Surfboard Bag Fees by Airline – updated for 2023

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If you are thinking about bringing your favorite quiver on your next surf trip to Costa Rica, the major airlines (American, United, Delta) have now counted surfboards as a regular checked piece of luggage (so if you flew with just your boardbag then the charge is only $30-40 if it is under the length and weight restrictions, on average 9 feet and  less than 50 pounds). Be sure to visit the airlines’ website before booking your flight so you know what to expect. Our links go directly to their ‘sports equipment’ page so you can find the exact specifications required for your surfboard travel bag.

Luckily in Costa Rica there are a number of surf shops who rent quality, ding free boards, and shapers who can design your next magic stick. It is also an option to buy a new board and then sell it back used and still save over what it would have cost to bring your own. Here is our list of surfcamps, many of whom have boards to rent.



Aeromexico – $150 each way for each piece of surf equipment. Maximum length allowed per piece on narrow-body cabin is 204 centimeters / 80 inches and wide-body cabin is 294 centimeters / 115 inches (Maximum length including case)

Alaska Air – $30 – Under 50 lbs and less than 115” follows to the normal baggage fee of $30. But anything above those measurements gets bumped up to $100.

American Airlines$30 Standard checked bag fees of your destination apply up to 50lbs/23kgs and 126in/320cm (length + width + height) or a $150 fee applies from 51lbs/23kgs to 70lbs/32kgs. One bag or case can contain multiple boards and will count as 1 checked item. Keels, kedges, and/or fins must be removed or properly protected to prevent damage to other bags.

Avianca – $80 to 105 “As part of your baggage, you can check in a bag with up to three surfboards for a fee. The length of the bag must be up to 3.7 meters.” Fees are $80 on booking online and $105 at the airport.

Copa $100 to $150 – The maximum weight allowed on board is 45 kg (100 lb). The maximum dimensions allowed are 115 linear inches (294 linear cm). On international flights with origin or destination Panama (including multi-city flights with layover in Panama), or itineraries with stopover in Panama, surfboards will cost $100 USD each way (round trip).

Delta  $30 to 40 – you only pay for surfboards as checked bags ($30 for first bag, $40 for second bag) Length + Width + Height needs to be less than 115″. Delta Connection carrier surfboard acceptance and charges may vary. Surfboards are allowed up to two (2) boards per bag. Bags over 50 lbs. will be charged the excess weight fee. Surfboards over 115 linear inches will not be accepted.

Jet Blue $100 per board – Surfboards will be accepted on domestic and certain international flights* and will count as a checked bag. You will be charged any baggage fees associated with your fare and a $100 per board each way fee. More information on surfboards here – LINK.

$75 – Surfboard can be substituted for one checked bag. Keels and fins must be removed and placed in carryon or checked baggage. Excess weight and size charges apply. When traveling on flights between the islands of Hawaii, the size limit does not apply. May be subject to a limited release of liability. Customers are not entitled to reimbursement or compensation for damage in situations where a limited release of liability applies.

Spirit Airlines
– $100 –
A fee of $100 will apply each way for surfboards. A maximum of two surfboards will be accepted per case. More information here – LINK.

$200 – Accepts surfboards, wakeboards and paddleboards checked as special items as long as they’re packed in appropriate board bags and don’t weigh more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kilograms). These items are subject to standard service charges for oversized and overweight bags. Fees for first, second and excess checked bags may apply. Accepts boards and board bags weighing more than 99.9 pounds (45.3 kilograms) combined. Accepts surf board bags that measure more than 115 linear inches (292 centimeters). For United Express flights, they won’t accept surfboard bags that measure more than 80 linear inches (203 centimeters). Linear size is measured by adding the length, width, and height of your surfboard. Baggage Fee calculator – LINK

Volaris$160 to $200 – Your board bag must not weigh more than 55 pounds (25 kg). The sum of its dimensions (height + length + width) should not exceed 98 total inches (250 cm). No sports equipment will be accepted if it measures more than 110 in (280 cm) total or weighs more than 99 lb (45 kg). Bear in mind that these dimensions will be considered only when paying the correspondent fee for this service. We recommend the “More Baggage Combo”, available ONLY at the time of booking your flight. Please note, the Combo is NOT available at the airport, it MUST be purchased ahead of time. The combo includes includes: Additional 10 kg/22lbs Carry-on Allowance, One 25kg Checked Bag, One piece of Sporting Equipment. Price of “More Baggage Combo” International: $160 ($200 during high season)

These airlines do not charge for boards:

Singapore AirlinesNo Charge for first 2 surfboards
QantasNo charge
South African Airways
No charge
Air Emirates
No Charge

Wherever you decide to fly, be sure to purchase travel insurance to protect you from those ‘just in case’ moments and give you peace of mind on your trip. Our recommended partner is Travel Guard for their great service and competitive prices. Get a free quote using our travel advisor LINK and then we can assist if you need to file a claim.

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