It is said that the world today is like a global village. People are able to traverse their local county, region, country, continent and even the globe faster because of airplanes.
The use of airplanes as a mode of transportation of course reduces the time taken to move from one place to another. With that being said, every mode of transportation has its own set of rules and guidelines.
Air travel, for example, attracts more restrictions and safety measures. People traveling from one country to another require relevant documents to be allowed into the host country.
Then, there is the threat of insecurity and the cross-border movement of banned or illegal goods. Unlike road transport where you can move virtually any type of legal goods freely, there are some considerations when it comes to using airplanes.
In the world of soccer, airplanes have facilitated the free movement of players, coaching staff, fans and other relevant people to tournaments and competitions across the world.
Do you remember in 2010 when there were flight disruptions in Europe due to bad weather in what was called the ‘Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash cloud’? This forced Spain’s FC Barcelona to travel about 700km from Catalonia to Milan via road for their UEFA Champions League semi-final game against Inter Milan.
Barcelona, who were firm favorites heading into the tie, went on to lose the match 3-1 and ultimately bow out of the competition after the second leg. In this case, taking a flight were it not for the issue, would have probably eased the burden on players.
There are different kinds of things that are carried on planes. To further understand if soccer balls can be carried on a plane, we’ll look at the luggage policy and some guidelines to ensure that you are on the right track.
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Can I take a soccer ball on an airplane?
Maybe you have wondered if it is possible to carry a soccer ball in an airplane. Soccer balls are part of sports equipment. There are several things you must consider for this action to take place.
Generally, it is okay to carry soccer balls in an airplane. However, the airplane safety authority has to validate that the sports equipment you intend to carry cannot be used to cause harm to yourself or others.
Any sports equipment that can be used as a weapon will not be allowed as carry-on luggage. For example baseball bats, hockey sticks and cricket bats can easily be used as weapons. These can be carried as checked luggage after being inspected.
Sports balls such as basketball, soccer balls and volleyballs on the other hand do not fall under this category and should be allowed as carry-on luggage. The catch is that the balls must be deflated before boarding.
After deflating them, it will become easier to place them in your luggage bag and carry them with you. There is a danger of carrying inflated balls. For example, they might blow up when high in the air because of a change in pressure.
This noise or a ball bursting can be pretty terrifying especially in a plane. We wouldn’t want to cause a panic or raise an alarm would we? Therefore deflate the ball and pack it properly before boarding.
How to bring a soccer ball on a plane?
Carrying a soccer ball to an airplane requires you to go through the normal procedures as you would any other time. Typically when you go to the airport, you should undergo the following stages:
- Check-in for your flight- Things such as tickets and other traveling documents are processed.
- Luggage check- This is where you give airport personnel access to any bag you will be traveling with for inspection.
- Go through the departures section and boarding gate to the airplane.
- Board- This is the time to walk into the plane and travel to the designated place.
Soccer balls on a plane will be categorized as luggage. You can either decide to place them as carry-on luggage or checked luggage. Remember to adhere to the luggage limit which is normally 20 kg for checked luggage.
Can a soccer ball pop?
Before checking in for your flight, ensure that the soccer balls are deflated and properly packed. It is still a good practice to also secure the bag by locking it after it has been inspected.
If you took the soccer ball as carry-on luggage, proceed to the boarding gate and once you are at your allocated seat, carefully place the bag in the luggage compartment provided.
It is always good practice to deflate the ball before you check in for your flight. An inflated ball will undergo increased atmospheric pressure due to the change in sea levels when the airplane is in the air.
There is a risk of the inflated balls popping while in an airplane and this can cause some kind of tension. Even if it is under checked luggage, it is a good habit to ensure they are deflated.
Soccer balls are permitted sports equipment that you can carry in an airplane. They are not deemed to cause any immediate danger or threat to passengers. Therefore, you can carry them as hand luggage.
However, there are some guidelines that you should follow which will facilitate the action of carrying soccer balls inside the airplane. What is recommended as a good action is carrying the ball when it is in its deflated state.
Inflated balls can pop while on the plane due to the change in pressure and sea levels. Ensure that you follow the proper procedures given by their respective airport authorities right from checking in to the point of boarding the flight.
At the end of the day, you would want to have your soccer ball and any other luggage with you. So, let us keep following the rules and guidelines set when you want to travel by airplane.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!