American Airlines scraps oversize bag fees for certain items

In a move that’s likely to sit well with customers, American Airlines on Tuesday announced they were saying goodbye to certain oversize bag costs. (iStock)

In a move that’s likely to sit well with customers, American Airlines on Tuesday announced they were saying goodbye to certain oversize bag costs.

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The company said they have eliminated “oversize bag fees for common sports and music equipment” and the change goes into effect immediately.

“The updated policies, which will be music to the ears of musicians who fly on American, will also ensure that customers can more easily pursue active and healthy lifestyles wherever their travels may take them, without having to pay additional oversize bag fees,” American Airlines said in a news release.

Those who fly with the airline are now allowed to check such items as standard baggage “up to the maximum allowed dimensions and within the weight requirements,” the company said.

The price tag on such items used to be $150, according to the airline. Certain oversize items – antlers, hang gliders, scuba tanks and kite/windsurfing items – will still cost $150 since they have special handling requirements, they said.

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“The checked oversize bag counts toward a customer’s normal baggage allowance. For example, customers traveling within the United States, who used to pay $150 to check one oversize item such as a surfboard, will now pay $30 — the cost of a standard first bag — if the weight is less than 50 lbs,” American explained. “Customers traveling with skis or a snowboard will now be able to check in an equipment bag with the skis or snowboard as one bag (up to 50 lbs./62 in.).”

In comparison, Delta’s website says they charge $150 for a surfboard, barring certain restrictions and exceptions. And on JetBlue, the airline’s website says surfboards, among other items, are allowed as a checked bag that “will count towards your checked bag allowance” that matches the passenger's fare. The equipment is “exempt from additional oversized and overweight limitations and fees.”

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Surfboards are allowed on domestic and certain international flights and the customer “will be charged any baggage fees associated with your fare and a $100 per board each way fee,” they continued.

American Airlines decided to make the change after receiving feedback from customers and team members, the company said.