2016 Airline Surfboard Fees

airline surfboard fees

We all dream of chasing barrels that seem to roll for a mile on a perfect exotic beach, seemingly untouched by the rest of the world. A dream ‘surfcation’ is something that all surfers get warm and fuzzy feelings about when they realize that dream can become a reality. Whether it’s finding that knee high break that gives you a 10-minute push, or Sumbawa Indonesia is calling to you with its perfect surf and coral reefs, you can get there. All it takes is a little bit of saving and reservations. After the trip is booked, you pack your board bag and head to the airport.

You go through the trouble of hauling an oversized board bag through the masses of people in the airport and find the correct terminal. As you stand in line waiting to check your surfboard bag, you are again dreaming of the new and exotic possibilities that simply await your arrival. The checked baggage lady with a nice smile motions for you to come to the counter and asks you to open your board bag so that she can see how many boards you have. The next thing you know, you are being told you have to forfeit a lot of your cash. All of that spending money you were planning on using for exotic local food and maybe a few souvenirs is gone in an instant. So much for that stop at the local bar, your boards are now flying first class.

Airline companies are not known for being friendly to traveling surfers. To our surprise, and after doing some research, we did find some airlines that are making a difference. We found this great infographic of surfboard travel fees by our friends at SwellSpy that includes a list of surfer-friendly airlines as well as some airlines you may want to avoid. The list is broken down into three sections. The first section is the surfer-friendly airlines that let you bring a board as checked baggage and the second asks you to make the decision between bringing your board or breaking into your booze money. Finally, the last part of the list mentions which airlines to avoid at all costs; these kooks charge upwards of $150… per way! As always, to avoid getting caught with your pants down, make sure you do your research and read the fine print.

Airline surfboard fee infographic

surfboard fees


Happy surfing and see you in the water!


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