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I have a friend coming over this Christmas who wanted to bring along his tennis racket. Though the recreation center at my university is probably going to be closed, the access to the tennis courts stays unrestricted given a proper id and I am looking forward to a few good games.

Since my friend doesn't want to check-in any baggage, I was hoping that he would be able to carry a tennis racket in the on-board luggage. I called TSA this morning and they said it is fine. I was looking for a published rule he can point to if there's an issue. Then I found this: https://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/assets/prohibiteditems_brochure.pdf. The brochure quite explicitly says that tennis rackets are fine on-board.

However, there's this blog post which clubs tennis rackets together with golf clubs, baseball bats, spears, bows and arrows and likes. So the score is 2 against 1.

In such a case which reference should be looked at as the ultimate authority? And what is the best way to invoke such an authority when the belts are out and the shoes are off?

  • The airline is Delta. – Shashank Sawant Dec 20 '14 at 19:19
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    Just to point out, the contradiction that I am referring to in the OP lies within the TSA's publications and not in any airline's regulations. – Shashank Sawant Dec 20 '14 at 19:21
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It seems that the blog entry you linked is outdated (2012), as a newer similar blog entry simply does not list the tennis rackets as a prohibited item onboard while it does list the other items. The TSA brochure has the most recent policies, which clearly allows it.

Anyway, here is a list of some of the airlines policies regarding tennis racquets, they would have not allowed them if they were not allowed by TSA:

Bear in mind that most (if not all) airlines will count it as a carry-on baggage, so if your carry-on allowance is one piece, then the racquet will use that, you will need to pay some $ if you are carrying a bag with you along with it.

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