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Latest Airline Regs for SCUBA Travelers

Rules keep changing for SCUBA diving travelers regarding baggage limitations, fees, etc. Recently Megan Denny of PADI did some investigative reporting and got to the bottom of this confusing, ever-changing issue.

I decided to research the baggage oversize and overweight fees for some of the major carriers. The results are below. Every effort will be made to keep this information up to date; however, I encourage you to use the links provided to confirm the posted rates and fees.

General information:

  • The fees, size, and weight restrictions listed below apply to checked baggage only.
  • Fees are one-way. To get the total fees for your trip, double the dollar amount listed.
  • As a general rule, bags under 62 linear inches are not considered over-sized.
  • As a general rule, bags weighing 50 lbs or less are not considered over-weight.
  • Bags over 100 lbs and/or larger than 115 linear inches are not allowed. Some airlines limit the weight to 80 pounds.
  • The fees below assumes you are NOT bringing a tank. Please visit the individual airline websites for the fees associated with bring a scuba tank on an airplane (they start at $100 each way).
  • Linear inches are calculated by adding the length + width + depth of an object.
  • Alaska Airlines

    Weight Limits and Fees
    Up to 50 lbs – free.
    51-100 lbs – $50 fee per piece

    Size Limits and Fees
    Up to 63 linear inches – free*
    63-80 inches: $50 fee.
    81-115 inches: $75 fee

    *Scuba equipment may exceed 62 linear inches, but must be no more than 115 linear inches.

    Note: If a bag is both oversize and overweight, the higher fee is charged.

    Additional information on traveling with scuba gear on Alaska Airlines.

    American Airlines

    Flights within the US, Canada, USVI and Puerto Rico
    $15 for the first checked piece.
    $25 for the second checked piece.
    $100 per piece for the 3rd, 4th and 5th checked bags

    International Travel (excluding Canada, Brazil, Europe and Asia)
    Two checked bags at no charge. Limit 62 linear inches and 50lbs

    Checked Bag Weight Limits
    Up to 50 lbs- free
    51-70 lbs – $50 per piece.
    70-100 lbs – $100 fee per piece

    Size Limits and Fees
    Up to 62 inches – free
    62-115 inches – $150 fee per piece.

    Continental Airlines

    Economy Class within the US, Canada, USVI and Puerto Rico
    $15 for the first checked piece.
    $25 for the second checked piece.

    Economy Class between the US, Puerto Rico, USVI, Canada South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico (excludes Brazil)
    1 checked bag free (weight and size restrictions apply)
    2nd bag – $25 (weight and size restrictions apply)

    Economy Class travel to Europe, Micronesia, Middle East and Asia
    2 checked bags no charge (weight and size restrictions apply)

    First Class, BusinessFirst and International Business Class
    3 checked bags no charge (weight and size restrictions apply)

    General information on Continental Airlines baggage policies and fees

    Delta and Northwest Airlines

    Travel within the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico
    $15 for the first checked piece
    $25 for the second checked piece
    $125 for the third checked piece

    Travel outside the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico
    First two checked bags – free
    $200 for the third checked piece

    Weight Limits and Fees
    Up to 50 lbs- free
    51-70 lbs – $90 per piece (domestic), $150 per piece (international)
    71-100 lbs – $175 per piece (domestic), $300 per piece (international)

    Size Limits and Fees
    Up to 62 inches – free
    62-80 inches – $175 fee per piece.
    Baggage measuring more than 80 inches will not be accepted as checked baggage.

    You’ll be charged an excess baggage fee each time you go over any one of the allowances. For example, if you have an extra piece of baggage that goes over the weight limit and the size limit, then you’ll be charged 3 times:

    * once for the extra bag,
    * once for going over the size limit, and
    * once for going over the weight limit.

    Additional information on bringing your dive gear on a Delta or Northwest Airlines flight.

    Hawaiian Airlines

    Scuba diving equipment will not be included in determining the free baggage allowance and will always be subject to the following charges:

    Between any two points within State of Hawaii: $25.00 USD
    Between the Continental USA and Hawaii: $100.00 USD
    Between points within the Continental USA: $100.00 USD

    NOTE: Excess weight charges will be assessed in addition to applicable charges for excess pieces and/or oversized baggage.

    Maximum weight for Scuba Equipment is 50 lbs. Items exceeding 50 lbs but not more than 70 lbs will be subject to a charge of $25.00 excess weight charge.

    Weight Limits and Fees
    50 lbs. but not more than 70lbs:
    within the State of Hawaii – $25.00 per piece.
    within the Continental US or between the Continental US and Hawaii -$50.00 USD per piece.

    Size Limits and Fees
    within the State of Hawaii – $25.00 per piece.
    within the Continental US or between the Continental US and Hawaii -$100 per piece

    Items larger than 80” and/or heavier than 70 lbs will not be accepted as checked baggage.

    Additional information on traveling with scuba equipment on Hawaiian Airlines.

    U.S. Airways

    Checked Baggage Fees
    First bag – $20 (up to 50 lbs), $70 (51-70 lbs), $120 (71-100 lbs)
    Second bag – $30 (up to 50 lbs), $80 (51-70 lbs), $130 (71-100 lbs)
    Third – Ninth bag – $100 (up to 50 lbs), $150 (51-70 lbs), $200 (71-100 lbs)

    Size Limits and Fees
    Less than 62 inches – free
    62-80 inches – $100

    Additional Information on bringing scuba diving equipment on US Airways

    If the scuba tank is not included, scuba equipment will be accepted as part of the normal baggage allowance in lieu of a piece of baggage. Items are subject to overweight and oversize fees if over 50 lbs or 62 inches.

    United Airlines

    For Travel within the US and Canada
    First bag: $15 ($20 if paid at airport)
    Second bag: $25 ($30 if paid at airport)

    Oversized (more than 62 linear inches) $175 fee per peice
    Overweight (more than 50 lbs) $125 fee per peice

    International Travel (excluding Brazil)
    First two checked bags – free (size and weight restrictions apply)

    Oversized (more than 62 linear inches)
    $175 between North America and Caribbean, Central America, Mexico
    $200 per bag between Australia/Asia/New Zealand via the Pacific, Europe, South America
    $250 per bag between north america and Africa, Asia via the Atlantic Middle East

    Overweight
    Weight limits 50 lbs per piece for economy class and 70 lbs business / first class. For heavier bags, the following fees apply:

    Between North America and Caribbean, Central America, Mexico $125 (up to 100 lbs)
    Between Australia/Asia/New Zealand via the Pacific, Europe, South America (51-70 lbs) – $150.

    Oversized baggage charges are applied in addition to any charges that may be assessed for overweight and/or excess baggage. These regulations were compiled within the last week. As always, things change quickly and we advise dive travelers to check with their individual carriers for answers to specific questions.

    Thank you to Megan Denny for her research and preparation of this report.

     

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