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I have no problem lying to a gate agent who is basically coercing me to giving them more money. Don't think they can really look in your bags anyway. Thats left to the TSA.
Airlines that nickel and dime you to death should simply be boycotted. Southwest has very good and reasonable baggage policies. Alaska has cheap upgrades to first class that allows you plenty of bags and good service. KLM/Airfrance for international explicitly allows kiteboarding gear. Don't fly baggage nazi airlines......Hawaiian is definitely one of them. Guaranteed strongarm at OGG to hit you up for $80+.
I flew on Hawaiian and had no problems, but they are going to catch on soon enough. On the return trip the lady asked me if I checked my bag as a surfboard. I said, "This is a golf bag." She replied, "That is not a golf bag." So I pointed to where it says "Golf bag," and she says. "Oh, it IS a golf bag." The second lady I talked to took the bag and asked what is inside. I pointed to the bag and said, "It's a golf bag." Everything worked out and I had an epic time!
airline personnel are pretty hip to the golf bag ruse, especially when the flight is going to a known winsport destination. they've seen plenty of real golf bags which are quite a bit different than kite bags except for the fact they may both have the word golf somewhere.
i've flown with the same bag for 4 years and the only time there was a question about the contents was when i wasn't within the weight limit.
the last time i had a problem i was told that if it was golf equipment i could pay extra for overweight but if it was kite gear i couldn't because it included a "surfboard". i had a twin tip. fortunately there was a big line of travelers behind me and they let me go instead of arguing about it.
fly virgin if you can. no limit on windsurf or kite gear.
Maybe we can make up a new sport... Kitegolfing. Just put a golf club next to the kites. That might actually be an interesting idea for a sport...
I don't think I would feel comfortable lying about the contents of the bag. If they take it as a golf bag without asking I'm fine with that, but if they ask I won't lie about it.
+1 for Virgin; great direct flight SFO-->SJD (Cabo San Lucas).
Surprised nobody has mentioned snowboard bags. My friends and I have used them (with twin tips) on several occasions flying to Hood River and SPI. My bag fits my board, some clothes, shorty, harness, and bar before it starts to get heavy. I've been able to pack 7m, 10m, and 14m Rebels in my older 14m Rebel bag. Southwest has been cool as long as it's not too heavy... and I figure buying clothes at Walmart in Port Isabel (and donating them at Island Church when done) is cheaper than paying airline fees. I've always thought it hilarious, though, that nobody ever asked me why I'm bringing a snowboard to southern Texas.
yep. i do the snowboard bag. it's cheaper than the faux-golf bag. and when they open it up, it looks like a snowboard too. and hey, it's actually a snowboard bag! it says Burton on the side!
i can usually fit 2 kites in there along with my board too.
As for why I'm bringing snowboards to hawaii? they're for a friend. easy as that.
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