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2017 Airline Surfboard Board Bag Fee Guide For Surfers

2017 Boardbag Fee Guide

"I'm preparing to get bent over by luggage fees but no way I'm surfing on strange boards." ~ Steven W from Soda Springs on his way to Mexico.

 *Last update 2- 2017

Paying surfboard baggage fees sucks!

Welcome to the 2017 Airline Surfboard Boardbag Fee Guide For Surfers. Every year we contact all the airlines and find out how much they are going to charge us for taking along our sleds to far-away destinations.

I got sick of getting burned by the airlines and wanted to do something about it so we created this list of baggage fees and we ask for your help to keep it up-to-date (together we are stringer).

We do this as a service to you, the traveling surfer. *Just in from KLM

Surfer Friendly Bro Airline

Most of the following airlines include a surfboard as part of your regular bag allowance and let that sled fly for FREE.

These are our preferred 'surfer friendly bro airline' airlines and we recommend that you travel with them.

indexYou might have to pay a little more to book your ticket but it's better than paying an extra $400-$600 to take your quiver both ways.

  • KLM (NEW 2015)
  • Virgin (Europe)
  • Interjet (Mexico)
  • Qantas (Australia)
  • South Africa (duh)
  • Air New Zealand
  • Singapore (New to bro list 2015)

There are a few airlines that charge a nominal fee for your boardbag, I don't mind paying that . . . free is better but nominal is almost as good.

I have been flying Alaska to Cabo (see our surf travel guide to Cabo) for the last few years and they charge between $50-$75 for a stuffed to the rim boardbag. Thank you Alaska Airlines for keeping it real.

You Kinda Suck Airline

The following is the list of 'you kinda suck' airlines and charge over $100 each way, which in this day of age doesn't seem that bad but still kinda sucks cause all those golf dudes usually get their clubs on for free.

  • American
  • Continental
  • Hawaii Air
  • Avianca (TACA) - (Taca opened my bags in 2015 and counted the boards, cost $145 one way)
  • United

Kook Airline

The following is the list of ' kook' airlines and charge over $150 each way—nobody likes a kook in the water and especially one that is taking money from your pocket.
  • Delta
  • Iberia
  • Japan Air
  • Lufthansa
  • US Air (reader Jim says they unzipped and counted his board and charged him $150 each).
  • Northwest

Daddy Warbucks Money

The following is the list for surfers that have 'daddy warbucks money'. Unfortunately I've been caught by both Swiss Air and Thai Air personally. On Thai Air I had three boards in my bag coming back from Bali ($150 x 3) and they charged me some ridiculous tax on top of the $450. Can you imagine? I will NEVER fly Thai Air again and I hope that this list will prevent you from getting caught with your pants down.
  • Alitalia $260
  • Emirates $300
  • Swiss Air $250
  • Thai Air $150 Per Board (yes, they open the bag and count)
  • United $200
  • All Nippon $300


Bend You Over Airline

We have a new category called the bend you over airline. If you are a surfer traveling with your boards on this plane, you had better have lots of cash, a rich mama or a jar of KY with you.
  • Qatar Airways ($1750)
airline surfboard fee guide 
We'd be stoked if you added a Wave Tribe travel gear to your trip—we make awesome travel boardbags with the most padding in the industry made from hemp (no you can't smoke the bags). Go out there and see the world and surf some epic waves.


~Derek, Wave Tribe Founder & Your Boardbag Bitch

PS. Click Here For The Complete Updated List