Delta Air Lines Raising Bag Fees
By Kickntrue on 1/12/10
Delta Air Lines has apparently decided to stop flying golfers- or at least it would seem so with their latest move to again raise fees for flying with your clubs (and all other baggage).
Today Delta Air Lines announced they are raising their current bag fees by $8 for the first bag and $7 for the second. This means they’re now $23 for the first bag and $32. I guarantee that within six months, they’ll round both these surcharges up to an even $10 for a $25, $35 gouge. Anyone want to take that bet?
I fly pretty much exclusively on Southwest. It helps that my main three travel destinations all have convenient non-stop flights on Southwest but I'd be lying if I didn't say that the free bags aren't the main reason. It's just ... nicer.

I did have to fly on Delta recently because of my destination and the golf clubs had to come with me. Here's how I got around the bag fee. It may sound complicated, but it really wasn't- much and I felt like a better human being for it. You'll still pay for your clubs as a "bag" or checked in item but at least you can avoid the ultra ridiculous oversized fees. On most airlines a properly sized bag is 64" of cumulative height, width and depth. All golf travel bags are going to greatly exceed that number but because of that magic 64" number in all of shipping, most boxes won't. I went and got a long skinny shipping box that was exactly 64" H+W+D and then started stuffing my clubs in. I was able to get 12 out of 14 clubs into the box including my driver, hybrid and putter. I left a 3 wood and 4 iron at home. I stuffed a golf towel along with 2 sleeves of balls, and my tees, ball mark repair tool, etc, into the top of the box to make sure everything was extra tight and taped the thing like crazy.

When I arrived at my destination I simply went to a Wal-Mart and bought a $35 golf bag to use for my 3 rounds of golf. At the end of the trip I took it to a Salvation Army and donated it- along with collecting my receipt to write off the donation. I redid my clubs in my box and went back to the airport to give my middle 6 iron to the airline.

Total savings- about $80. Feeling like I stuck it to the airline- Priceless. (What I really accomplished- advanced skills in parcel packing.)

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photo source

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
Delta is going to definitely feel the pinch with consumers making their choices (hopefully). Unfortunately we have to take Delta to certain locations. Good solution mentioned though. The other is shipping your golf bag. Did that once and it worked GREAT.

Funny your story is about Delta and you show American in the photo!!!
mjaber says:
There is no additional charge over the normal checked bag fee for a golf travel bag, or at least for mine. I have a basic rolling travel bag. Holds my bag and clubs. The only time there would be an additional charge is if it was over the weight limit.
mmontisano says:
i fly American and i haven't had an additional charge for my golf bag yet either.

the only thing different is that they won't put it on a baggage carousel. they have a special, oversized luggage area where you can pick it up.
Kickntrue says:
@mjaber- some airlines may be the same, but others actually charge all golf clubs as oversized.
mjaber says:
@Kickntrue... it's possible, however it's not a "major" airline. Delta/Northwest, United, and American (I've flown all of them with my clubs in the last year) are the same. It's considered a checked bag, with no additional oversize fees charged.

Depending on the airport, you may have to pick it up in the "oversized" area, but that is due to the limitations of the baggage conveyors at the airport.
mjaber says:
Since we're kind of on the subject of airlines and their stupid rules... why can a kid/teen/young adult/overaged adolescent carry-on his/her skateboard, but I can't carry-on my pool cues?
DougE says:
On a recent trip to Arizona, my golf bag weighed in at 55 lbs., five pounds over the limit. My wife's bag was well under the limit. The curbside check-in guy at AA suggested I redistribute the weight between the two bags instead of charging me the overweight surcharge of 50 bucks! That was nice of him. He led me over to a little corner, out of the way, to allow me to pull everything apart, and move a few clubs over to my wife's bag, and then get everything all packed up again. He re-weighed it again and it came in at at 50 lbs, 4 oz., but he let the small overage slide. He got a big tip.
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