Why it's cheaper for athletes, artists and musicians to travel with this airline

American Airlines has eliminated most oversized baggage fees on domestic routes. Items like surfboards, bicycles and guitars will now be covered by the regular US$30 fee for checked luggage but there are certain items that will continue to be charged extra.

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American Airlines has eliminated oversized baggage fees for music and sports equipment. Image by Getty

American Airlines has significantly reduced its baggage fees on items like surfboards, skis, bikes and musical instruments. Even bulky items like cellos and guitars are covered in the new rates. Passengers checking such items, which were previously considered oversized baggage, will now pay checked fees of $30 each way, the cost of a standard first bag.

The items, like all checked bags, must not weigh more than 50 pounds or measure larger than 62 inches otherwise passengers will incur additional fees to take them onboard. Oversized items such as antlers, hang gliders, scuba tanks and kite/windsurfing equipment will continue to incur a flat $150 fee, due to special handling requirements.

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American Airlines also brought back free carry-ons for basic economy passengers last year. Image: JGI/Tom Grill

American said the new policy, effective immediately, was based on customer and employee feedback and will "ensure that customers can more easily pursue active and healthy lifestyles wherever their travels may take them." Last year the airline reintroduced free carry-on bags for basic economy passengers on domestic and short-haul international flights.

Other airlines have also introduced similar policies concerning music and sports equipment. Alaska Airlines eliminated a $75 surcharge for oversized sports equipment in 2017 and last year United Airlines scrapped fees for surfboards on direct flights to and from California.

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The new policy is effective immediately. Image by Airbus

More information on American Airlines’ checked bag policy can be found here.