As of July 17th, 2019, Delta Airlines would officially allow all of its passengers to check in bulky sporting equipments like ski gear, scuba gear, golf clubs and mountain bikes as part of their luggage allowance. This was announced by the airline on their news release.
Based on Delta’s baggage policy on its website, most sporting equipments can be checked in if the outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) does not exceed 115 linear inches (292 cm), and weighs less than 50 or 100lbs (22.7kg or 45.4kg) (depending on type of equipment). From my experience flying Delta, my skis have always been free as a checked luggage though it could be attributed to my flights generally in Business Class.
For more clarifications on the baggage policy regarding special checked luggage onboard Delta Airlines, it can be found here.
The news release read as follow:
Delta customers traveling with surfboards, bicycles, golf clubs, scuba gear and other large-sized sporting equipment will now be allowed to check them as part of their standard baggage allowance.
The airline is eliminating the $150 specialty sports bag fee previously charged for these items, effective for travel worldwide on tickets purchased beginning July 17, 2019. Customers will instead pay a first, second or third checked bag fee according to the fare rules associated with their booking and/or SkyMiles Medallion status.
Naturally, this news is great news for travellers who fly to get to their skiing, golfing, diving and cycling adventures. The reduction of fees would also make it more worthwhile to travel with your equipment as there are instances when renting might not be possible. With numerous improvements to their onboard cabin and all the changes that have so far made travel more comfortable for passengers, I think Delta might just be the friendliest airline to travellers in North America right now and this piece of news just won them even more brownie points!