This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Skiers, surfers and musicians rejoice: American Airlines just made it a lot cheaper to check certain sports equipment and musical instruments. Effective today, May 21, American Airlines will treat oversized luggage the same as standard baggage for many sports and music equipment.

This change drastically cuts the cost to check items such as surfboards, skies and snowboards — which cost $150 to check prior to today. This change matches — and surpasses — a move that United made in October 2018 to treat surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards as standard checked bags for flights that start or end in California. Delta still charges $150 for surfboards and other sports equipment.

Note that the sports equipment or musical instruments will still need to weigh less than 50 lbs and the length, width and height must measure less than 126 inches (320 cm). If the equipment meets the requirements, standard bag fees starting at $30 per bag apply. The $150 fee will still apply if the bag weighs between 51-70 lbs — except for first and business class passengers, Executive Platinum and oneworld Emerald members who can check bags up to 70 lbs at no extra cost.

There are some sports equipment which require “special handling requirements” and will continue to incur a $150 fee such as antlers, hang gliders, scuba tanks and kite/windsurfing items.

Specific equipment that American Airlines now lists as costing the same as standard checked bag fees includes:

  • Archery
  • Baseball bats
  • Bicycles
  • Bowling
  • Camping equipment
  • Curling equipment
  • Fencing equipment
  • Fishing
  • Golf clubs
  • Hockey, cricket and lacrosse equipment
  • Javelin and pole vault
  • Oars and paddles
  • Parachutes
  • Scuba gear without tanks
  • Shooting equipment
  • Skateboards
  • Skies and snowboards
  • Watersports boards
  • Tennis, badminton, squash or raquetball

This is even more welcome news to American Airlines elites, Oneworld elites and credit card holders that can now use their baggage allowance toward checking sports equipment and musical instruments for free. And, as noted above, Executive Platinum and oneworld Emerald elites get waived overweight bag fees, meaning they can check sporting equipment or musical instrument bags up to 70 lbs at no extra cost.

Cards that offer a free checked bag on domestic itineraries includes:

Featured image by aviation-images.com via Getty Images

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.