Ok we’ve all been there, you’re all packed and you rock up to the check in desk with a coffin full of surfboards and a backpack on your shoulders and in your heart of hearts you damn well know you are WAY over your baggage allowance so you try and pick the happiest looking check in person and nervously make a bee-line for them. So what next, how do you ensure that you don’t end up spending your entire travel budget before you’ve even set foot on the plane. Well here’s a few tips, they may not always work but then again sometimes they just might.
Weight matters most
That’s right airlines are increasingly less concerned about the length of the bag but if it weighs a tonne then you’re going to have problems so ditch that massive padded coffin board bag and just take a double board bag with basic padding, lets face it unless you’re Mick Fanning two boards is probably going to be enough, after all how many do you really use at home? Plus you can often tell a white lie and convince a non-surfing baggage handler that a a double board bag is actually just one surfboard … no chance of this with a coffin. Don’t overpack the board bag with all your other gear as well, it just adds weight and makes it way harder to carry.
Do your homework
When considering a trip that will include multiple airline carriers, do your homework before buying the ticket. Sometimes when re-checking bags on to a connecting plane you’ll get stung for even more baggage fees. Look into what airlines operate in the places you want to go. It might end up being cheaper if you buy your tickets separately.
Be nice, be early
Yep it’s obvious but it does work, if you get to the plane last minute you’re likely to get a stressed out baggage handler whose already dealt with a million other annoying cretins. If you get there early not only will you be calmer but they’ll be fresh as a daisy and more responsive to your pathetic attempts to make them smile.
Buy it there
Lets face it how many surfing venues do you visit where you can’t find a surf shop? So why not forego the hassle of travelling with boards and buy locally. then you can just trade it in when you leave. sure you’ll lose a bit in the value but you also travel light and guarantee you’ll have no excess charges, plus you’ll be putting money into the local surfing economy rather than the airlines pocket.
Most friendly airlines
Air New Zealand
Least friendly airlines
Most US airlines