Recently, major US airlines have lowered their hefty baggage fees to check sports equipment like golf clubs, bicycles, skis, and snowboards.  For many airline passengers this is music to their traveling ears as sports gear has traditionally cost in excess of $100 USD (as high as $200 USD) to check with most major US airlines. 

We did a deep dive into what these new airline baggage fees now cost average US travelers when flying with JetBlue, Delta, American, and Spirit airlines.

We’ve also provided handy resource links for additional US airlines like Allegiant, Alaska, United, and Frontier so you can be fully informed when deciding which flight is best for you and your family if traveling with sports equipment.  

While most sports gear is now deemed a standard checked bag fee (no longer considered an oversized or overweight bag category) there are still some caveats to be aware of for each airline we’ve compiled below.  Spoiler alert: Size and weight matters

Our US airline baggage fee list for golf clubs, bicycles, skis, and snowboards is broken out to ensure you don’t arrive at the JetBlue, Delta, American, or Spirit airline check in counter on your next trip and are surprised (possibly enraged) when the airline considers your sports gear still oversized or overweight and charge you an additional steep baggage fee. 

JetBlue sports equipment fees; cyclists, pedal lightly… 

Bicycles: 

  • Subject to an additional $100 USD handling fee + standard check baggage fee ($35-$45 USD).
  • The maximum size for a bicycle case is 80 inches in overall dimension (length + width + height). If the bicycle and container are less than 62 dimensional inches and under 50 lbs, the bike fee ($100 USD) will not be assessed.

Golf clubs: 

It will count as a standard checked bag ($35-$45 USD) and may contain no more than:

  • 14 golf clubs
  • 3 golf balls (make sure to bring extra golf ball sleeves in carry on / additional checked luggage).
  • 1 pair of golf shoes
  • Golf equipment should be packed in a hard-sided container. 
  • JetBlue will also accept soft-sided bags but is not liable for damage to the bag or contents.

Skis / Snowboards: 

One item of ski or snowboarding equipment will count as a checked bag ($35-$45 USD). 

  • 1 pair of skis, with 1 pair of ski poles and 1 pair of ski boots*
  • 1 snowboard, with 1 pair of snowboard boots*
  • Ski and snowboard equipment must be checked in at the ticket counter.

* Ski or snowboard boots, if packed separately from other equipment, must be in a snow boot bag to be considered part of the one item.

Delta Air Lines sports equipment fees; golfers, swing lightly… 

Golf clubs: 

One golf set per passenger and it will count as a standard checked bag ($30-$40 USD) and may contain no more than:

  • One golf bag
  • One set of golf clubs
  • Golf balls and tees
  • One pair golf shoes

Golf bags weighing over 50 lbs will be charged the applicable excess weight fee. 

  • If the outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) exceed 115 linear inches, the item will not be accepted.
  • Items in excess of baggage allowance will be subject to additional or overweight baggage fees ($150 USD).

Skis / Snowboards: 

Ski and snowboard equipment are allowed as checked baggage ($30-$40 USD). One ski/pole bag or one snowboard bag and one boot bag is accepted per passenger.

  • If the outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) exceed 115 linear inches, the item will not be accepted.
  • If the combined weight of ski/snowboard bags and boot bag weighs over 50 lbs, the applicable excess weight fee will be charged ($150 USD).

Bicycles: 

Bicycles, non-motorized touring or single seat racing, are allowed as checked baggage ($30-$40 USD) on most flights, with the exception of certain Delta Connection® carriers.  

  • Bicycles weighing over 50 lbs. will be charged the applicable excess weight fee ($150 USD). 
  • If the outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) exceed 115 linear inches or exceeds 100 lbs, the item will not be accepted. 

American Airlines sports equipment fees; snowboarders, shred wisely…

Skis / Snowboards: 

Standard checked bag fees ($30-$40 USD) of your destination apply up to 50 lbs and 126 inches (length + width + height) and standard overweight fee applies from 51 lbs to 70 lbs. If the equipment bag exceeds 50 lbs and 62 inches it will be charged as a separate checked bag and standard overweight and oversize fees will apply ($100-$200 USD).

One pair of skis or one snowboard and one equipment bag will count as one checked item. You can travel with:

  • 1 pair of skis with poles or a snowboard
  • 1 pair of ski or snowboard boots / bindings
  • 1 helmet or life preserver

Bicycles: 

Standard checked bag fees ($30-$40 USD) of your destination apply up to 50 lbs and 126 inches (length + width + height) or $150 fee applies from 51 lbs to 70 lbs. 

You can travel with 1 non-motorized touring, mountain, tandem, or racing bicycle if the:

  • Bicycle is in a hard-sided case, bicycle bag or box built for bicycle transport
  • Handlebars are fixed sideways
  • Pedals are removed; or
  • Pedals and handlebars are wrapped in plastic foam or a similar material
  • Please note that if your bicycle is not in a hard-sided case, it will be treated as a fragile item.

Golf clubs: 

Standard checked bag fees of your destination apply up to 50 lbs and 126 inches (length + width + height) or $150 fee applies from 51 lbs – 70 lbs.

You can travel with 1 golf bag containing:

  • Golf clubs
  • Golf balls
  • Golf tees
  • 1 pair of golf shoes
  • You can’t travel with swingless golf club load strips.

Spirit Airlines sports equipment fees; read the fine print… 

Spirit Airlines has so many different ways to calculate their baggage fees so we are including their various links below for each category. Baggage fees for sports equipment range from $30 to $150 USD depending on size and weight limits. You’ll have to do some digging on your own based on your flight itinerary and bag size and weight dimensions. 

Golf clubs:

Golf equipment is considered:

  • one golf bag
  • up to 14 golf clubs
  • 12 golf balls, and one pair of golf shoes  

Please be mindful that golf equipment over 40 lbs is considered overweight and costs more, so save by keeping your bag light.

A limited liability release will need to be signed when traveling with golf clubs.

Skis / Snowboard: 

Ski equipment is charged as a standard checked bag.  Please be mindful of overweight (over 40 lbs) and oversized (over 62 inches) baggage costs more.

One item of checked ski/snowboard equipment counts as one checked bag and includes:

  • 1 pair of skis, 1 pair of ski poles and 1 pair of ski boots, or
  • 1 snowboard and 1 pair of snowboard boots.
  • A limited liability release will need to be signed when traveling with skis or snowboards.

Bicycles:

You can bring non-motorized bicycles with a single seat on your trip as checked baggage for an additional charge ($75 USD, each way). 

To add a bicycle to your reservation, please contact one of their reservation centers or visit a Customer Service Agent at the airport.

A limited liability release will need to be signed when traveling with a bicycle.

Flying another US airline? Here are handy links to their sports equipment fee internal pages:

Allegiant Air

Frontier Airlines 

Alaska Airlines 

United Airlines

Looking for an alternative to checking sports gear? Give LugLess a test run…

While the airline checked bag prices have definitely dropped for sports gear there are still many unknowns for size and weight limits per airline. If you are looking to travel through the airport with both hands free, give LugLess a try and ship your golf clubs, skis, snowboards, and bicycles ahead of time on your next adventure seeking trip.

1 Comment

  1. Can I check a box with an airline? on April 28, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    […] If you are sending sports equipment like skis, snowboards, or golf clubs the baggage fees and requirements vary greatly per airline. Here’s a breakdown and handy list. […]