Taking Your Board By Air0 comments
The first thing you need to do when booking a flight for a surfing vacation is check the airline surfboard policy. Every airline has its own rules when it comes to taking boards. These are constantly changing so we will not be listing them all here. There are rules with all luggage such as a weight limit per item and also a restriction on dimensions. If you have a longboard it may be that the airline will refuse to take the board altogether - you really do not want to have to leave your board at the airport at the start of your trip. Here is what you need to check:
- Is your board within the maximum dimensions?
- Is your packed boardbag within the maximum allowed weight for a single item of luggage?
- Does the airline charge a flat fee per boardbag?
- Is the board covered in your luggage allowance?
- Do you have to advise the airline that you will be bringing a board prior to checking in?
If you have checked the facts before you leave for the airport then you know what to expect. There are some things that you can do to try and make the trip go smoother.
- Make sure your surfboard is packed well to prevent damage in transit. See the surfboard packing guide for details.
- If the airline charges per boardbag then pack all your boards in the same bag.
- Arrive early and check in as soon as you can. Sometimes this can be the difference in being charged or not,
- Dress well, be polite and smile. Good manners, a smart appearance and being friendly can go a long way with a check-in person who is finishing up a rotten 10 hour shift.
- You have already found out what the airline should charge - anything less is a bonus!
Don't be surprised if you have to sign a damage waiver for your board at check-in. This is now pretty standard due to the fragile nature of the boards. (It's a little cheeky to ask you to pay extra to take a surfboard and then not accept liability for any damage caused in transit - damn those corporate fatcats!)
Talking of damage, it has become much harder to get insurance for a surfboard and many of the excess premiums demanded are just not worth it. Check your household insurance - your board may just be covered by your Accidental Damage cover.
Not taking our advise seriously? take a look at this nightmare airline surfboard story.
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