Can You Bring a Soccer Ball On a Plane 2024?

Traveling must be a fun adventure, and if you are a soccer fan or you like to do some hot stepping here and there you want to take your soccer ball wherever you go.

But traveling with such items is not easy as it seems, soccer balls or or a football as they call it in Europe have pressure inside that causes some concerns for airlines and the aviation authorities.

But here is the short answer before we go into more details.

You can bring a soccer ball on a plane in both carry-on and checked luggage with most airlines inside the US and on international flights, but the soccer ball must be fully or semi deflated.

To take it more further we have found some of the TSA and airlines answers to ensure that there are no hidden rules before you head to the airport with your soccer ball.

Let’s dive right in.

orange and black soccer ball
Photo by Griffin Wooldridge on
Carry on luggageChecked luggage
Allowed Allowed

Take a Soccer Ball Through The Security Checkpoint

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) regulates what you can bring to or from the US in both domestic and. international flights.

And here is what they have about taking soccer balls on all the US flights.

Bring Soccer Ball / TSA Credit

They do not have any problem with taking all types of balls including soccer balls through the security checkpoint.

That means you can bring your soccer ball on any US airline, whether it is United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue or Delta etc..

@Deb asked the TSA if she could bring a soccer ball as a carry into her American Airlines flight and the AskTSA replied that she is good to bring a soccer ball through the security checkpoint with any problem.

Twitter Credit / The TSA answers about taking a soccer ball on carry-on

However; the final decision rests always to the TSA officer at the airport to decide whether an item is allowed or not.

To ensure that your soccer ball will make it on board it is better to deflate it before heading to the airport, that will give you more chance to avoid any questions from the security agent.

If you are planning to pack all your soccer equipment in one place you can check this beautiful backpack on Amazon. It is perfect for carrying any type of ball, a soccer ball, volleyball, basketball, or football and your shoes. The other compartments can hold clothes and other accessories.

Twitter Credit / Take a ball on a plane

Take A Soccer Ball On Checked Baggage

Soccer balls are good to go in checked luggage on most airlines.

Most airlines and airport security advise to transport similar items in checked luggage, that will help speed up the screening process and avoid long lines at the security checkpoint.

So as long as a soccer ball is allowed in checked luggage on any airline you can just deflate your ball and place it inside your bag.

Also if you are traveling with your pump and the needle which are handy tools to always take along with your ball, it is better to place them in your checked bag, that way the airport security will take time to inspect them in case they trigger the alarm.

A long that can be used as a bludgeon needs to be placed inside your checked luggage, the TSA or any airport security will not allow any item that can be used to knock someone in the head.

Twitter Credit

Take A Soccer Ball On International Flights

When traveling internationally, most airport securities do not have any issues with soccer balls, however some airlines may have some additional restrictions, but most of the airlines did not specify them on their websites.

Most of the time if you are traveling with only one piece or two that are fully deflated you want to face any problem.

For example the CATSA which regulates the airport security in Canada, they have stated that balls are allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage, but some airlines may have certain restrictions.


On the other hand if you want to bring a large quantity of soccer balls to a certain country and for example you have the intent to sell them, there will be some headache at your destination country, especially with the customs.

Will A Soccer Ball Explode On A Plane?

If you haven’t watch the experiment of chips pop on the airplane at a certain height you can watch the video, (it is also a fun video), because almost the same will be applied with any inflated items.

The pressure will cause the soccer ball to burst in certain heights and under intense pressure, but it will not cause an excessive explosion.

That is why most airlines advise to deflate any type of balls that are transporting in both carry-on and checked luggage.

If you just buy a new soccer ball, most of the time it is already deflated so you want to have any problem with it bursting open.

How To Deflate Your Soccer Ball At The Airport?

It is always better to take a pump with you if you are planing. to take a soccer ball, in the other you can use a small needle which is allowed in carry-on luggage on most airlines without any problem.

If you show up to the airport and the TSA or the airport security ask you to deflate your ball, here are some items to help you save the situation. If you don’t have one in your bag you can ask any passenger and they will be happy to help.

  • A needle
  • Pen or a pencil
  • Small sharp objects like nails

Final Thoughts

We hope that we have answered all your questions.

Generally soccer balls are allowed in both carry and checked usage on any airlines, as they are not considered dangerous items.

But to avoid any surprises or the ball pops, the TSA and most airlines recommend deflating your soccer ball before transporting it in your bag.

Of course it is always better to invest and travel with a quality soccer ball that will not explode on any airplanes, unless an intense pressure is applied

Happy travels

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