Wondering what the airlines rules and regulations are around traveling with golf clubs? We’ve pulled together a listing of airlines comments regarding golf clubs as of February 2013.
The below is intended as a summary for convenience. Always make sure to check with the airline’s website for full detail of current restrictions on traveling with golf equipment. And make sure you select a nice golf travel bag in the event that your clubs are treated with the same love shown by the American Tourister Gorilla.
Ed. note: we appreciate the vote of confidence from jetBlue that we will lose a maximum of 3 golf balls on our vacation. Thanks!
Alaska Airlines Policies – Sporting Equipment
Alaska Airlines will accept the following sporting equipment items as checked baggage provided each piece is properly packed in a soft or hard sided case designed specifically for the sporting equipment piece.
Oversize Sporting Equipment Exceptions
Each checked piece of sporting equipment listed below may exceed our size allowance (not to exceed 115″) without incurring an oversize fee. Standard checked baggage service charge and overweight fee (51-100 pounds) apply for each piece checked. Refer to our Checked Baggage page for checked piece and overweight charges.
American Airlines Baggage Allowance – Sports Equipment
Maximum Size and Weight
– Items that are larger than 126 inches and 100 lbs. will not be accepted as checked baggage. Contact a freight forwarder for assistance with these items.
– Additional items not included in the item description below must not be packed inside the sports case and are subject to overweight and/or oversize charges.
– All inches are dimensional inches (length + width + height)
– AA/American Eagle/AmericanConnection® carriers are not liable for any damage to sports items not presented in a hard-sided case. If the outside of the hard-sided case does not have visible damage, AA/American Eagle/AmericanConnection are not liable for any damage to the sports item inside the case.
– Sports cases designed for specific items such as golf bags, boot bags and bike cases are intended to carry only that sports item.
One golf bag containing no more than 14 golf clubs, 12 golf balls and one pair of golf shoes
Charged the 1st or 2nd bag rate as applicable. When in excess, each item will be subject to the baggage charge for a single piece.
Maximum Weight and Size
Maximum free weight on golf clubs is 70 lbs. Size is limited to the size of a hard-sided golf case.
Swingless Golf Club load strips are considered dangerous goods and are not allowed in checked or carry-on baggage.
Delta Special Items
One golf bag is allowed as checked baggage. Checked baggage fees may apply based on travel region and total number of checked bags. Overweight baggage fees apply to bags that exceed 50 lbs. Oversized baggage fees will be waived for golf bags that exceed 62 linear inches, but bags exceeding 115 linear inches are not allowed.
One item of golfing equipment is defined as:
– one golf bag containing one set of golf clubs
– golf balls and tees; and
– one pair of golf shoes.
Golf clubs are allowed under the following conditions:
– golf bag is packaged within a hard-shell case
– golf bag is packaged within a soft-sided golf club travel bag after a limited release has been signed
Delta is not responsible for damage noted at the time of check-in or damage due to over-packing the bag
Hawaiian Airlines Sports Equipment – Miscellaneous
The following are special items or types of items that will be accepted as baggage by specified carriers subject to the conditions shown. Charges prescribed in this rule are applicable from the point at which the item is accepted to the point to which the item is transported.
Special items which may or may not be identified below but which may be packed in a standard suitcase and checked in as baggage will be exempt from the charges identified below. Special items or types of items will be limited to a weight of 50lbs, unless otherwise stated.
Sports equipment items listed below will be accepted by Hawaiian Air subject to the conditions of acceptance and/or prescribed charges.
Items of golfing equipment will be accepted as checked baggage subject to the charges specified below. (For the purpose of this provision one item of golfing equipment is defined as one golf bag containing not more than 14 golf clubs, 12 golf balls, and one pair of golf shoes.) HA will not be liable for any golfing equipment that is not in a hard shell case. A liability release form must be signed by the passenger at the time they check-in the golfing equipment.
Golfing equipment will be included in determining the free baggage allowance, and when in excess each item will be subject to the excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not presented as a single piece. Oversized baggage charges will be waived for golfing equipment that exceed 62 linear inches provided that all items in the golf bag/container are described as golfing equipment in the above paragraph. If non-golf items are included in the golf bag/container then normal oversized charges will apply to golfing equipment in excess of 62 linear inches. Items exceeding 115 linear inches will not be accepted as checked baggage.
Note: Hawaiian Airlines will refuse to accept swing less golf clubs to either be carried on or checked in as baggage.
jetBlue Airlines Baggage information – Sporting equipment
All checked bags must not exceed 62″ (157.48 cm) in overall dimensions (length + width + height) and cannot exceed 50 pounds (22.73 kg).
Please note: boxes will not be accepted as checked baggage on international flights.
Bags larger than 80 inches will not be accepted.
Golf equipment is accepted on all flights. There is no additional charge or oversized fee for golf bags as long as they are within weight limitations. A golf bag will count as one of your checked bags.
One golf bag containing not more than:
– 14 golf clubs
– 3 golf balls
– one pair of golf shoes
Please note: all equipment should be packed in a hard-sided container. JetBlue will accept Golf Bags in a soft-sided travel bag, but will not be liable for damage to the bag or contents.
Southwest Airlines Special Luggage – Sports Equipment
Any of the items listed below may be checked in substitution of one piece of the free Checked Baggage allowance for each Passenger at no charge on a one-item-for-one-bag basis. If the item of sporting equipment exceeds 50 pounds in weight or 62 inches in size (outside length plus height plus width), excess weight and size charges may apply.
Golf bag in hard-sided golf bag carrying case provided by Passenger, including clubs, balls, and shoes. Hooded golf bags or golf bags in a soft-sided carrying case provided by the Passenger will be conditionally accepted.
Note: Overweight charges will apply to golf bags exceeding 50 pounds.
Sun Country Airlines
Sun Country Baggage
One (1) item of the following sporting equipment may be substituted for one (1) of your checked baggage. For the items listed below, multiple items count as one (1) item of luggage and are subject to baggage fees. Items in excess of the stated allowances will be subject to additional fee.
One (1) item of golfing equipment consists of: one (1) golf bag and one (1) pair of golf shoes.
United Baggage Information – Sports Equipment
United accepts one item of golf equipment per customer as checked baggage.
An item of golf equipment consists of:
– One golf bag containing 1 set of golf clubs
– Golf balls
– One pair of golf shoes
All items must be properly encased in a suitable container. The golf bag must be covered or enclosed in a heavy, rigid carrying case.
United is not liable for damage to Golf Equipment that is not contained in a hard-sided case.
Excess Valuation may not be purchased for Golf Equipment that is not contained in a hard-sided case.
If applicable, the first or second checked baggage service charge applies to golf equipment.
Golfing equipment containers measuring over 62″ (158 cm) L+H+W that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate golf equipment will be subject to an oversize checked baggage service charge.
Note: All customers, including MileagePlus® Premier® members, who check a golf bag will experience a delay in receiving their bag at the baggage claim due to the manner in which oversized items and sports equipment are required to be loaded, unloaded and delivered to baggage claim.
US Airways Baggage – Special items
Golf equipment will be accepted in the normal baggage allowance in lieu of a piece of baggage – one per person. A pull cart may be included if it is attached to a golf bag. Golf equipment should be enclosed with a cover to prevent loss of contents. Hard sided carriers are recommended. If the golf bag contains anything other than golf equipment and is intended to be used as baggage, then the oversize baggage fee applies.
One item of golf equipment consists of:
– 1 golf bag, containing no more than 14 golf clubs
– 12 golf balls
– 1 pair of golf shoes
When US Airways has exercised the ordinary standard of care, it shall not be liable for damage to or damage caused by fragile articles, liquids, or perishables, nor for the loss of, damage to, or delay in:
[though “Equipment” is not defined]
Virgin America Contract of Carriage – Sporting Equipment
One bag of golfing equipment includes: one golf bag containing no more than 14
clubs, 12 golf balls, and one pair of golf shoes. All must be properly encased, as
Virgin America will not assume responsibility if the packaging is improper.
Exclusion from Liability
Virgin America will not assume liability or responsibility for…[R]ecreational/sports items not presented in a hard-sided case.
Into the nitty-gritty?
US Department of Transportation, Section 254.4 states that an air carrier “shall not limit its liability for provable direct or consequential damages [emphasis added]” relating to lost, damaged or delayed baggage to less than $3,300 per passenger. You can see the consent order concerning violations by Delta Air Lines.
Please note the above is intended as a summary for convenience. Always make sure to check with the airline’s website for full detail of current restrictions on traveling with golf equipment.