Thousands of holidaymakers get stung with extortionate baggage charges every single day and with many timeshare owners jetting off for a ski trip to the slopes or a golf holiday in the sun, taking sports equipment abroad can really rack up costs.
So, how to avoid spending half your holiday budget before you’ve even arrived at the departure lounge? Airport Parking and Hotels compared the cost of carrying bulky items on all major airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic recently, and here are some of their top tips:
Surfers heading for a sun-soaked break flying between Ireland and North America can take boards aboard as part of the free allowance with Aer Lingus. However, when flying to other destinations, passengers will be charged £24 per flight when booked online and £32 per flight when booked at the airport. Surfboards checked-in with American Airlines are charged at £96 when over 62in, while passengers carrying surfboards on a long-haul flight with Lufthansa will be charged between £85 and £96. Of the other airlines surveyed, 11 will include surfboards within the free allowance and 10 always charge a fee.
For cyclists, Virgin Atlantic charges no fee and will also transport surfboards and scuba diving equipment for free. Of the other airlines, 11 allow free transportation of bicycles, including British Airways and Cathay Pacific. Six airlines, including KLM, Monarch and Ryanair, never include bicycles as part of the free allowance and charge additional fees to transport them. Two airlines charge depending on the route taken.
Divers may bring their equipment for free on 15 airlines, including Aer Lingus, Japan Airlines and Ethiad. Eight airlines will always charge to transport scuba equipment, with prices ranging from £27- £96.
Regardless of prices, passengers should remember that when they are transporting surfboards, bicycles and scuba kit, many airlines stipulate certain rules and regulations which rule how these items are carried on board. For example, Qantas specifies that bikes must have tyres deflated, pedals must be removed, handlebars must be fixed parallel to the frame and if the length exceeds 140cm, the front wheel should be removed and fixed beside the rear wheel, inside the bike box.
To avoid any surprises when you arrive at the terminal, it’s always best to check the carrier’s individual regulations first, online, as airline rules differ from company to company.