PSA on Traveling with Longboards

Matty

Member
Oct 5, 2011
80
16
Last week i found out that American Airlines will NOT reimburse any board or bag damage UNLESS it's a HARD case. Even then, only if there is visible damage on the hard case itself. (See aa1.JPG and aa2.JPG)

From San Diego to El Salvador, the soft bag was punctured and the tail was crushed. Sorry, no claim possible.

Under 50 lbs, it's 30$ checkin fee. Mine was a brand new Hank Warner 8'6 so I can't vouch for any length limit.

In short, ALL soft bag damages are not claimable, no matter how well padded. Mine was 0.5" ~ 12mm thick pool noodle wrapped. Watch out, those 10mm foam padded Dakine Travel bag.

Perversely, it may even be considered 'overpacked', hence unclaimable. Minor scruffs or CUTS are not claimable.

The terms and conditions are deep down in their internal website that the claim manager showed me on their screen. This is after i insisted on seeing it in writing as i was repeatedly told to 'go to the website', without able to tell where on the website.

The link is not accessible to the public without special login credentials. My usual AA mileage account didn't work

American Airlines made a big deal about listening to their valuable customers with 'no board fee', 30$ checkin under 50lbs. This page is where their lawyers tell you the real deal.

Otherwise, AA did have good flight service, and i did score average 6-10' swell for 2 weeks. Long live Solarez.

Except for one day when hurricane Jullia visited but the water was clean the next day. No river trash or flesh-eating bacteria :)
 

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Last edited:

Big D

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2009
439
299
Last week i found out that American Airlines will NOT reimburse any board or bag damage UNLESS it's a HARD case. Even then, only if there is visible damage on the hard case itself. (See aa1.JPG and aa2.JPG)

From San Diego to El Salvador, the soft bag was punctured and the tail was crushed. Sorry, no claim possible.

Under 50 lbs, it's 30$ checkin fee. Mine was a brand new Hank Warner 8'6 so I can't vouch for any length limit.

In short, ALL soft bag damages are not claimable, no matter how well padded. Mine was 0.5" ~ 12mm thick pool noodle wrapped. Watch out, those 10mm foam padded Dakine Travel bag.

Perversely, it may even be considered 'overpacked', hence unclaimable. Minor scruffs or CUTS are not claimable.

The terms and conditions are deep down in their internal website that the claim manager showed me on their screen. This is after i insisted on seeing it in writing as i was repeatedly told to 'go to the website', without able to tell where on the website.

The link is not accessible to the public without special login credentials. My usual AA mileage account didn't work

American Airlines made a big deal about listening to their valuable customers with 'no board fee', 30$ checkin under 50lbs. This page is where their lawyers tell you the real deal.

Otherwise, AA did have good flight service, and i did score average 6-10' swell for 2 weeks. Long live Solarez.

Except for one day when hurricane Jullia visited but the water was clean the next day. No river trash or flesh-eating bacteria :)
I can't fathom how that happens to the board and what on earth is going on during shipping. I've taken a used board, pool noodle wrapped it around the rails, put it in travel bag and threw it off the roof of a house, then ran over it with a mountain bike. Couldn't find anything wrong with it. I'd love to watch video of the process.
 

Zzz

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2017
557
718
MA
thanks for all the intel … anyone fly with boards on jetblue of late?
I haven’t but am looking into it for January. Looks like the policy $100 each way plus any checked bag fees associated with the ticket purchases (which I think means $135 total each way within the Americas). It also looks like they don’t allow surfboards to a handful of Caribbean destinations. There is no info on length restrictions.

It looks like they don’t charge for golf clubs so you could always throw a putter in your board bag and try that trick but I can’t imagine it ever works anymore.
 
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Mattmercurie

Member
Jan 29, 2021
40
57
MA
I haven’t but am looking into it for January. Looks like the policy $100 each way plus any checked bag fees associated with the ticket purchases (which I think means $135 total each way within the Americas). It also looks like they don’t allow surfboards to a handful of Caribbean destinations. There is no info on length restrictions.

It looks like they don’t charge for golf clubs so you could always throw a putter in your board bag and try that trick but I can’t imagine it ever works anymore.
Travelled to Costa Rica in February on JetBlue. Brought a 9'6 coffin with one board. Was debating bringing two but glad I didn't. They made me open the bag to check how many boards were inside; on the way back, however, they didn't check the bag.
 

Tenfooter

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2014
1,197
1,099
USA Rhode Island
couple take home lessons

1- AA are the worst pieces of shit, by far, hands down. Every single time
2- bag handlers are all pieces of shit. All off them. They are sad people who have to do physical work on
other people belongings who are going on a fun trip.
"And you carry surfboards? OHHHHHH I ll fuck them up for free!!"
sad motherfuckers
3- I agree the process is completely arbitrary, bc most people at counter are useless, they have NO CLUE when it comes to surfboard. They get nervous.
They call the supervisor, which is an asshole by definition.
if they see a short board, it's ok
Now when they see my double wheeled ten foot bag, is a shit show
4- this is me being optimistic here, but the more i know, the more i agree: people = shit
5- best airlines hands down to fly longboards :
1, Hawaiian
2, Alaskan
3, Jet Blue
6- As negative as I sound, you gotta be lucky too. I believe luck plays 50-60% role
and charm 30%, use all the tools you have in your hands


short story?
it shows that everything is possible
Couple months ago I went to visit a friend in SD
and had to bring some boards back to CT, I couldn't abuse his kindness anymore
I had a ticket with jet blue , with a layover at Boston, then to JFK, a planned nightmare
I knew they are gonna fuck the boards, and loose some of them
I tried as much as I could to minimize my bags, but I ended up with 3 bags
one was a 12 ft bag, yes 12 Ft SUP white and wide bag that was carrying an 11 glider inside, thats bag #1
then I had another double with two 9 10' longboards inside it, thats bag #2
and lastly, my third bag was a single 11 ft, YES 11 ft glider board I was carrying a 10 06 big ass board

so I got to the airport already knowing those boards will NOT fly and I will have to call my friend back
just in case I pre paid three bags in advance, regular luggage, $ 80 each

so I got to the counter super early
when they opened it , start flirting with the guy at the counter, chiit chat
excuse me bc of all the boards Im bringing bac for my kids, apologize for the mess, etc etc

and there they went
just $240 for all those huge boards
zero complains, zero supervisors
zero damage

the moment I left the counter, I walk slowly waiting for the speakers to call me back
nervous as shit
but no
no one called me
and at JFK i retrieved the boards

But this is a story with a good ending, and I was extremely lucky

I have many not so good

but take the positive, the good karma and fly with your boards
is priceless
to reach a wolrd class destination and having to rent a waterlogged soft top
or a beat up epoxy two feet shorter than what you usually ride, is crap

I hope this gives you courage to keep going
 




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