the TSA replied that these kinds of canes should be transported in checked luggage.

Taking Walking Sticks in Checked Luggage

Any type of walking sticks or canes that are not used for medicinal reasons should go in checked luggage.

Many people want to bring an old or antique walking stick from or to their destination, and the best approach to do so is by sending it in checked luggage.

You may need to hit your airline if you bring a bulky cane, which is not foldable, and confirm with them the size of your cane.  That will help you avoid any inconvenience and wasting time at the airport.

On the other hand, if you are traveling with a foldable cane you can easily place it inside your checked bag and voila.

If you want to take an old cane, make sure to examine it before traveling with it. There may be an impressive thing hidden inside it (that happens all the time with old canes).

Traveling with some type of weapons to other countries (even without knowing) is unacceptable and may put you in serious trouble, but that is tolerable when traveling domestically.

For example, this passenger did not even know that his walking stick had a sword inside until the TSA found it.

What Are Airlines Rules about Traveling With Cans and Walking Sticks?

We checked some airlines websites to know the policy when traveling with canes for medical and non-medical purposes and here is what we found:

Airlines Regulations
United airlines” you can take your walking cane or stick on United airlines on board for mobility aids only, otherwise all walking sticks should go in checked luggage”.
American Airlines“Mobility and medical devices don’t count as carry-on limits”.
Delta Airlines“Federal regulations require that a cane must be stowed for take off and landings in an approved storage compartment”.
JetBlue” You can bring a walking stick on Jetblue for medical purposes, make sure that you bring a cane or walking stick that fits in the overhead bin”.
Spirit Airlines“Mobility devices that commonly fit onboard like canes – these items cannot exceed 39x26x11 inches (99x116x63 cm)”.
Southwest Airlines” Cans or assistive devices are allowed on southwest on board the airplane without any problem “.
Alaska Airlines” cans and walking sticks for mobility aids may be brought onboard without counting toward your carry-on limit”.
Air Canada“Walking stick/poles (i.e. Nordic walking equipment) are not permitted through the security checkpoint. The only exception to this is if the walking stick/pole is being used as a mobility aid”
British Airways” walking aids and wheelchairs are allowed in the cabin, but they will need to be inspected or screened with airport security”.
Qantas Airways“If needed, you’re welcome to bring walking canes and crutches into the aircraft cabin. You can use these to get to the departure gate and board the aircraft, where it will be stowed in an overhead locker or alternative storage space”.

Can You Bring More Than One Walking Stick On a Plane?

Yes, you can carry additional walking sticks or canes on planes, but you are only allowed to take one that you are using in carry-on luggage and you will need to check the second or the rest as check in luggage.

If you are flying internationally, ensure that you do not take too many pieces that will make the customs question the purpose of the large quantity.

Overall, it is better to avoid taking too many pieces. Most airlines nowadays are too cocky with their luggage fees; you can easily find good canes at your destination with affordable prices rather than paying for the whooping airline charges.

Final Thoughts

You can take a metal cane on a plane or any other type of walking sticks, wood sticks, trekking poles, hiking poles if used for medical aids.

On the other hand, any walking stick with a weapon shape or has something sharp inside. It will not be allowed on any airplane as carry-on even if used for medical reasons; these types can be transported in checked luggage.

Make sure that you bring a clean and normal walking stick.

The best way to travel with a walking stick is to use a foldable one. That will help you avoid the hassle of the security checkpoints and even on board the airplane.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

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