Whether you play billiards or American pool, there may be a time when you want to take your cue on a trip for an event or tournament. Whatever the reason may be, the most common question you may be wondering is if you can take a pool cue on an airplane.
Yes, you can take your cue with you on an airplane. The TSA allows for cue sticks to be taken aboard through checked in luggage. In other countries, like the UK, the laws may differ, but it is always safe to assume that your cue stick must be checked in.
Before bringing your cue stick with you, be sure to check your local government’s website regarding what is and isn’t allowed on an airplane, as these policies can change at anytime.
Can You Bring a Pool Cue on Your Carry On?
If you have packed your cue in your hand luggage, even it’s been securely wrapped with bubble wrap and clothing, you may very well still be asked to remove it if you are going through the TSA. Don’t be caught out! After September in 2001, and new legislation, a pool cue could be seen as a weapon onboard a flight and even though the UK Government website states you can take it on board, the TSA and many airlines say you most definitely can’t.
At this time, on the official UK government website of restricted travel items, pool and snooker cues are indeed allowed as hand luggage and checked in luggage.
The Best Way to Fly With a Pool Cue
When planning to play in a tournament, visit friends or just take a leisure break, your packing list could very well have your cue down as an essential item, after all, many pool or billiard players have their special cue! If you’re planning a flight with your cue and wanting a hassle-free experience at check-in, you will need to have prepared in advance. This will mean deciding the best way to keep it safe outside of the cabin.
A pool cue can be a rather personal item, like a tailored suit or handmade shoes, and if you are a professional player or a serious hobbyist, chances are you have a custom-made one or ‘lucky’ one. Damage to a cue can make or break your game mentally.
Did you know that Stephen Hendry won 7 of his World Championships using a cue he was given as a Christmas present by his parents when he was 14? It was cheap, well used and bent, yet to him it was priceless.
Be warned, Stephen’s Hendry cue was damaged on a flight in 2003 and there is much speculation as to whether this was partially to blame for the gradual decline in his performance following this. So, it’s essential to take extra precautions when travelling, and to keep your cue safe from damage..
When making your decisions about taking your cue on an airplane, there are some things to think about. Even though you are allowed to take it on board, you need to ensure you have thought about it carefully.
- The baggage handlers at airports can be a little over-zealous with their handling!
- Will your cue be open to moisture, heat or excessively cold conditions?
- Do you have a hard-base suitcase?
- Is it worth insuring your cue separately?
- Do you need to take it with you this time?
- Could you use a courier service to take it instead, with their full insurance to protect against loss or damage?
If you decide that it is essential your cue comes with you, ensure you are prepared in advance to give your cue the best chance to get to your destination undamaged.
Here are some options for packing when you’re preparing to leave:
Ways to Pack
- Pack your cue in its usual case, then bubble wrap and place it wrapped again in clothes in your suitcase.
- Wrap each piece of your cue in bubble wrap and then wrap inside pieces of clothing separately.
- Pack your cue in its usual case and then pack inside a toolbox or gun case that has a TSA lock. Check-in separately to your suitcase.
Be sure to check your governments website to make sure what the exact rules and regulations are for bringing a pool cue aboard the airplane. The TSA and UK both have different regulations, but they can change at anytime without notice.
If your pool cue is an important part of your life, you will need peace of mind that when you take a flight, it will arrive and return home again safe, sound and without problems. Be sure to pack it with extra care as to ensure it doesn’t break during the flight.
Considering the possible issues that could arise through handling, loss, theft or damage at an airport, there is a lot to think about, however, one thing is certain, you can take it onboard your flight. For a fuss-free trip though, without Stephen Hendry’s damaging experience, just make sure it’s safely packed and secure in the hold.