American Airlines Eliminates Oversize Baggage Fees for Music Gear and Most Large Sports Equipment

American Airlines Eliminates Oversize Baggage Fees for Music Gear and Most Large Sports Equipment

In a press release published today, the Texas-based airline noted that it was eliminating oversize baggage fees for sports equipment and instruments and other musical equipment.

The timing could not be better as the summer travel season approaches and with the hordes of family travelers – many with their sports gear in tow as they head to a travel volleyball or softball tournament, etc.

two men carrying surfboards near seashore

Photo by Marc Roy on

It also applies to folks bringing surfboards or other larger adventure style sports gear.

For musicians, this is likely a welcome relief as well – especially those with larger musical gear.

Their press release explicitly states:

“American is eliminating oversize bag fees for common sports and music equipment, effective for travel on or after May 21”

American highlights a few other key elements worth noting

  • American is treating the oversize items as a standard checked bag (in other words, you still get charged to check the item…just NOT the oversize charge).
    • The oversize charge used to be $150.00, now it’s simply the normal $30.00 bag fee American charges, as long as the weight is under 50 lbs
    • If it’s your second checked bag, the normal $40.00 second bag fee would apply
  • Really large items (like a windkite, or scuba gear) will continue to be subject to the $150.00 fee  – due to their weight
  • American’s max size for checked instruments is: 150 in / 381 cm, and the maximum weight is 165 lbs / 75 kg. Anything larger or heavier still has to be shipped via Cargo.

What this really means

In reality, American has softened its fee for large items THAT DON’T WEIGH MUCH. That’s the real change here. Items that still exceed the weight limit of 50 lbs are still subject to a fee.

Still, this offers travelers some excellent and meaningful savings and the timing is perfect as we head into the summer.

This is clearly a competitive move on American’s part given that other airlines like United and Alaska made similar moves recently.


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