Surfboard Airline Baggage Fees 2016

 Airline Boardbag Charges

So there you are, in line at the airport getting ready for that epic surf vacation that you have been planning for months. You’ve saved your cash and are looking forward to being on the water and grabbing some beer with the locals on some fantasy remote island; maybe a few more than you should. As you walk up to the counter, the checked baggage blonde asks to check the size of your package. Unfortunately, she isn’t interested in your pants. She wants to know what is in your board bag which means your wallet is about to get a whole lot lighter.

Very quickly you realize that those sunsets with your board propped up behind you with a cold one in your hand were too good to be true. Now it looks like it’s going to be those complimentary mini bottles of water that they gave you at your hostel (as if water was free) but you are not letting this kook fee stop you from being on your dream wave. So you mumble and grumble to yourself and maybe the people around you but you bow your head and fork over the cash.

A lot of airlines have been asking surfers to break the bank for years, but that isn’t the case for all of them. We have done some research to determine if there were any airlines that are friendly to barrel chasers and to our joyous surprise, there were!

Here is a visual aid that you can use as a quick list of some surfboard airline baggage fees that are friendly (free), some that that would make good acquaintances ($100 or less) , and some that you would try to avoid eye contact with on the street (kooks that charge $150 or more!). As always, make sure you double check with your airline to make sure you are aware of all of the details of who is going to be carrying your precious 5’8 custom Channel Islands.

2016 Surfboard Airline Fees


Free: Surf-friendly Airlines

These airlines don’t charge anything extra to bring surfboard travel bags on their flights. Most of them check your surfboard as your one allowed free checked baggage. If you can, we recommend that you start your search by checking what flights are available with these airlines.

Airline Notes
Air Lingus Must be part of checked baggageSurfboards must not exceed 9’1”Excess baggage rates of €75/$100 if you carry in excess of the free allowance.

This fee is charged per passenger, each way

Emirates Accepted as checked baggageSurfboards must not exceed 9’8”
Air Tahiti Nui 50 lb maximum weight8’1” length limit
Alaska Air Up to two boardsSome flights max length 9’7”Other Flights H+L+W Can’t exceed 115” (9’5”)
British Airways Maximum size 75” x 29.5” x 25.5”Free up to 51 lb
Lan Airlines Cannot exceed 9’8”50 lb maximum weight
Malaysian Maximum length of 8’1”One board restriction
Qantas Maximum board length of 9’No single item may exceed  50 lb
Virgin Atlantic 50 lb maximum weightMaximum length of 9’1”

$100 or Less: Board or Beer

Next up is the list of airlines that are eyeing your beer money with greedy intentions. As much as you want to save that money for some booze on the beach, these airlines aren’t too interested in what you get to do once they drop you off. These airlines charge as much as $100 per board bag… each way! Are you going to risk having the airlines tap into your beer money?

*Fees are each way

Airline Notes
Air France Flights from 40 to 125 Euro ($43-$135)Price depends on origin/destination
Aero Mexico $40 if you call ahead, $50 at the airportThree boards per bag100 lb max6’6” max board size on smaller planes9’5” max board size on bigger planes
Bahamas Air $65 for excess baggage fee44 lb weight limit
Copa Air $75 per bag (or less)Max two boards per bag, per passenger
Hawaiian Airlines $100 each wayFree to/from Australia/New ZealandMax two boards per bag, per passenger
Jet Blue $50 per board each waySelect flights have restrictions
Southwest $75 eachMust weigh less than 100 lb
Spirit Maximum of two surfboards per bag$100

Kook Airlines: $150 and Up!

These airlines charge an absurd $150 (and up) per board bag…don’t fly with these kooks unless you absolutely have to. Sure you may get complimentary peanuts on the flight and maybe the stewardess will smile a little more, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when they ask you to bend over for them.

*Fees are each way

Airline Notes
American Airlines $150 to $20010’5” or smaller
Delta $150 per bagTwo boards per bag9’5” Maximum
United Airlines $150 to $2009’5” Maximum
US Airways $150 to $200When you are traveling to, through, or from Brazil, you’ll be charged an additional fee

How much are you willing to pay to travel?

These kooks will take advantage of anyone who isn’t paying attention. So if you think that you can plan the perfect surfcation with beer and babes without doing any research on how you are going to get there, you are about to get wrecked. Remember to use this informative guide for future reference and do your research so that you can make the best of your dream swell. Stay wet and see you on the water!