The Biggest New Airline Fees Target Surfers

Fees up, dude! As a recent LA Times article points out, surfers are now getting hit with what might be the biggest new airline fee yet: checked surfboard charges. While fees for checked bags are up across-the-board, some airlines are now charging flyers as much as $300 to check a surfboard.

Here is what the major U.S. carriers are charging per surfboard each way:

  • American: $100
  • Continental: $100
  • Delta: $175 domestic, $300 for international
  • Hawaiian: $25 interisland, $80 continental
  • JetBlue: $50
  • Northwest: $100 domestic, $130 to $150 international
  • Southwest: $50
  • United: $125
  • US Airways: $100

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These fees stand in contrast to most airlines' policies for golf clubs, which are generally counted as part of the regular checked-baggage allowance and are thus subject to whatever the airline charges for first, second, or third checked bags. Most likely you'll pay $15 to $25 to take your clubs on a domestic flight.

For surfers however, it's vital to factor in airline surfboard fees before you book your flight. You might be better off renting a board in your destination or even buying and then reselling a board once you get there. However, there are a few rays of hope for those who can't bear to leave their own boards behind: Some international carriers based in surfing obsessed nations, like Australia-based Qantas and New Zealand-based Air New Zealand don't charge for surfboards at all.

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