The relationship between surfers and their boards is close. Sometimes very close. Many surfers feel their boards are like a physical part of them. As a result, they accept no substitutes — or rentals. They bring their boards.
Traveling with a 9-foot, 70-pound piece of sporting equipment can be expensive. Several airlines hit surfboard-toting travelers with stiff fees, sometimes hundreds of dollars. But a few carriers will allow surfboards to be checked as baggage free, within certain guidelines.
Here’s a quick list of policies among major airlines for travel with surfboards as checked baggage:
American Airlines charges a special handling fee.
British Airways bans surfboards as checked baggage.
Delta Airlines charges a special handling fee.
Singapore Airlines offers free baggage check for surfboards within certain guidelines. Otherwise, travelers are charged a handling fee.
United Airlines charges a special handling fee.
Virgin Atlantic offers free baggage checking within certain guidelines.