If your sports equipment meets all the requirements set out below, just head to the airport. You don't need to contact us to give us any warning. If it's bigger than that or it weighs more than 32kg, you won't be able to check it in as baggage - but our friends at Virgin Atlantic Cargo may be able to help you out.
There might be a few restrictions specific to certain items. If these apply, you'll find the details under each sports category listed below.
If you're travelling on or have a connecting flight with one of our partner airlines, their baggage allowance will apply and you'll need to check with the operating carrier before you travel.
Want to take your archery equipment with you? No problem, there is some paperwork to fill in at check in, then as part of your baggage allowance you can bring:
The bow and arrows must be loaded in separate bags/containers to eachother, e.g. the bow in one bag, and the arrows in another.
Just make sure your equipment doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.
Please see our Conditions of Carriage for more information about taking archery equipment with you on a Virgin Atlantic flight.
If you’re planning a cycling trip and only your own ride will do, you’ll be glad to know you can bring your bicycle with you, as part of your baggage allowance - as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.
This applies to non-motorised bicycles (including tandems), which should be transported in a protective box or bag – which you will need to provide yourself.
You should also take the following measures to protect your trusty steed:
Partially deflate the tyres to reduce the risk of damage.
Turn the handlebars so they’re in line with the frame.
Remove any attachments, including pedals.
Ensure the gearing is especially well protected.
Protect the frame with bubble wrap.
As with all your luggage, we’ll treat your bicycle with lots of care, but note that we can’t consider compensation claims for cosmetic damage such as paint chips. We recommend you specifically insure your bicycle for extra peace of mind.
Off on a cricket tour? You’re welcome to bring a bag with all your cricket equipment (bats, balls, wickets and pads) as part of your baggage allowance, as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.
Many of our destinations offer great diving – so make the most of it! You can bring your own diving equipment as part of your baggage allowance as long as the overall weight isn’t more than 23kg.
Your diving equipment may include:
One empty cylinder
Buoyancy control jacket
One set of fins
One spear gun (unloaded, with spears packed separately)
You can bring fencing swords packed in a suitable rigid container.
The sword must not exceed 190cm (75") in length.
If you’re planning a fishing trip, you can bring your equipment with you as part of your baggage allowance. There’s no extra charge as long as it all weighs in at under 23kg.
Fishing equipment can comprise:
One pair of fishing boots
One tackle box
One landing net
Footballs and rugby balls
Due to the change in air pressure inflight, all balls such as footballs and rugby balls must be partially deflated prior to acceptance.
Planning a golf trip with Virgin Atlantic? We’ll fly your golf equipment as part of your baggage allowance as long as it weighs in at 23kg or less.
Here’s what your golf equipment can include:
One bag (containing a maximum of 14 clubs)
A dozen balls
One pair of golf shoes
Off on tour with your hockey team? You can bring your hockey equipment on a Virgin Atlantic flight, as part of your baggage allowance as long as it weighs less than 23kg.
Your equipment bag can contain sticks, balls and pads.
Plenty of our destinations boast gorgeous coastlines, so why not make the most of it by bringing your kitesurfing gear?
As part of your baggage allowance, here’s what you can bring (as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg):
These must be wrapped as a single item in a bag.
The board must not exceed 190cm (75") in length.
As with other sporting gear, you can bring your lacrosse equipment with you when you fly Virgin Atlantic, as part of your baggage allowance. As long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.
If you’ll be skydiving at your destination, you’re welcome to bring your parachute onto your Virgin Atlantic flight, as part of your baggage allowance – as long as it doesn’t exceed 23kg in weight.
Note that it will be carried in the hold and not the cabin.
Want to spend time paragliding at your destination?
You can bring the following paragliding gear as part of your baggage allowance:
A canopy or wing
Just make sure it's all packed within a rucksack and all weighs 23kg or less.
As you might imagine, we have a few rules surrounding firearms.
As part of your baggage allowance you can check in as many firearms as you’d like, provided you have the correct paperwork to confirm you’re allowed to own each item. You’ll also need paperwork demonstrating you are allowed to import, export and own each item within the countries your trip will take you to.
Excess baggage charges will apply should you exceed your baggage allowance (details of fees are on our additional baggage page).
Flying into Manchester or Edinburgh with firearms is currently prohibited.
Flying into Turks and Caicos with firearms or ammunition is strictly prohibited.
If you’re travelling to the US, Shanghai or South Africa, there are additional considerations. Please check below for further details.
What we consider a firearm to be:
For clarity, we define a firearm as anything that fires a projectile – whether it uses air, string or explosives to do so. This includes items such as:
Antique weapons (these must be decommissioned, so they are no longer able to fire).
Virgin Atlantic has Home Office permission to carry handguns classified under section 5 of the Dangerous Weapons Act. As with sporting firearms, you must have the appropriate documentation for both ownership and carriage of these items.
We define the following items as ammunition:
Note that all firearms must be empty when you pack them. Ammunition must be packed separately from firearms in its original packaging and locked in a solid case.
Ammunition is limited to 5kgs per passenger, in line with IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, and cannot be pooled with other passengers.
Any ammunition containing explosive bullets, toxins or incendiary projectiles will not be accepted on our flights in any circumstances.
Travelling with firearms to specific destinations
You’ll need a temporary import licence to take a weapon into South Africa. You can obtain it on arrival, and at the time of writing there’s no charge. When flying to Johannesburg with us, please contact one of our ground staff when you leave the aircraft – they’ll help you locate the relevant official to get the licence.
If you’re a resident of South Africa, you won’t need the import licence, but you must have the relevant South African firearm permit.
You’ll need to present the following items to obtain the temporary import licence (please note, we’re not required to check you’re in possession of every single one to let you fly):
Return airline ticket (to country of origin)
Weapons licence(s) and/or proof of ownership
Proof of export from the country of origin
Invitation letter from an Outfitter (professional hunter) in South Africa
All the weapons you’re travelling with
All the ammunition you’re travelling with (this will be inspected by the South African Police Service).
If you’re unable to show the above, the South African Police will hold your weapon until your return flight.
No firearms are permitted on this route, with the exception of diplomats and sports teams.
Turks and Caicos
Firearms and ammunition are not permitted on this route under any circumstances.
The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is responsible for regulating the carriage of firearms into the US.
To enter the States with a firearm or ammunition intended for hunting or sporting purposes, visitors not intending to live in the US must first obtain an approved Form 6 import permit from the ATF. You can get the form from the US Embassy, or download it from the ATF website at www.atf.gov.
Note that you’ll need to apply for permission to fly with your firearm a minimum of one week in advance of travel.
Skiing, snowboarding and water skiing
Are you heading for the slopes? We’ll transport your ski or snowboard gear as part of your baggage allowance - as long as it doesn’t exceed 23kg.
Here’s what you can bring:
One pair of skis (or water skis)
A mask or helmet.
Boots and bindings
If you can ski and snowboard (all power to you!) note that we can’t take both sets of gear as part of your baggage allocation – it’s one or the other.
Surfing and boogie boarding
Whether you’re surfin’ USA or another of our destinations, you’re welcome to bring your surfboard or boogie board on Virgin Atlantic flights as part of your baggage allowance.
Your board can't be larger than our standard dimensions of 190cm x 75cm x 65cm (75" x 30" x 26") and 23kg in weight.
We’ll carry your tennis gear on Virgin Atlantic flights, as part of your baggage allowance.
You can bring one racquet kit bag containing your tennis racquets and balls. The only condition is that it must weigh no more than 23kg.
Ten pin bowling
You’re welcome to bring your lucky bowling ball and shoes with you next time you fly Virgin Atlantic, as part of your baggage allowance up to 23kg. Strike!