Golf, glorious golf. Airport regulations, ah less glorious. This is the case for all aviation companies which can make a myriad of rules and regulations to follow when packing your golf bag. Let’s review how you can avoid the headache and get your clubs from A to B with JetBlue Airlines.
JetBlue Fare for Golf Clubs
The most important attribute how flying with JetBlue Airlines with golf equipment is to check your fare.
Blue Basic Fare
‘Blue Basic’ fares as part of their reduced fees have a lot less baggage allowance. This means if you’re traveling by yourself, you might only have your golf bag – making it difficult to pack other essential items like clothes, suncream, deodorant, etc. If you want a second checked bag, these typically are priced at $45 which is a relatively good rate.
If you’re on a standard (non-budget fare) you can use one of your checked baggage items as your golf travel bag for no additional fee.
Oversize and Overweight Policies
Much like other aviation operators like Alaska Airlines, JetBlue have waivered oversized rules fees for golf bags. This means they won’t charge you anything based on the size of your golf bag.
There are some regulations to observe however when you are in the packing process. Bags must be within the 50 lb allowance. Overweight fees can be steep at $150 per item for pieces between 51-99 lb. Remember, any bag subject to adverse weight may not be accepted at all. This will be adjudged at the time of check-in and assessed with the availability of weight allowance on the flight.
Bags over 99 lb will not be accepted under any circumstance. Furthermore, if your flight is to any of the following: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peru, or the Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago) it is unlikely you will be able to fly with an overweight bag of any description due to tighter rules on these flights.
Packing Golf Cubs on a JetBlue Flight
JetBlue is quite specific on what constitutes golf luggage. Therefore, your bag should contain no more than the following:14 golf clubs, 3 golf balls, and a pair of golf shoes. Packing anything else may result in unfavorable results.
Furthermore, JetBlue strongly suggests using a hard-sided bag. While the airline will accept soft-sided bags, they will assume no liability for damage caused in transit to the bag or the contents. For more information on this, here are the best practices to keep your clubs secure during air travel.
Alternative: Shipping Your Clubs
If by this point you’ve got a raging headache brought on by the anxiety of packing your clubs, you needn’t have it at all. Instead, you can alleviate the stress by having someone else get them to your destination. Couriers like ShipSticks have entered the market to help golf travelers who want a pleasant holiday experience without navigating excessive aviation rules.
Due to the success of this business model, more conventional courier companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL have started to include the transportation of golf clubs in their operations.
What is the best way to fly with golf clubs?
There are a few key facets to consider to minimize risk and stress when flying with your golf bag.
- Direct flights are the best. Having just a single leg reduces the risk of the bag getting lost in transit as well as baggage handlers bumping them around.
- Being aware of weight allowances and regulations. Failure to do so is not only costly but can lead to some awkward situations where you aren’t permitted to fly. If you’re running close to the weight allowance take out that heavy nine-iron you don’t need.
- Ensuring your bag is hard-sided. Airlines have become more and more militant about this one. While you can technically bring any golf bag you want to store your clubs, if it’s soft-sided, it’s simply not providing the same level of protection as a hard-sided one.
Can I bring a golf club as a carry-on?
No. Golf clubs will never be permitted as carry-on items on commercial flights. This is the case for all airlines. Large metallic objects could be used as offensive weapons in the wrong hands, therefore are not permitted.
How many golf clubs are legal to carry in your bag?
This is a bit of a grey area. Most operators don’t have a specific limit on the number of clubs you can bring. If you can pack 20 clubs within the weight allowance then they won’t care. JetBlue as outlined above, however, does have some reservations about the exact number. Jet Blue, just like the United States Golf Association limits people to 14 clubs, just like pros have in the game.
Should I ship my sticks instead?
In theory, it is an additional service to pay for. However, it might work out more affordable than overweight fees at the airport. It totally depends on what you intend to take on your trip, what airline you will use, and what destination you’re heading to.
Are there any other alternatives?
If you don’t want to fly with them or ship them, you could rent clubs from the course/club you intend to play at. They might not be as good as your personal clubs but they will do the job for your time away.
Another idea would be to drive to your destination. This isn’t always possible, however if your trip is just a few hours away by car, why not drive? It eliminates airfare and you’re the boss of what you pack in the trunk. It’s certainly more efficient in terms of going directly from your house to your accommodation too.
Who are JetBlue Airlines?
JetBlue was founded in 1998 as NewAir in New York City. It is famed for being one of the cheaper aviation companies within the US, offering low-fare flights predominantly within the Americas and domestic destinations. It does however make infrequent flights to European cities.