I had a friend fly in to visit recently, and I knew we would be playing darts. I wondered if he could bring his darts with him on the plane. So, I did some research to see if darts were allowed on aircraft.
So can you bring darts on a plane? Yes, darts are allowed to be taken on aircraft when you are traveling. According to the TSA, they can only be brought on board your flight if they are packed in your checked luggage. They cannot be packed in your carry on baggage.
With all the rules and regulations today around security when flying it can be complicated when determining what you can and can’t bring with you when arriving at an airport. Let’s look at this further and see what the rules are when you plan to bring your favorite darts with you on your next trip.
What do the rules say?
If you have flown commercially in the last 17 years, then you know what an ordeal it can be when going through airport security. If you are flying within the United States or are flying to the United States, the agency that determines what you can bring on your next flight comes from the Transportation Security Agency otherwise known as the TSA. On the TSA’s website, it has a section called “What Can I Bring.” Check out the TSA’s What Can I Bring site. There are 453 items categorized on the site with explanations of whether you can bring each item on your carry on bags or checked bags or both.
When you look up darts on the What Can I Bring site, is says that darts cannot be in your carry on
Based on the guidance from the TSA it seems that if you do plan to bring darts with you, that you should pack them in your checked bags and make sure the darts are not loose in the bag but in a darts case. One of my favorite small darts cases is the Casemaster Select Case (Click to see it on Amazon.com). If the darts are in a locked case, make sure you use a TSA accepted lock. Otherwise, should the TSA inspector need to screen your checked baggage, damage can occur to your bag or darts if a non-accepted lock is
What are the penalties?
According to the TSA should you bring prohibited items through a security checkpoint, you should expect a delay and can lead up to a fine and sometimes even arrest. The TSA also says that they will not return prohibited items left at a security checkpoint. At a minimum, if you have your darts in your carry on bags and the TSA officer discovers them, expect to have to turn over your darts to the TSA if you want to proceed through the checkpoint. Additionally, the TSA may impose a fine ranging from the lowest fine of $340 up to the highest fine of $13,333.
What about soft tip darts?
In my research, no transportation security authority, airport, or airline differentiates between steel tip darts and soft tip darts. Many people on Reddit did state that they were able to take soft tip darts in their carry on luggage without a problem through security checkpoints. Other said that TSA officers stopped them and questioned them about the soft tip darts, but ultimately let them through.
The soft tip darts lack the reason why darts are considered prohibited items on aircraft, steel tip points. Soft dart tip darts can be disassembled. Specifically, the plastic point can be removed. If you decide to pack them in your carryon luggage, it would probably be best to disassemble them and know that you are risking that a TSA officer could require you to leave them at the security checkpoint should they determine they fall under the darts category. To play it safe it would be best to pack them in your check luggage.
Why bring your favorite darts with you?
Darts is a very personal game, and a player’s favorite darts can give them the confidence to play better. There are also many variables that go into a dart to make the right combination for each player and their throwing style. Because of this most people prefer to use the darts they have been practicing with and have played with many times versus a random set of darts at the local bar or pub.
If you are traveling and plan on playing darts, bringing your favorite darts might be an option for you. The issue to keep in mind is that if you accidentally pack them in your carry on bag, there is a chance you might lose them if the TSA officer finds them at the security checkpoint. You might be risking the loss of your favorite darts.
If you are dead set on bringing your darts on your next trip and you won’t be checking your bags, or you don’t want to risk losing them you have a couple of options. While reading Reddit, I noticed a few people said they shipped their darts in advance to a friend before they arrived. If you are going somewhere and don’t have a friend on the other end, contact your hotel before you arrive about shipping a package to them. Most hotel chains in the United States will allow this and will provide you directions on whom to address the package to.
Another option would be to find a darts retailer located in the place you are traveling to and purchasing a new set of darts identical to your favorite set. This can be a longshot in most parts of the United States, and the world as dart retailers can be hard to find. If you do find a darts retailer, the odds that they have the exact combination of darts you like is rare since there are so many combinations available. It’s always worth a shot to research ahead of time. You never know, you might find a pretty cool dart shop and pick something up that becomes your new favorite dart set.
What about flying
in other countries?
The worlds a big place and darts are more popular outside of the United States. Each country has specific aviation security rules governed by an agency or authority. As a general rule, when flying to the United States traveler typically need to be aware of TSA’s rules and regulations. When in doubt always check with the airport and the airline you are traveling with for specific rules.
Here is a list of some other countries aviation rules on traveling with darts:
- United Kingdom
- The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says that darts are okay in checked luggage (Allowed in hold luggage), but are not allowed in hand luggage.
- Link to the CAA
- The primary airport in the Netherlands, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol does not explicitly mention darts as a prohibited item, but KLM does say that darts are okay in checked luggage, but are not allowed hand luggage.
- Link to the KLM
- The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) says darts with a point measuring 6cm (2.4 in) or less are permitted in carry-on luggage. Darts with longer points must be packed in checked baggage. CATSA defines the point as from the end of the barrel to the end of the point.
- Link to CATSA
What if I can’t find an answer to if I can bring something on an airplane? The TSA says that if you have any specific questions on whether something can be packed in your carry on luggage to take a photo and send it to the “Ask TSA” on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. TSA answers questions from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.
Can I take the rest of my darts gear with me on the plane? Yes, extra flights, stems, rings, point sharpeners, flight protectors, and so forth can all be taken on a plane.