When going on a trip to a sunny resort, you may plan on spending a lot of time on the beach. It makes sense that you’d want to pack some of your beach gear, including your beach chairs. However, airlines have major restrictions on the luggage that you can check or carry on to the plane.
The last time I went on a plane ride, I was curious about bring beach chairs. I had already bought the chairs and didn’t want to spend more on expensive versions once I got to the beach.
So, can you check beach chairs on a plane? To save you some time planning your next trip, here is what I found about checking beach chairs with your luggage.
Checked Luggage vs Carry-on Luggage
If you’re interested in bringing beach chairs on a plane, the first thing you should know is that a beach chair is too large to bring as a carry-on item.
I was surprised to learn that the FAA limits each passenger flying within the US to one carry-on piece of luggage. The airlines have their own size and weight restrictions for these items.
The most common carry-on size limit is 22 x 14 x 9 inches. The typical weight limit is 40 pounds. While the beach chairs may be lighter than 40 pounds, they are going to exceed the size limit.
Checked Baggage Policies Vary
While you cannot bring a beach chair as a carry-on item, you may be able to bring it as checked luggage. These items are stored in the cargo hold of the plane along with your suitcases. However, the checked baggage policies vary between airlines.
Unfortunately, most airlines only allow one checked piece of luggage before charging additional fees. If I check a large suitcase, I need to pay extra to check the beach chairs and the fee varies with each airline.
There are also a variety of exceptions to the limit of one check-in bag. For example, American Airlines allows up to three bags without additional fees if you qualify for elite flyer status. However, you’ll most likely need to pay a fee to check your chairs.
If you have multiple beach chairs that you want to check, you may want to find a way to transport them in sets of two. For example, if you can fit more than one chair into a duffel bag, you may avoid paying for each chair. The duffel bag just needs to meet the weight and size limits for checked baggage.
Weight and Size Limits for Checked Baggage
Most airlines will allow you to transport beach chairs if they meet the weight and size limits. As with the one-bag policy, the weight and size limits vary with each airline.
The typical size limit is 62 inches. To determine the size of a bag or object, the airline uses the total dimensions of the length, width, and height.
For example, I have a set of beach chairs that are over 30 inches tall, 26 inches wide, and 24 inches deep. When unfolded, these chairs exceed the typical size limit. When folded, they are only 30 inches tall, 26 inches wide, and a couple inches thick. The folded chairs are just below the 62-inch limit.
The typical weight limit is 50 pounds per bag or object. Unless your beach chairs are made from solid steel and feature thick padding, you shouldn’t need to worry about the weight limit.
If your beach chairs exceed the size limit or weight limit, you may still be allowed to check them. Most airlines charge an additional fee for oversized, overweight, or extra baggage. However, United Airlines and several other airlines only allow these items when there is enough space in the cargo area.
Conclusion: Can You Check Beach Chairs on a Plane?
The bottom line is that you should be able to check your beach chair on your next flight. The answer depends on the size of your chairs and the size limits for checked bags. The drawback is that you’ll need to pay additional fees.
The best way to find out if you can check your chairs on the plane is to contact the airline. Ask about their checked baggage policy and whether they allow beach chairs. The airline likely allows you to check beach chairs and you can find out how much it will cost.