I'm a surfer, so this affects me every time I fly to Hawaii and bring a surfboard, lucky for me, I have relatives there and I just keep a couple of my surfboards there. Unlucky for other folks who has to haul gear on the plane.
This also affects us kiteboarders, and windsurfers as well, so let's try and support this petition.
'Surfers Against Discriminatory Airline Surfboard Fees' Issues Worldwide Petition September 11, 2008 PRESS RELEASE
Surfers are some of the most travelled people in the world. Pioneering and exploring remote parts of the world to find that beautiful gem of a wave. These airlines would not even be making money from a lot of prime destinations if it hadn't been for surfers, places like Bali, Costa Rica, Central America, The Maldives, Sri Lanka and many remote destinations in Indonesia just for starters.
What is shameful & discriminatory is that most airlines have imposed fees for the handling of a surfboard. Some airlines have banned surfboards altogether! And they do this while other sporting equipment travel for free.
Delta has upped the anti by imposing the single largest fee compared to all airlines except for those carriers that have banned us surfers from flying with them, namely British Airways and Bahamas Air.
Below is a link to a petition to speak out against ALL airline carriers that have banned surfboards altogether and those airlines that charge surfers exorbitant fees for no benefit. Often when charged for boards to fly, the insult to injury is they will most often arrive damaged.
Please sign the petition below & voice your comments and let the airlines know we will not stand for outright discrimination.
We also would like to take the opportunity to express thanks & show support to the airlines that do not discriminate against surfers. They are: Qantas, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, South African Airlines, TACA and Virgin Atlantic
"Delta has upped the anti by imposing" I believe they mean "ante" not "anti" I commend them for issuing a press release, but spelling mistakes don't help their cause.
as much as it sucks, i'm not sure it's really that discriminatory. surfboard bags are huge. it doesn't come close to a snowboard bag or a golf bag. and come on people, the "golf" bags we use as kiters are so big it's obvious to everyone there it's not a golf bag.
the way I see it, the airlines have a maximum baggage size because anything bigger than a certain dimension requires special handling and thus costs them extra. So, it only makes sense in today's age of no pillows and paying for food that they'd pass on the charge of a really big bag too.
and please. let's be serious. the number of surfers travelling with boards is dwarfed by the number of snowboarders or golfers travelling with gear.
I hope the press release goes somewhere, because I'd love to travel with my surfboard, but considering that almost all the US airlines are almost bankrupt, I don't see them lowering fees anytime soon.
You'll actually find a few airlines who, on certain flights to South America and the Caribbean, waive surcharges for surfboards. They recognize a core segment of their customers on those flight paths are surfers.
And while NSI and other 'golf' bags are definitely larger, from my experience it's the security guys (TSA) who knows our dirty little secret, and the check-in counter folks either aren't in the same social group (meaning they don't get the feedback from the TSA) or simply don't give a rip unless it's obviously a board bag.
I have a theory that the golf and snowboard industry kick back a bit to the airlines to help offset the additional baggage handling costs - makes business sense for both groups to do so.