The excitement that builds in your mind before embarking on a surf trip starts with buying a plane ticket. The next exciting step, besides bragging to your friends about the exotic surf destination you're jetting off to, is picking what quiver you'll bring along with you. But at a certain point, the anxiety will set in: how much cash will you have to cough up upon arrival at the airport check-in stand? Or will they even take all your boards?
We've all seen the airline horror stories of pros like John Florence, Alex Gray, and most recently, Natxo Gonzales, who’ve seen their entire traveling quivers smashed to bits. And we've all seen the angry Instagram posts from pros having to pay abhorrent amounts of money for their bags. So, to help settle the restless minds of future traveling surfers, we've compiled an up-to-date list of board bag weight limits, fees and overages for some of the most popular airlines–all of them listed below. This guide will hopefully help you decide which airline won't drain your bank account. NOTE: Not every airline provides exact pricing; some only provide the weight limit.
Aer Lingus: $100
Aero Mexico: Within Mexico: $50 International: $150, maximum weight allowed per piece on AM and AMC routes is 100 lbs.
Air Canada: $50 to $60 per board
Air Emirates: Charges $175 for a board bag less than 70 lbs. Anymore will cost $350
Air France: Under 50lbs. $75 to $150, depending on departure location.
Air New Zealand: From U.S. to all destinations, $150. From New Zealand to any destination that isn't Hawaii, or Australia, $200.
Air Tahiti Nui: Free. Must be under 50 lb. and 98″. Charge depends on size and location of departure.
Alaska: $25 per board.
American Airlines: One board limit, $150 charge. Must be under 70 lbs. and 126 inches (depending on type of airplane). If you pack more than 1 surfboard in a bag that weighs under 70 lbs., you'll only be charged for 1 surfboard. If over you'll be charged an additional $150. When you're traveling to, through or from Brazil, you'll be charged $42.50 for one board, and $85 for 2 or more boards.
Avianca: 3 boards per bag under 70lbs. $100 charge
Bahamas Air: 100-lb. limit. $150 charge
British Airways: 70-lb. limit. $100 charge
China Air: $400 per board
Copa: 4 boards per bag. $75 charge
Delta: 70-lb. limit. $150 charge
EasyJet: 70-lb. limit. $60 charge
Hawaiian Air: 50-lb. limit. $35 inter island. $100 to Mainland. $150 International
Interjet (Mexico): Included as part of your baggage allowance (one bag and one board).
Japan Airlines: $200 flat rate
Jet Blue: 100-lb. limit. $50 per board
Lufthansa: 1 board limit. Within Europe, $70. Intercontinental, $150
Qantas: $70 within Australia. $175 intercontinental.
Southwest: $75 each way.
TAP Portugal: 70lb limit. Within Europe, $55. Intercontinental, $117
Thai Airways: $60 each way for boards under 9 feet. Board bags over 9 feet cost $119
United: 100-lb. limit. $150 between Canada, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. $200 everywhere else.
Virgin Atlantic: 50-lb. limit. $100
Virgin AustraliaRepresents one piece of checked baggage allowance, provided that it does not exceed the maximum size and weight limits.
[Photo by Glaser]