Baggage charges: A golfers' guide

New survey by APH names and shames

Bob Warters
Fri, 8 May 2009

Baggage charges: A golfers' guide
golf luggage

Charges vary for golf bags at airports

With the travel industry suffering under the current downturn in the economy, we're all looking for added value to help our golf holiday run that much more smoothly.

And with more flights abroad becoming available, golfers will be taking a close look at the extra charges that may disguise what initially looks like a cheap deal to hop on a plane and enjoy some golf in the sun.

golf luggage

Many hidden charges when flying

Taking a flight abroad with your golf clubs can be expensive but by carefully choosing your airline you could save yourself a small fortune. Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has researched 24 leading airlines flying from the UK airports in a bid to identify which score best for golfers’ needs excess baggage policies.

For example, the survey revealed that taking your golf clubs on Air France can add as much as £134 to the cost of your flights compared to BMI which will charge just £15 each way for the same clubs.

Other airlines, more sympathetic to golfers, include British Airways and (a golf bag containing 14 clubs, 12 balls, a large umbrella, and a pair of golf shoes travels free); Thai Airways, Emirates and US Airways (one set of golf clubs is included within their personal allowance); United (one golf bag free in place of second piece of checked in baggage) and Virgin Atlantic (bag of 14 clubs, 12 balls and a pair of shoes counts as a single item of checked in baggage).


Air France

Any equipment in excess of the baggage allowance, the fee is €75 (£67.38) per item each way. Over and above the allowance, and within a 20 kg limit per item, a flat fee is charged per trip each way and varies depending on the destination


Golf bags travel as registered baggage. If in excess of 20kg payment of supplementary charges for excess baggage are applied

American Airlines

Maximum free weight on golf clubs is 32 kgs. If more there's a charge at the rate of $50 (£34.17) per piece. If more than 45kgs there will be a charge of $100 (£68.31) per piece


One bag of clubs (including a pair of golf shoes) costs £15 each way

golf luggage

British Airways - most sympathetic to golfers

British Airways

In addition to your free checked baggage allowance, you are allowed to take sporting equipment with you free of charge, including a bag of 14 clubs, 12 balls, umbrella and one pair of golf shoes.

Cathay Pacific

Golf bag within the allowance is free unless the excess is reached. If the golf bag does not weigh more than 15kg, it will be charged the equivalent to 6kg of the applicable excess baggage rate.


One golf bag with one set of clubs, golf balls and golf shoes per customer as checked baggage. Golf bags measuring over 157cm, will be subject to oversize charges.


One golf bag with up to 14 clubs, 12 golf balls and one pair of golf shoes is included in the baggage limit. If the golf bag is an extra piece of luggage, there is a charge of £138 each way.


£18.50 charge each way when pre-paid. When paying at the airport the charge is £26 plus any excess baggage charge at £9 per kilo.


In addition to the personal allowance, one set of golf clubs and one pair of golf shoes will be carried free of charge per passenger


Must be booked in advance with a charge of £22.50 each way.


If the combined weight of the golf clubs does not exceed the total allowance there will be no charge. If not they will be required to pay excess which will vary depending on your destination.

golf luggage

Emirates - doesn't penalise golfers with limited allowance

Japan Airlines

If the combined weight of the golf clubs does not exceed the total allowance, there will be no charge. If the golf bag weighs less than 15kg you will only be charged for 6kg. If the golf bag weighs 16kg you will be charged for 16kg.


If your baggage and golf bag together weigh in excess of 20 kg, a low, fixed excess baggage rate will apply to your golf bag.

Lufthansa Group

Golf equipment is free of charge for a bag weighing up to 15kg

Qantas Group

A golf bag is free of charge unless it exceeds the baggage weight allowance. If so, there is a charge of £24 per kg.


Golf equipment is carried in the hold at an additional online charge of £30 per item each wayor £40 per item per each when booked in at the airport or through the call centre.

SAS Group

Short haul: €20 (£18.10) per golf bag of clubs; long haul €40 (£36.19). Free of charge in Business, Economy Extra and Eurobonus Gold Members.


Standard charge of 6kg applies to golf equipment if its weight, together with other checked baggage exceeds the free allowance. This applies up to a maximum excess of 15kg for the golf bag, after which the normal excess baggage charges apply. For example, a customer carrying 20kg of golf equipment will be charged 11kg - 6 kg standard charge plus the 5kg after the first 15kg.

golf luggage

Virgin Atlantic logo draws attention to its support of golfers

Thai Airways

One set of golf clubs is included within the personal allowance. If the weight of the golf clubs exceeds the personal allowance then a fee for the first 15kg is applied, subject to the destination. If the weight exceeds 15kg, normal excess baggage charges will apply


One golf bag free in place of second piece of checked in baggage, with limit of 23kg

US Airways

Bag of 14 clubs, 12 balls and one pair of golf shoes and allowed free within baggage allowance. Excess subject to a fee of $15 (£10.31) each way.

Virgin Atlantic

One golf bag (including a maximum of 14 clubs, 12 balls and a pair of golf shoes) not exceeding 32 kg is free as a single item of checked-in luggage.

*All prices are based on the exchange rates on the April 24,2009