Surfer’s Airline Baggage Fees Guide 2017

Written by on 5th January 2017
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Unless you’re a carbon-footprint-conscious cold-water charger, or a straight up skint surfer, you’re going to jump on a plane at some point or another to score those board short barrels you’ve been dreaming of ever since your first green wave.

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Unfortunately this isn’t the 90’s and you can’t send your considerably cumbersome coffin-bag through check-in with a healthy smile any more. Nearly all airlines have cottoned on to the fact that surfers travel, a lot, and some are cool, but others are cashing in on our insatiable appetite for waves and are charging extortionate prices for us to take our foam friends away with us.

So if you’re booking a trip with us check out the following 2017 Airline Baggage Fee guide as it might be worth buying amore expensive flight that avoids massive board charges. Although I have done my research it isn’t gospel and you should always call the airline for the latest policy as they regularly change.

However, the old smile and be nice to the baggage woman/ guy trick still works in some cases. It is ultimately them who decides whether to sting you or not, so brighten up their day with a good knee-slapper and they may brighten yours by turning a blind eye to your ballooning boardbag.

AER LINGUS
Ireland’s national carrier and a good option for heading to the US, as a lot of flights heading West will cost ya.
Max weight: 23kg
Max length international: 2.77m/110in
Max length regional: 2.05m/80in
Fee: To North America part of standard baggage allowance.
Other destinations €40 per leg.

AIR ASIA
Air Asia aren’t too bad, especially if you pre-book as I found in Sumatra. You’re bound to be enticed by their cheap fees if you’re heading over to Indo, just weigh your bag and pay beforehand.
Max length: 2.77m/109in
Max weight: 32kg
Pre-book fees per leg: 30kg = £16

AIR CALIN
Air Calin let you take a 23kg boardbag in addition to your 23kg hold bag, for free, which is awesome.
Max dimensions: 3m
Max weight: 23kg

AIR CANADA
These guys are reasonable and a great option if heading to The States. Board bag counts as one of your checked bags and only $100 round trip.
Max length: 80in
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: $50USD per leg handling charge.

AIR FRANCE
These guys introduced fees for surfboards this March, why?
Max length: 3m
Max weight: 23kg
Fees:€65 to €125 depending on route

AIR INDIA
Only one board per passenger which is charged 50% of the excess baggage charge but us included in the Free Baggage Allowance. Quite confusing.
Max length: unknown
Max weight: 23kg (free) 32kg (charged)
Fees: £59 maximum

AIR NEW ZEALAND
Free and fine with it. Legends.
Max length: 2m
Max weight:23kg

AIR TAHITI NUI
Bit of a weird one as the max length is 1.8m, but if you’re heading this way you’re going to need something a lot bigger! Counts as checked baggage though, so maybe you’ll glide into Chopes on your mini simmons?
Max length: 1.8m/70in
Max weight: 25kg

AMERICAN AIRLINES
Crikey these guys are shit.
Max length: 126in combined dimensions
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $150USD

AVIANCA
No too bad and you can longboard at least.
Max dimensions: 3.7m
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $150-100 depending on destination

BRITISH AIRWAYS
BA have switched their take on board bags up again and reduced the size to an doable 1.9m (6’2). But it’s free as long as it’s within the weight catagory.We are waiting on confirmation as whether this includes the board bag (every inch counts)
Max dimensions: 1.9m/75in
Max weight: 23kg

DELTA
Shit. Strictly enforce two boards per bag and will charge you for each board.
Max length: 115in
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: €100 – €150 per board.

EASYJET
To be fair easyjet are alright, you know what you’re getting and you just need to factor the £70 return cost when you head over to Lagos for a week of surf and booze.
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: £70 return

EMIRATES
Not the healthiest weight allowance but totally doable and free as long as it’s part of your checked allowance.
Max dimensions: 118in
Max weight: 23kg

ETIHAD
Cool, again free as long as it’s part of your checked allowance.
Max length: 3m
Max weight: 23kg

FLYBE
Aka Fly Newquay. Pretty handy for getting around UK islands and fare price at £60 return.
Max length: Depends on plane, between 1.67m and 3m.
Max weight: 20kg
Fee: £30 per leg payable at the airport

HAWAIIAN
Boards included in the baggage allowance with a limit of two per bag, which is a bit annoying if you’re heading that way. Maybe they are trying to support the local shapers?
Max length: 115in
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: Inter island $35, Hawaii to US $100. Price varies from free to NZ/Oz to $150 per leg depending on destination.

IBERIA
Oh my God these guys are the worst in my personal experience. They charge you per board and I got stung $450 on my way back from Costa Rica once. PLEASE AVOID THESE GUYS.
Max length: 2.5m
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: €150 per board

ICELAND AIR
Book in advance and there’s an each way fee for ‘medium’ sports equipment depending on route.
Max length: 2.5m
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: UK to Iceland:€62 Europe to USA €87 each way.

JET BLUE
An American carrier you might end up on if you’re heading that way. John John famously called them out for breaking all his boards, maybe jump on the bandwagon and avoid.
Max length: 118in
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $50 each way

KLM
Decent, as they let you take a board bag as part of your allowance. On European routes you just prebook the standard hold baggage fee.
Max length: 118in
Max weight: 23kg

LATAM CHILE
All good. Free as long as it’s in your allowance.
Max dimensions: 3m
Max weight: 23kg

LUFTHANSA
Another good value airline who make their money by charging for boards.
Max length: 2m
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: €100

MALAYASIAN
One of the good guys. Carried free as part of checked allowance which is a healthy 30kg.
Max length: 2.5m
Max weight: 30kg

QANTAS
These guys take boards for free, with a healthy weight limit.
Max length: 2.7m/109in
Max weight: 32kg

QATAR
Free board carriage with a healthy allowance.
Max dimensions: 118in
Max weight: 30kg

RYANAIR
You know the deal with RyanAir, they will charge for everything and this includes boards.
Max length: Standard board bags always go with no problem. Hard to find a specific length on their site.
Max weight: 20kg
Fee: €100 return for ‘Large sports equipment’

SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Singapore Airlines are the bees knees and board bags are part of your checked allowance.
Max length: 2m
Max weight: 30kg

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS
Good guys with board bags under two metres go as a free additional bag. Over two must go as cargo though.
Max length: 2m
Max weight: 23kg

SRI LANKAN
My personal favourite. Very accommodating staff and as I’ve flown a few times now they’ve bumped my allowance from a healthy 30kg to a chunky 40kg! Go Sri Lankan! More boards for the groms.
Max length: 118in
Max weight: 30kg

TAP PORTUGAL
The main carrier to Portugal that actually take longboards. Solid fees though.
Max weight: 32kg
Fees: Up to 2m €50 over 2m €100 per leg!

THAI AIRWAYS
Doesn’t count as your free baggage and only one board allowed. Avoid.
Max length: 109in
Max weight: 30kg
Fee: $100 if under 109in $200 if over!

THOMAS COOK
The British package holiday operator has their own planes on some routes and let you take boards for free! Go Tom.
Max length: Longboard
Max weight: 32kg

UNITED
THE WORST. Sorry these guys are the worst airline in the world, not Iberian. They once lost my gf’s Bag for three months without an apology.
Max length: 115in
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $150 each way in US airspace and $200 each way international.

VIRGIN
Board bag goes as part of your checked allowance, but they have created a new length allowance of 6’3 and an extra hold bag will set you back £65.
Max length: 75in
Max weight: 23kg

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