Baggage charges have really mounted in recent years and media rates have disappeared. On top of the normal bag charge and the limit of two checked bags per flight, charges for anything beyond two pieces is even more costly, running between $70 and $90 per bag – per flight. That means that when you have 2 extra pieces of gear the excess baggage charge can be anywhere between $280 and $360 per roundtrip ticket.
When I am traveling to a destination with a lot of gear and am able to find a good airfare – I do the math and weigh out the difference between what excess baggage would cost compared to buying another ticket. Many times buying another ticket is a money saver and also gives you an empty seat next to you onboard the plane. It’s perfectly legal and is done all the time.