Know the rules if you're going to fly with golf clubs in British Airways
Know the rules if you’re going to fly with golf clubs in British Airways – Nick Fewings (unsplash)

If you’re traveling to, from, or within the UK or Europe for your next golfing vacation then there’s a good chance you’ve seen British Airways as a viable option. While the market for low fares grows with budget airlines continuing to multiply in number, British Airways is a nod to luxury and quality aviation experiences. It is befitting quality time out at the golf club, for sure!

Here are the 5 Main Points to Know in British Airways Policy About Golf Clubs

1. Is your golf bag count as part of your checked baggage allowance?

But how do they compare when it comes to taking your clubs? Firstly, the airline doesn’t have too many distinct rules on golfing equipment. Instead, they have more general rules on flying with sports equipment. In line with that, the company allows you to bring a golf bag as part of your ‘checked baggage’ allowance.

2. What is the golf bag dimension policy?

Unlike a lot of other airlines, especially American operators like Delta Airlines and American Airlines, British Airways does not have any specific guidance on the dimensions of golf luggage. Rather, just ensure it complies with the standard sizing allocations – which allows for items to be 75in x 29.5in x 25.5in (190cm x 75cm x 65cm).

3. Is there a specific baggage fee for a golf bag?

As this can be treated as ‘standard baggage’ there is no additional fee if this is the only bag you are taking with you on the plane. However, be wary that if you exceed the weight allowance of 50 lb (23kg) you will incur a heavy baggage fee. This can be as much as $100. Also note that if you fly in First Class, you can usually get more of a weight allowance, sometimes as much as 70 lb (32kg).

4. What items can you pack in your golf bag?

With the weight allowance in mind, you’ll have to start packing your bag. British Airways observe the following as suitable cargo for a golf bag: a set of golf clubs, a golf umbrella, a maximum of 12 golf balls, golf tees, and a pair of golf shoes. If you want to bring your golf umbrella, ensure it is packed away, if not, it will count as an ‘extra item’ and you may have to pay to take it on the flight.

5. How much does it cost if I bring another piece of baggage in addition to my golf bag?

Of course, you might want to take some clothes on your trip as well. If you’re traveling alone that can be tricky with just one main piece of luggage. An additional piece of baggage may be available on your flight which may alleviate the issue. This kind of additional allowance is usually available for as little as $79 but can cost more.

Alternative: send your clubs using a professional service

Now if all of this has given you anxiety about packing for your trip, there is a simpler way. Shipping your sticks is a fairly common practice in the US and now is pretty much available worldwide. In the UK, ParcelForce proudly boasts that they can deliver clubs to ANY course in the UK – as well as 240 distinct countries and territories around the world. Other companies operating the same service in the UK and within Europe include SendMyBag, ParcelMonkey, MyBaggage, and Luggage Mule.

No matter who you fly with there are some common questions that you might want answers to before even thinking about jetting off with your clubs. Here are some pointers to get you going in the right direction.

How do I protect my golf clubs when flying?

A good golf travel bag will go a long way in the effort to protect your clubs during transit. Hard-sided bags are generally considered the best for protecting the contents. This is because the materials will withstand multiple trips. Most of which are complimented with a soft inner material that allows the clubs to sit comfortably against light materials. If your current bag isn’t up to scratch, you should consider getting a new one. Other items like club protectors can be put in your bag and will hold the clubs in place during transit, can be useful but won’t fit in all bags.

Here is our recommended list of travel golf bags to protect your clubs during a flight. We highly recommend you to check them out.

How much does it cost to take golf clubs on a plane in the UK?

While most of the major UK aviation providers and carriers who operate in the country allow you to bring on golf clubs, there can be a wild difference in the fees that apply. The standard prices range from $33 to $55. Usually this will go up in how far you are traveling. It does pay to be well prepared, however, as a lot of them will slap on fees if your bags are not in order at the airport gate. Also, the policies on whether golf bags are considered to be standard checked luggage will vary from operator to operator.

Is it better to ship or fly with golf clubs?

If you’re willing to pay and you’re patient to wait for your clubs to arrive, then shipping your clubs in theory will be safer and less anxiety-inducing than taking them to the airport. It can be expensive but will be worth it for some golfers who don’t want the stress of packing all the equipment.

Flying with them does present a few rules and regulations to adhere to but nothing that isn’t accomplishable. One of the benefits is that your clubs will be with you as soon as you arrive at your destination – meaning there is no lost time when it comes to playing golf.

What happens if an airline breaks your golf clubs?

Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario. It might be the case that you have private insurance for your clubs, in which instance check your policy details for more information on aviation damage, specifically. Some airlines offer insurance on luggage on their flights, which again, you should go through those channels.

When reporting the issue directly to the airline provider as many details as possible with photographic evidence of the damage incurred. Of course, it is even better if you can supply photos of them before the flight – be sure to take them before you fly!

The end result from the customer service team will differ greatly from airline to airline, obviously, nobody wants this to happen, so hopefully, you don’t have to find out! We’d like to think that amicable arrangements could be made in such an event.

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