Golfing in one of the fine Alaskan countryside for your next golfing adventure? Chances are that you’re eyeing Alaska Airlines as your aviation company of choice. Subsequently, ponder just how to get your golf clubs to your destination. We’ve got you covered on how to get your clubs from A to B.
Baggage Costs, Fees, and Oversize Policy
Alaska Airlines has a great policy on all sports equipment bags (including golf clubs), as they will be permitted to fly for $30. This is because Alaska Airlines now observe sports equipment luggage as regular checked baggage. Meaning that you can bring on your golf bag in place of a suitcase. Or if you want to bring both, you can take a second bag for $40.
One of the best attributes of their new policy is that they’ve waivered oversized fees for sports equipment. After all, there aren’t many pieces of sports equipment that will fit snugly into a standard suitcase. This means that relatively few customers now have to pay the $75 oversized fee that was commonplace before. Making the airline much more affordable and appealing to those flying with golf clubs or other sports equipment.
Alaska Airlines Weight Allowances
You should still however make note of the weight allowance for your bags. Checked baggage should not exceed 50 lb (32kg) in weight. This is the same allowance for many airlines, including Southwest Airlines.
Bags weighing between 51-100 lb will still be permitted to fly but will incur the overweight fee. This can be as much as $100 per item per excursion. Unless you like needlessly spending money, then be sure to pack your golf clubs within this rule. Taking the essential clubs and equipment as opposed to the novelty-heavy stuff will save you money and time.
What should I pack?
What you pack is up to you. Unlike a lot of other companies, Alaska Airlines, doesn’t have specific rules on what items you put in your golf bag. By comparison British Airways who are a little strict on what accessories you can put in your golf bag, limiting it to specific golf items.
While you still can’t bring dangerous or narcotic items, if you want to take your calculator, book, or other non-golf items (in addition to your golfing equipment) in theory there won’t be an issue.
Even if you fly premium or first class with Alaska, they typically don’t offer more weight allowance, focusing more on improving your in-flight experience. However, some other airlines do increase your allowance capacity.
Read more about the best practices when traveling with golf clubs in our article: flying with your golf clubs.
Don’t Want to Pack Your Clubs?
It could be that after reading all this you’re put off by the very thought of packing and flying with your clubs. Don’t fear. There’s another way to get your clubs to Anchorage Golf Course, Settlers Bay Golf Course, and all of the best clubs in Alaska. This involves shipping your sticks to your destination. Courier companies like ShipSticks.com make it their vocation to pack and deliver your golf clubs with little strife.
How do I protect my golf clubs when flying?
When packing your golf clubs you’re taking a chance on it coming out the other end in the same condition. The protection truly starts with the bag. Starting with a high-quality bag with a hard side and well-padded inner is the best way to start the protection.
Read more about this in our article: how to travel with golf clubs.
Is it cheaper to fly with golf clubs or ship them?
On the face of it, flying with your golf clubs will always be cheaper. You’re doing the hard work yourself. If however, you have no faith in your ability to pack or just want less hassle, by shipping them you can end up saving money by avoiding overweight baggage fees.
Do airlines have bags for golf clubs?
It is not common for airlines to provide you with any kind of baggage for your golf clubs. As a passenger, it is your responsibility to bring your clubs in a suitable bag. If you’ve not got a bag just yet, be sure to get a good-quality one.
Is it better to fly Premium or Business class when traveling with golf clubs?
Luxury customer classes can come with some real benefits, which sometimes will help with taking clubs. When browsing premium flying options look out for additional baggage items or enhanced weight allowances.
Can I just take my clubs on the plane with me?
No. Simply not happening. Golf clubs could be used as an offensive weapon in the wrong hands. Therefore every aviation company will forbid you from taking golf clubs on the aircraft as carry-on luggage.
If you really want to polish your clubs mid-flight you might have to find a private jet and find a pilot who is willing to let you have the clubs with you instead of being stowed away. That could get very expensive.
What if I have a soft-sided bag?
While your soft-sided golf bag might serve ample use and protection for domestic and/or short travels, these are not widely recommended for trips on which you intend to fly on. Most airlines strongly recommend using a hard-sided bag with varying degrees of resistance to flying with bags in soft bags. In all honesty, you should get a hard bag.
If you are unwilling to buy a new bag then you could always use a golf club protector which emulates some of the properties of a hard bag when placed in a soft bag, as it keeps them in place and prevents adverse movement during transit.
Who are Alaska Airlines?
Alaska Airlines are one of the major aviation companies in North America and one of the biggest when measured by passenger traffic as well as fleet size. Despite the name suggesting otherwise, Alaska has over 110 destinations spanning large parts of the US as well as multiple international routes. Today the company is well-known on the West Coast of America for serving the vicinity and even being the lead sponsor on the Portland Timbers soccer jersey.