Sports Equipment and Other Special Baggage Allowances

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Fly with Sports Equipment, Musical Instruments
and Other Special Baggage

Alternative Airlines can arrange a wide range of baggage services for you when you fly so that you can easily transport your equipment.

To find out more about certain baggage equipment, click on the options below.

 

 

 

Some airlines let you take on sports equipment as part of your free baggage allowance, however, it is important to note that all airlines will have varying policies when it comes to handling special equipment. If you contact Alternative Airlines with your particular baggage requests, we will be happy to help you arrange your additional baggage transportation. We can provide you with the different restrictions of the airlines flying your chosen route and assist you in any particular requests.

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Fly with Bicycles

Please see the Alternative Airlines flying with a bike page for more information on how to book your bike as well as details of individual airline policies.

Although some people risk turning up to the airline desk wanting to fly with their bicycle by removing its pedals and slightly deflating its tyres, the preferred way to transport bicycles on planes is to keep the bike in an enclosed bag or cardboard box. These restrictions are to avoid damage to other passenger's luggage or the baggage handling staff, as well as to ensure the bicycles smooth passage through the airport baggage system. It is important you protect your bike when transporting it by plane as damage may occur from its handling otherwise.

 

Some airlines allow bicycles to constitute as one item of checked baggage - depending on the shape and size of the box the bicycle is enclosed in. You are advised to contact Alternative Airlines before you fly so that we can inform you of different airline restrictions if you have not yet purchased your flight, or liaise with the airline as to what you need to do and how much it may cost to transport your bicycle.

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Ski and Snowboarding Equipment

It is a good idea to check the cost of taking your skis or snowboard to the slopes as airlines, especially low-cost airlines, may charge extra for the privilege. In general, airlines charge around $30-$65 USD for this item of additional baggage, although some may charge up to $120 so it is best to call Alternative Airlines if there are any restrictions you are unsure of. A few tips for transporting ski and snowboard equipment by plane. 

 

Buy the right luggage

Your sports equipment will not be treated any differently than the other luggage when it's going around the airport system, being manhandled by couriers or being loaded on the plane. For this reason, and to ease your mind, the best thing you can do is minimise any potential damage with the right luggage. For short-haul trips, consider a basic ski or snowboard bag with a shoulder strap. A sturdier bag may be better for those long-haul skiing destinations (wheels, more suitcase-like etc.)

 

Weigh your equipment

Ski and snowboard equipment is notoriously heavy. Your snow sports boots will add at lease 2-3kgs to your luggage, which doesn't leave you much room for souvenirs! Prioritise some kit over others and rent the rest when you get there if you're concerned with weight limits and consider spreading your gear over two bags. 

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Hunting Equipment

For full information on flying with hunting equipment, visit out flying with hunting equipment page.

In the USA, it is possible to carry guns, other firearms and ammunition in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only. Alternative Airlines always recommends you contact us before you fly as soon as you know you may be carrying firearms on a plane. Airline rules vary but you must declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted. Be aware that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.

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Fly with sports rackets and sticks

Depending on the sports equipment you may wish to carry, you may be susceptible for certain charges. Please not that standard rules apply and airlines may prevent you from carrying into the cabin any sports good that may be dangerous, such as archery arrows, camping pegs etc. Contact Alternative Airlines if you have any specific queries. 

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Fly with Musical Instruments

For all information on flying with musical instruments, visit the flying with musical instruments page.

If you would like to take an instrument on board a plane, it usually must be 30cm x 120cm x 38cm to be placed in an overhead locker, but this can depend on the airline you're flying on. This is usually the case for violins, violas, flutes, piccolos, clarinets, trumpets and bugles and these will count as one bag each. Large instruments may go in the cabin but you will have to buy an additional seat - some people decide to do this for instruments such as cellos. For safety reasons instruments can only be placed in window seats and the maximum height including the case is 110cm.

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Fly with golfing equipment

Ensure that you know the fees associated with the airline you are travelling on, especially if they charge extra for golf clubs and/or overweight bags. For Examples, Spirit air is a nickel & dime airline who will charge you $100 for your golf clubs if they are above 40 lbs or your bag is larger than 62 inches in length ($40 if less than 40 lbs). Add a personal ID to your golf clubs and take extra care if you are getting a connecting flight to a regional airport - you need to make sure your golf clubs follow you to your destination!

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Fly with Diving Equipment

 

A few tips to make transporting diving equipment by plane a little easier:

Be loyal to an airline alliance

Find a scuba diver friendly airlines or be loyal to an airline alliance. Flying Blue, the joint frequent flyer program of Air France and KLM  If you need any help picking an airline alliance, check out our frequent flyer guide here

 

Look for free baggage

Some airlines allow special preferences for scuba divers - for example, Garuda Indonesia allows you to carry a free 23kg bag of scuba gear. To find out more about this, contact Alternative Airlines and we can advise you on which airlines are best for carrying scuba gear.

Wait before you fly

Scuba diving experts suggest you wait at least a day before flying if you have been on a diving holiday whereby you have subject your body to multiple days of repetitive decompression diving. This to ensure that there are no underlying risks.