Whether you are participating in a competition, or wanted to bring an antique or a fake sword on your next flight! you might be wondering if it is legal to bring swords on an airplane.
There are some rules to keep in mind, these items are considered weapons.
Generally the answer is yes but only as checked baggage, the TSA and airline carriers do not allow swords and even fake swords in carry-on baggage, blades of all types must be packed as checked baggage.
Keep reading to know more about traveling with swords in both domestic and international travel and how to pack them for your next flight.
Let’s dive right in.
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Can I Take a Sword Through Airport Security?
The TSA Rules
Well, The TSA and most airlines already made it clear about transporting sharp items that can be used to harm someone ” it will not be allowed through the suite checkpoint and in carry-on”.
This rule applies on knives; any type of swords, including plastic and decorated swords wether they are double-edge or edgeless.
Here is a screenshot from the TSA website.
Even wooden Katana replicas are not allowed in carry-on baggage.
Keith wanted to bring this plastic Taekwondo competition sword, which is about 3 feet long.
The TSA customer service replied that swords and any other items that resemble realistic firearms weapon must be packed in checked bags.
|Items||Allowed in Carry-on||Allowed in checked baggage|
|Real Swords (Katana, samurai etc)||No||Yes|
|Fencing swords ( Foil ,Épée, sabre )||No||Yes|
|Fake Plastic Swords||No||Yes|
Can You Take a Sword In Checked Luggage?
The TSA and most airlines do allow transporting swords in checked bags, however, you need consider your airline luggage size and weight.
If the sword didn’t fit as standard checked baggage you will be required to pay some additional fee.
Checked bags have high chance to be lost or damaged.
So if you are traveling with an expensive sword like a Katana or a Chizuru Yukimura sword, you should be careful wether the sword will make it to your destination or not.
Can I Bring a Sword Through Customs?
When traveling internationally, it is important to be aware of the customs and import regulations of your destination country.
Some countries have strict rules around importing sharp swords to their territories, while some countries do not allow passengers importing swords like the UK for example.
So ensure to double check the official website of the exact county of your destination, you can also call your airline for more guidelines.
How To Pack a Sword For a Flight?
Whether you are taking an antique sword, a fake sword you will need to make sure that it is well protected and safe until it arrives at its destination.
- Use a well built rifle case: swords can be easily damaged and scratched during transport, so ensure that you use a strong rifle case. (this will prevent any injuries for luggage inspectors and handlers and also protect your sword)
- Add some extra caution: You can add bubble wrap or other protective materials like a piece of cloth, and place the sword in the middle, this will prevent any dents and damage, when the luggage is handled roughly or tossed around.
- Label your case: do not forget to label the case with your name, address and phone number ( in case the bag is mishandled ), you can use self adhesive tags, it will be helpful also if you attach a tag to your sword hand, just in case the outer tags get destroyed or removed.
- Double check your airline guidelines: before packing your sword make sure that you contact your airline if they have any specific restrictions ( confirm with them that you have a sword ), even though the TSA does allow these items in checked baggage, some airlines may have different rules.
- Tell the airline what is inside the case: if the airline staff ask you what is inside the case do not be ambiguous ( as Brittany stated in the video below ) just tell them that you are taking a sword and everything will go smoothly.
- Ship your sword : if you don’t want to disturb yourself with the TSA and airline regulations you may consider shipping your sharp ahead to your destination.
How To Legally Transport a Sword?
Even though it is legally allowed to take a sword into most of the US states, some of them may have different jurisdiction and restrictions that can be being over 18 years old, for business reasons, self-defense, competition or for any other reason.
See The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) for more rules with the US.
Check also this video from Brittany, she provided some cool tips on how to legally travel with a sword.
Bringing all type of swords on a plane in a domestic flight is possible, but only as checked baggage.
Remember to follow the TSA regulations and pack the sword properly, also ensure that it is protected to avoid any harm for the security officers and luggage handlers.
If you are traveling with a real sword on international flights, check the rules of your destination country before booking your flight.
We hopes this helps
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