By Andrea Romano
May 21, 2019
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Athletes and musicians no longer have to worry about losing or damaging their most prized possessions when they fly.

Now, American Airlines is eliminating oversized baggage fees for sports equipment and musical instruments, according to a statement by the company, so anyone who needs to lug items like giant cellos or a surfboard no longer have to pay through the nose for doing what they love.

This equipment can also be extremely expensive and hard to replace, which means athletes and musicians often feel reluctant or nervous about checking their items for fear of them getting damaged or lost on the flight.

Some musicians have gone to lengths to keep their prized instruments with them, like one violinist who played an in-flight concert for more overhead space.

American Airlines’ new policy goes into effect immediately, as of May 21. Anyone can check these items up to the maximum allowed dimensions (no larger than 62 inches), as long as their baggage also fit within the airline’s weight requirements (no heavier than 50 lbs).

Weight requirements are necessary for flight safety and fuel efficiency. Overweight bags can seriously impact any flight.

Oversized bag fees used to cost $150 but now only cost $30, the same fee for a regular bag. The new policy only applies to most common sports equipment and musical instruments that don’t require special handlings like surfboards, skis, snowboards and other items. According to the statement, items like antlers, hang gliders, scuba tanks and kite/windsurfing items will still have a $150 fee.

More information on American Airlines’ checked bag policy can be found on the company’s website.