Sports equipment

Planning an active break? Good news - you can bring sports equipment onto your Virgin Atlantic flight, as part of your checked baggage allowance.

Baggage update

Before you get to the airport we need you to know we’ve made some changes.

For bookings ticketed on/after 31 August 2016.

Passengers wishing to take sports equipment, may do so as part of their checked baggage allowance. For any extra bags, you'll need to pay an extra baggage fee.

For bookings ticketed before 31 August 2016.

Our previous sports equipment policy will still apply: allowing one extra piece of sports equipment in addition to your checked bagagge allowance.

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For bookings ticketed on/after 01 June 2016.

Standard dimensions of 190cm x 75cm x 65cm (75" x 30" x 26") and 23kg will apply regardless of the equipment type. In addition, we can no longer carry the following:

- Canoes and kayaks
- Hang gliders
- Windsurfing equipment

For bookings ticketed prior to 01 June 2016 please check our information below for accepted dimensions.

If your sports equipment meets all the requirements set out below, just head to the airport, you don't need to contact us to give us any warning. If it's bigger than that, you won't be able to check it in as baggage - but our friends in 

Virgin Atlantic Cargo (opens in a new window) may be able to offer assistance to help you out.

There's also a few restrictions specific to certain items - see below for all the details.

If you're travelling on one of our partner airlines, their baggage allowance may apply. Please check with the operating carrier before you travel.

Archery

Want to take your archery equipment with you? No problem, you can bring a bag containing one bow, one quiver and your arrows as part of your baggage allowance. As long as your equipment doesn’t weigh more than 23kg. Bullseye!

Archery equipment

Bicycles

If you’re planning a cycling trip and only your own ride will do, you’ll be glad to know you can bring your bicycle with you, as part of your baggage allowance - as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.

This applies to non-motorised bicycles (including tandems), which should be transported in a protective box or bag – which you will need to provide yourself.

You should also take the following measures to protect your trusty steed:

  • Partially deflate the tyres to reduce the risk of damage.
  • Turn the handlebars so they’re in line with the frame.
  • Remove any attachments, including pedals.
  • Ensure the gearing is especially well protected.
  • Protect the frame with bubble wrap.

As with all your luggage, we’ll treat your bicycle with lots of care, but note that we can’t consider compensation claims for cosmetic damage such as paint chips. We recommend you specifically insure your bicycle for extra peace of mind.

Happy riding!

Bicycle equipment

Canoes and kayaks

You may have noticed we’ve made some changes. For bookings made on/after 01 June 2016, we will no longer be accepting canoes or kayaks.

If you made a booking prior to 01 June 2016 you can carry either a canoe or kayak as your one piece of sports equipment providing the length is no more than 450cm (162") and 23kg weight .

We know how valuable equipment like this is and treat your property with care, but you should still take a few measures to protect your canoe or kayak for its flight. When packing, please ensure that:

  • It's securely wrapped (ideally within a padded bag);
  • Items like paddles, seats, buoyancy aids, spray decks and helmets are packed inside the canoe/kayak (provided the overall weight limit is not exceeded).

Canoe and kayak equipment

Cricket

Off on a cricket tour? You’re welcome to bring a bag with all your cricket equipment (bats, balls, wickets and pads) as part of your baggage allowance, as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.

Cricket equipment

Diving

Many of our destinations offer great diving – so make the most of it! You can bring your own diving equipment as part of yor baggage allowance as long as the overall weight isn’t more than 23kg.

Your diving equipment may include:

  • One empty cylinder
  • One regulator
  • Buoyancy control jacket
  • Mask
  • Pressure gauge
  • One set of fins
  • One spear gun (unloaded, with spears packed separately).
  • Snorkel
  • Diver’s knife
  • Weight belt

Diving equipment

Fencing

Fencing swords packed in a suitable rigid container.

The sword must not exceed 190cm (75") in length.

Fishing

If you’re planning a fishing trip, you can bring your equipment with you as part of your baggage allowance. There’s no extra charge as long as it all weighs in at under 23kg.

Fishing equipment can comprise:

  • Two rods
  • One reel
  • One pair of fishing boots
  • One tackle box
  • One landing net

Fishing equipment

Golf

Planning a golf trip with Virgin Atlantic? We’ll fly your golf equipment as part of your baggage allowance as long as it weighs in at 23kg or less.

Here’s what your golf equipment can include:

  • One bag (containing a maximum of 14 clubs).
  • A dozen balls
  • One pair of golf shoes.

Golf equipment

Hang gliding

You may have noticed we’ve made some changes. For bookings made on/after 01 June 2016, we will no longer be accepting hang gliders. 

If you made a booking prior to 01 June 2016 you can carry a hang glider as your one piece of sports equipment providing the length is no more than 250cm (98") and no more than 23kg.

Hang gliding equipment

Hockey

Off on tour with your hockey team? You can bring your hockey equipment on a Virgin Atlantic flight, as part of your baggage allowance as long as it weighs less than 23kg.

Your equipment bag can contain sticks, balls and pads.

Hockey equipment

Kitesurfing

Plenty of our destinations boast gorgeous coastlines, so why not make the most of it by bringing your kitesurfing gear?

As part of your baggage allowance, here’s what you can bring: (as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg)

Kitesurfing:

  • One board
  • One sail

These must be wrapped as a single item in a bag.

Note that the board must not exceed 190cm (75") in length. However if you've booked prior to 01 June 2016 the following dimensions will apply 277cm (109").

Windsurfing and kite surfing equipment

Lacrosse

As with other sporting gear, you can bring your lacrosse equipment with you when you fly Virgin Atlantic, as part of your baggage allowance. As long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.

Lacrosse equipment

Parachuting

If you’ll be skydiving at your destination, you’re welcome to bring your parachute onto your Virgin Atlantic flight, as part of your baggage allowance. Note that it will be carried in the hold and not the cabin.

As long as your parachute doesn’t exceed 23kg in weight.

Parachuting equipment

Paragliding

Want to spend time paragliding at your destination?

You can bring your paragliding gear – a canopy or wing, a harness, and one helmet – packed within a rucksack as part of your baggage allowance. As long as it all weighs 23kg or less.

Paragliding equipment

Shooting

As you might imagine, we have a few rules surrounding firearms.

As part of your baggage allowance you can check in as many firearms as you’d like, provided you have the correct paperwork to confirm you’re allowed to own each item. You’ll also need paperwork demonstrating you are allowed to import, export and own each item within the countries your trip will take you to.

If you’re travelling to the US, Shanghai or South Africa, there are additional considerations. Please check below for further details.

Excess baggage charges will apply should you exceed your free baggage allowance (details of fees are on our additional baggage page).

For clarity, we define a firearm as anything that fires a projectile – whether it uses air, string or explosives to do so. This includes items such as:

  • Sporting rifles
  • Pellet guns
  • Crossbows
  • Antique weapons (these must be decommissioned, so they are no longer able to fire).

Virgin Atlantic has Home Office permission to carry handguns classified under section 5 of the Dangerous Weapons Act. As with sporting firearms, you must have the appropriate documentation for both ownership and carriage of these items.

Ammunition

We define the following items as ammunition:

  • Lead pellets
  • Arrows
  • Crossbow bolts
  • Bullets

Note that all firearms must be empty when you pack them. Ammunition must be packed separately from firearms in its original packaging and locked in a solid case.

Ammunition is limited to 5kgs per passenger, in line with IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, and cannot be pooled with other passengers.

Any ammunition containing explosive bullets, toxins or incendiary projectiles will not be accepted on our flights in any circumstances.

Travelling with firearms to specific destinations

South Africa

You’ll need a temporary import licence to take a weapon into South Africa. You can obtain it on arrival, and at the time of writing there’s no charge. When flying to Johannesburg or Cape Town with us, please contact one of our ground staff when you leave the aircraft – they’ll help you locate the relevant official to get the licence.

If you’re a resident of South Africa, you won’t need the import licence, but you must have the relevant South African firearm permit.

You’ll need to present the following items to obtain the temporary import licence (please note, we’re not required to check you’re in possession of every single one to let you fly):

  • Valid passport
  • Return airline ticket (to country of origin).
  • Weapons licence(s) and/or proof of ownership.
  • Proof of export from the country of origin.
  • Invitation letter from an Outfitter (professional hunter) in South Africa.
  • All the weapons you’re travelling with.
  • All the ammunition you’re travelling with (this will be inspected by the South African Police Service).

If you’re unable to show the above, the South African Police will hold your weapon until your return flight.

Shanghai

No firearms are permitted on this route, with the exception of diplomats.

USA

The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is responsible for regulating the carriage of firearms into the US.

To enter the States with a firearm or ammunition intended for hunting or sporting purposes, visitors not intending to live in the US must first obtain an approved Form 6 import permit from the ATF. You can get the form from the US Embassy, or download it from the ATF website at www.atf.gov. (opens in a new window)

Note that you’ll need to apply for permission to fly with your firearm a minimum of one week in advance of travel.

Shooting equipment

Skiing, snowboarding and water skiing

Are you heading for the slopes? We’ll transport your ski or snowboard gear as part of your baggage allowance - as long as it doesn’t exceed 23kg.

Here’s what you can bring:

Skiing/waterskiing:

  • One pair of skis (or water skis).
  • Ski boots
  • Poles
  • A mask or helmet.

Snowboarding:

  • One snowboard
  • Boots and bindings
  • One helmet

If you’re the talented type that can ski and snowboard, note that we can’t take both sets of gear as part of your baggage allocation – it’s one or the other.

Skiing equipment

Surfing and boogie boarding

Whether you’re surfin’ USA or another of our destinations, you’re welcome to bring your surfboard or boogie board on Virgin Atlantic flights as part of your baggage allowance.

Your board musn't exceed our standard dimensions of 190cm x 75cm x 65cm (75" x 30" x 26") and 23kg in weight.

Surfing and boogie board equipment

Tennis

We’ll carry your tennis gear on Virgin Atlantic flights, as part of your baggage allowance.

You can bring one racquet kit bag containing your tennis racquets and balls. The only condition is that it must weigh no more than 23kg.

Tennis equipment

Ten pin bowling

You’re welcome to bring your lucky bowling ball and shoes with you next time you fly Virgin Atlantic, as part of your baggage allowance. Strike!

As long as your bowling case doesn’t exceed 23kg.

Ten pin bowling equipment

Windsurfing

You may have noticed we’ve made some changes. For bookings made on/after 01 June 2016, we will no longer be accepting windsurfing equipment.

If you made a booking prior to 01 June 2016 you can carry your windsurf as your one piece of sports equipment providing the length is no more than 277cm (109") and it weighs no more than 23kg.

Here’s what you can bring:

  • One board
  • One mast
  • One sail

These must be wrapped as a single item in a bag.

Windsurfing and kite surfing equipment

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