The Best and Worst Domestic Airlines for your Outdoor Sports Getaway

The Best and Worst Domestic Airlines for your Outdoor Sports Getaway

Flying to your next action-packed adventure? Choosing the right airline can make all the difference between a smooth journey and a turbulent experience. For thrill-seeking outdoor sports enthusiasts, finding an airline that caters to their unique needs is essential. Join us as we uncover the best and worst airlines for your action sports getaway.

Before we dive into airline specifics, let's understand why choosing the right airline matters. For action sports enthusiasts, one of the biggest considerations is the handling of sport equipment fees. From bicycles to surf and ski gear, these fees can vary drastically between airlines and significantly impact the overall cost of the trip.



The Worst

Spirit Airlines

When it comes to budget airlines, Spirit Airlines often finds itself at the center of controversy. Despite offering rock-bottom fares, the airline has gained a notorious reputation for leaving passengers feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. Flying with a bike will cost you $75 each way, plus their company language is not very specific about oversize or overweight fees. Your mileage might vary.



No surprise that the other budget airline makes this list. A bike on Frontier will set you back $75. This doesn't mean Frontier or Spirit are the worst option. Just be sure that you are saving enough on the ticket price to make up for the exorbitant baggage fees.



Southwest Airlines prides itself on its no-frills approach to air travel, eschewing many of the amenities offered by traditional carriers. While this philosophy resonates with budget-conscious travelers, others may feel shortchanged. Flying with a bike will set you back $75, with an additional $100 fee for bags over 50 lbs.


The Best


Alaska is the first airline to offer no additional charges for sporting equipment. Fly with a bike and as long as it is under 50lbs it costs as much as any checked bag.



American also offers flying with your bike for the same price as any other checked bag. When it comes to overweight fee American only charges $30 if you are between 50 and 53 lbs. If you're over 53 this goes up to $100.



Same deal here for United. Flying with a bike costs the same as any other checked bag. However, go over 50 lbs and you'll be hit with a $100 overweight charge.


Key Takeaways

  • Weigh your baggage at home and get right up to that 50lb mark. In fact, we recommend playing it safe at 48/49 - we've weighed our gear and ended up at check-in where it came in at 51 lbs.
  • Compare your ticket prices with what the baggage fees would be to get the best overall price.
  • Be nice, but firm with check-in agents. Airlines are massive companies, with many rules and regulations. We've had people check our bikes in incorrectly with massive fees - but just asked them to double check.