Want to plan a kiting trip? Just got back from one? Post you experiences, questions and information here.
2 things for sure. When traveling to Europe/N.Africa. Take Air france or KLM. it is their policy NOT to charge for kitesurfing gear.
When traveling within the US use Southwest 2 bags for free. A big surfboard bag with 2 boards will cost you $50 each way.
I flew to La Ventana in January two years ago. My trip coincided with the annual Kite Expo; but the Expo event itself wasn't the reason for my trip.
When I checked in at American Airlines in SFO, the woman at the counter inquired as to the contents of my "golf" bag. It went something like this:
"What's in the bag, sir?"
"Golf Clubs" I answered.
"And if I looked inside your bag, I'd find golf clubs, correct?"
"Yes, of course."
"And the fact that there is a kiteboarding event in La Paz this week wouldn't change your answer?"
You get the idea. I was totally blown away that a counter agent for American Airlines in San Francisco knew about the Expo event in La Ventana. My wallet was suddenly $150 lighter.
Does the golf bag trick still work?
I think it depends...
I do think it is a very wierd policy:
If your bag is overweight or oversized you have to pay for it extra - UNLESS it is golf equipment... i wonder if anyone can give the logical reason for it?
I myself have to be honest (cant help it just cannot lie). If I am asked specifically "is there more than just golf stuff here" - I answer: "yes there is more than golf here", and then i get charged the extra bucks.
If I am not asked then i dont get charged the extra... thats how i roll... funnily enough usually on the trips back from my destinations i dont get asked.
Simple - golfers are a huge demographic and won't tolerate the extra fees. If any airline charged them, golfers would pick another. Therefore, none can.
Because I will fly with Lufthansa,they have policy about one luggage and one extra sport equipment bag,which includes ski or snowboard.So I called them and told them that I have a "snowboard" and they told me it gonna be free of charge.So I am gonna buy a snowboard bag and everything is gonna be fine.
I use the Cabrinha golf bag and have flown with it across the US, to Europe, Hawaii and Mexico and never got charged once... When asked, I say it's a golf bag and that seems to satisfy them... Plus it's the truth, it is a golf bag...
I have never had to pay anything and travelled a fair amount. Here is what worked for me so far:
1. Get a real golf bag. I bought the biggest I could find at the store at the 3rd Ave driving range. It fits a twintip (up to 135cm), two kites, bars, impact vest, harness and pump. When traveling with my directional, I use a F-One Surf Air Force bag.
2. Keep it under 50lb
3. Don't show up at the airport dressed like a surfer, but like a golfer
4. Be polite but confident (act like a frequent traveler)
5. Check in at the curb and tip well
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