Baggage overage in the U.S. fluctuates.
Saying production rate out of LA, usually will give you more weight, also paying with a airline credit card adds one extra bag. There are other ways to add more free baggage, but everything is dependent on the airlines and the city.
Upgrading to first or Business class helps and speeds the airport check in time considerably.
Also if you travel between certain cities regularly, knowing a few skycaps that understand what you do, will help as they'll run interference for you at check in.
Out of LA, just about all the major carriers accept the production rate. I mostly fly American Air and they accept production rates in and out of Kennedy and Newark, Miami, DFW and sometimes Chicago.
Continental (now united) out of Newark won't accept the production rate, at least in my dozen times flying them.
In Europe and Asia it's a crap shoot, but usually the prices go up 4 to 10 times, depending on carrier, county, etc.
We've routinely have $500 fees domestically, $1,200 overage fees in Europe, Asia can be almost double that.
Baggage fees can seem excessive, especially if your moving 700 to 800 lbs of equipment, but rentals in Europe are high, rentals in some markets and almost impossible and knowing your equipment, knowing it's backed up and ready to go when you land, saves you days of production time and money.
With the compressed schedules we work, it's not unusual for us to fly for 12, to 14 hours, land and start working.
Luckily I can sleep on almost any plane, even those rocking around areoflot flights in the winter.
Best thing is to check with every carrier, try to get something in writing and hold the carrier to it at time of check in, but your always at the mercy of the manager at the counter.