Originally published in February 2008 Beachside Resident -
As I am packing my bags for another flight down to Costa Rica for a 'business' trip, I thought I would make it a little easier for those travelers wondering which airlines are the most surfer friendly. Here's what I found..
From MartinAir.com - (stops service from Miami on May 1st, 2008)
Three pieces of luggage, including one carryon. Passengers may carry maximum 2 surfboards, in the same bag, as one piece of luggage as long as the bag does not exceed 70lbs in weight and is no longer than 10 feet.
From SpiritAir.com -
The charge for surfboards is $50 one-way and may only be paid at the airport.
Starting February 20, 2008 and beyond, our checked baggage fees are as follows: Fees for transporting the first two pieces will increase from $5.00 to $10.00 per bag if payment is made online in advance. When paying at the airport fees will increase from $10.00 to $20.00 per item. Items that are overweight or oversized will continue to be weighed and sized at the Airport, and fees collected at check-In.
Spirit Airlines can only guarantee the transportation of one (1) item as checked luggage per fare-paying customer at the airport. Additional bags are accepted only when reserved in advance online at www.spiritair.com. If not reserved, Spirit cannot guarantee that there will be space for additional bags and will not be held responsible for any additional items brought to the airport by the customer.
From Taca.com -
Surfboards: As checked baggage:
- Up to 2 surfboards in one bag permitted per passenger
- Charge of US $95 per bag, each way
- Charge of US $50 per bag, each way, from Miami to San Jose for first 2 surfboards per passenger
from Delta.com -
If it's 62-80 inches, the total of length plus width plus height of your bag, $100 each bag each way. No more than two bags total, or you pay another $75 fee.
If it's over 80 inches, total of length plus width plus height, it's not permitted.
From AA.com -
Surfboards, Kiteboards, Wakeboards One surfboard, Kiteboard, or Wakeboard $80
Kiteboards and wakeboards and containers that are less than 62 linear inches and under 50 lbs. are free in place of one 62 inch bag in the free allowance.
115 inches - Acceptance conditional on aircraft size and load conditions
- Exception: If the Kiteboard/wakeboard is less than 62 linear inches and 50 lbs., the above conditions do not apply
- If this item is in excess of the number of pieces allowed in the free baggage allowance, excess baggage charges apply in addition to the $80 special items fee.
From Continental.com -
Continental Airlines will accept one surfboard/wakeboard or one surfboard bag containing up to four boards per customer as checked baggage.
Services charges (one way):
- 1 surfboard $95.00
- 1 surfboard bag containing up to two boards $95.00
- 1 surfboard bag containing up to three boards $380.00
- 1 surfboard bag containing up to four boards $665.00
This service charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply.
The skeg/fin must be removed or well padded. The entire board must be encased in a suitable container to avoid scratching. Continental Airlines shall not be liable for damage to a surfboard/wakeboard. Excess Valuation may not be purchased for a surfboard/wakeboard.
Surfboard/wakeboard and surfboard bags over 70lbs (32 kg) will not be accepted as checked baggage.
Note: On Continental Airlines flights, surfboards, surfboard bags or wakeboards over 115 inches (292 cm) in length will not be accepted as checked baggage. On Continental Express* or Continental Connection flights, surfboards, surfboard bags or wakeboards over 80 inches (203 cm) in length will not be accepted as checked baggage.
Surfboards/Wakeboards will be transported subject to load capacities of the aircraft on any itinerary involving a Continental Express* or Continental Connection flight.
Surfboards and Wakeboards will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo when no excess baggage is allowed. Exception: Surfboards and Wakeboards will be accepted to Costa Rica during an embargo period.
From CopaAir.com -
Surfboards cost $50. There's no mention if it's one-way or round trip.
From United.com -
In the U.S., checked baggage that exceeds 62 inches/158 cm will be charged $100.00 per piece. They recommend that you contact your travel agent before making a reservation.
ATA Airlines is flying from Miami to San Jose now. They are charging $50 per board (even if they are in the same bag).
General Tips - Search for fares early in the morning and on weekends.
Airlines play games with airfares, sometimes, it seems, merely to annoy their competitors. If you check a New York to Seattle fare before going to bed one night it might be $228 round-trip, but check at 8 AM the following day and it could be $108. But that sneak sale, which could be valid for travel up to 330 days in the future, will probably last only a few hours, and seats will sell quickly. So be an early bird and catch these unadvertised deals. And for reasons that we can only speculate on, airlines lower fares on Saturday mornings and during the weekend (this is also when those "fat finger" airfare mistakes seem to happen). The aforementioned peak summer deals on Virgin to London popped up on a Saturday afternoon, and those now famous 88 cent USAir roundtrips on a Saturday morning.