Local airlines are aware of the popularity of sports tourism among Malaysians and try their best to cater to their needs. Here’s how to transport your sports equipment when you travel for a sports event.
According to an AirAsia spokesperson, both the airline’s carriers (AirAsiaX and AirAsia) in Malaysia collectively transport more than 150,000 sports equipment to and from the country annually. The outgoing destinations with the most check-ins for sports equipment departing from various hubs in Malaysia are Indonesia (Padang), South Korea (Seoul and Busan) and Australia (Gold Coast).
Sports travellers flying with the airline can pre-book their baggage allowance for sports equipment online and select from the different weight allocations available, which ranges from 20kg to 40kg.
It is also possible to pay for sports equipment allocation at the counter, but it will be limited to just 15kg.
The items that can be checked in as sports equipment include surfboards, kiteboards, bodyboards, wakeboards, snowboards, bicycles, scuba diving sets, cricket bats, golf clubs and snow skis.
Any other item that is not listed can be accepted as part of the standard check-in baggage.
Do note that AirAsia offers free-of-charge carriage for surfboards in and out of Australia, as it is the official airline partner for Surfing Australia, the governing body and organisation for the sport of surfing in Australia.
Surfing enthusiasts flying between Malaysia and Australia will not be charged additional costs if they carry a specific bag that’s recognised by both the airline and organisation. You can check out the full terms and conditions on the AirAsia website.
Meanwhile, for Malaysia Airlines, it is learned that there is no specific sports equipment fee imposed on travellers. All sports equipment are included in the free baggage allowance (FBA) for all Malaysia Airlines flights. This free baggage allowance ranges from 20kg to 50kg, depending on the cabin class and fare.
However, if the total weight of the sports equipment and normal luggage exceeds the free baggage allowance, then excess baggage fees are charged. Excess baggage fees are calculated based on zones; you can check the details on the Malaysia Airlines website or call the customer service centre for clarification.
Passengers bringing bicycles on a flight would need to fix the handlebars sideways and remove the pedals before packing in a bicycle box. This is to protect both the bicycle and baggage of other passengers.
Bags (including bicycle and other sports equipment bags) that measure between 158cm and 204cm will be checked-in as oversized baggage. But if the linear dimensions exceed 204cm, it needs to be transported via cargo services.
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