Delta Airlines just announced that with immediate effect it will start treating big sports equipment like regular checked bags, meaning that on a worldwide ticket you can check your skis for $30, waaay better on the wallet than the $150 they used to charge. Also included will be surfboards, bicycles, and golf gear.
“Delta customers traveling with surfboards, bicycles, golf clubs, scuba gear and other large-sized sporting equipment will now be allowed to check them as part of their standard baggage allowance.
The airline is eliminating the $150 specialty sports bag fee previously charged for these items, effective for travel worldwide on tickets purchased beginning July 17, 2019. Customers will instead pay a first, second or third checked bag fee according to the fare rules associated with their booking and/or SkyMiles Medallion status.
Complete checked baggage fee detail, including the new sporting equipment fees, can be found at Delta.com. Due to space limitations, acceptance and charges may vary for itineraries on a Delta Connection carrier.”
Atlanta-based Delta’s decision follows a move in May by competitor American Airlines to eliminate oversize bag fees for a variety of sports and music equipment. And United Airlines last year eliminated its $150 or $200 service fees for checking a surfboard, wakeboard or paddleboard to and from California.
Southwest Airlines already allows passengers to check golf bags, scuba equipment and small bicycle boxes as baggage without charging a special fee for sports equipment. Dallas-based Southwest allows passengers to check two bags for free. It charges a $75 fee each way for larger bicycle boxes, surfboards and some other equipment.
And of course there’s the small print. On domestic flights, Delta charges $30 for a first checked bag and $40 for a second checked bag and there are still overweight bag fees on Delta for items that weigh more than 50 pounds, and in many cases the airline says it won’t accept items with length plus width plus height totaling more than 115 inches.