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I regularly travel nationally and occasionally internationally to play roller derby. If my roller skates get lost in transit (it has happened to people I know) my entire trip is ruined, so I prefer to take them as carry-on. When I'm going through airport security however, it is hit and miss as to whether they let you take them through. It varies between airports and even security staff. One time a security officer asked their supervisor and they were cleared to go through, another time the supervisor said no.

Are roller skates specifically allowed through airport security as carry on? I'm interested in Australia, the UK, the USA and Spain right now, but more broadly continental Europe as I may be flying there sometime in the future.

  • I have no idea how expensive these things are but if you are competing internationally would you not have a spare pair you could check in just in case? – mdewey Jan 8 '18 at 14:13
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    There are more factors than just cost in the purchase of new skates, but just on that, a good pair that I'd be comfortable using in competition would cost AUD$1000+. Also, just because I'm travelling internationally doesn't mean my way is paid for: even skaters at the highest level have to pay their own way – Phill Jan 8 '18 at 23:35
  • I recommend you bring whatever documentation you may have about your competition, showing that you are a participant, etc. It may tip the scales in your favour if you are asked about them. Also, to emphasize what Johns-305 said in his answer: arrive at the airport early! – Mike Harris Jan 9 '18 at 16:06
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Unfortunately, it's going to be hit-or-miss for quite some time.

Most of the organizations that publish screening rules specifically prohibit roller skates, but they also do not specifically allow them. TSA being the notable exception: roller skates

However, they also always note: The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

Because of this, you may, as has already happened, encounter a zealous screener who sees the skate as a tool or the toe stop as a blunt object or equates the prohibition of ice skates to all skates.

Realistically, all you can do is get there early enough to repack and check the skates if you are prevented from taking them into the concourse. In terminals with multiple separated checkpoints, you can always try at another checkpoint if refused at the first.

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