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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

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