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Old     (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-18-2005, 12:12 PM Reply   
Hey Folks,
As most of you know, some airlines feel they can clump wakeboards in with surfboards and charge us to check them. United, for example, has a policy of charging $80 each way for wakeboards, even though snowboards and waterskis are free. Please take a couple of minutes to e-mail customer relations regarding this policy so that we don't have to continue dealing with this crap. You can send a comment through the link below.,1451,2076,00.html?navSource=Customer+relations&l inkTitle=Email+customer+relations

Below is what I wrote to them. Feel free to plagarize.

RE: Baggage Policy, Wakeboards

To Whom It May Concern,

After booking a flight on United Airlines, I have discovered that United has a policy of charging $80 each way for checking wakeboards. This policy is misguided and unfair. Wakeboards are similar in size, shape, weight and durability to water skis and snowboards, for which United does not charge. Wakeboards are not comparable to surfboards and should not be put in the same category for which a charge is assessed.

American Airlines has already made an exception in its Baggage Policy for wakeboards and I would hope that United Airlines does the same. I will avoid booking flights on United and will encourage all fellow wakeboarders to do the same until such policy is changed. I look forward to your response and hope for a quick resolution to this issue.


Matt Von der Ahe

Thanks for the help.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       08-18-2005, 12:14 PM Reply   
Good stuff.

Personally, I check the Wakeboard curbside and tip the guy. He doesn't ask.

Nice riding last night.
Old     (twakess)      Join Date: Mar 2002       08-18-2005, 12:17 PM Reply   
Matt, just say its a snowboard. Thats what I used to do. No charge I learned that from a pro. Will not say the name but thats a way around it.

I do agree it needs to be changed. Heck just checking it there and back. You almost have a 3rd of a board.
Old     (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-18-2005, 12:26 PM Reply   
Thanks guys. I have actually avoided any charges so far by following both of your suggestions. However, the policy sucks and should to be changed regardless of the fact that we can usually get around it. Most policies are unclear or have recently changed to accomodate wakeboards. United specifically has wakeboards on the $$$ list.
Old     (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-18-2005, 1:33 PM Reply   
Continential, Northwest, American (already mentioned) & ATA, do not charge for wakeboards either...I've flown all of these in the last 2 months and not had an issue with my board.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-18-2005, 1:40 PM Reply   
KG, just because you've had no problem doesn't mena they don't charge. From Continental's web site on luggage policy...

"Continental Airlines will accept one surfboard/wakeboard or one surfboard bag containing up to two boards per customer as checked baggage. Domestically, a surfboard/wakeboard or one surfboard bag containing up to two boards is subject to a $80.00 service charge (each way). "

I've used J-Rod's advice for curbside checkin (w/tip) to avoid a charge and got hit with an $80 charge on the return flight because of no curbside checking. It was almost $240 because they wanted "triple" for 3 boards in a bag. I managed to get it down to $80 because of circumstantial luck.

Never depend on anyone's advice. Read the policy and prepare yourself for worst case if telling them it's a snowboard or waterski doen't work.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-18-2005, 1:52 PM Reply   
i've never had any problems. (knockin' on wood) but yeah, the policies on wakeboards suck ass!

if all else fails, there's a company that makes wakeboard bags that look like golf bags.
Old    vtskibum            08-18-2005, 2:01 PM Reply   

Continental charged me $80 returning from Houston (last summer). Didn't even think to tell 'em it wasn't a wakeboard, as I'd never had any problems before.
Old     (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-18-2005, 2:53 PM Reply   
I just shot a similar e-mail to Continental requesting that they also change their wakeboard policy. Follow this link to get to their Customer Care.

Please start sending e-mails people! I think this is something we can change.
Old     (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-18-2005, 3:02 PM Reply   
John, I was simply offereing my experience, plus mine was a single board.

Old     (dcervenka)      Join Date: Sep 2002       08-18-2005, 4:35 PM Reply   
Done! I just sent them an email!
Old     (wakeboarddad01)      Join Date: Dec 2003       08-18-2005, 4:52 PM Reply   
We try tp fly Southwest when we can... Never had a problem with two wakeboard bags for my daughters going to nationals. Also if you can get curbside check in thats the way to go to avoid the lines inside the terminal....
Old     (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       08-18-2005, 5:09 PM Reply   
Matt ~ email sent!
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       08-18-2005, 6:18 PM Reply   
Most airlines charge for a wakeboard, but a trick ski is listed as free. Good thing I only bring my trick ski when I fly.

If you want the airlines to listen you will need to give an idea of size as the board is packaged, along with weight, as most people have no clue what a wakeboard even is. To them if they charge like a surfboard or golf bags then it must be the same size weight.
Old     (dadthedriver)      Join Date: Jul 2004       08-18-2005, 6:24 PM Reply   
Flying in and out of Orlando it is kind of hard to get them to believe it is a snow board Fly Song they dont charge at all either.
Old     (mvda)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-19-2005, 10:08 AM Reply   
Thanks Kung Fu and Ant Bug! Hopefully others will follow your lead and do something.
Old     (fox)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-19-2005, 11:10 AM Reply   
Do most of you leave the bindings on the board when you fly? We flew from Orlando on ATA and had 2 boards (one with bindings on it, 2 life vests, and wet towels in the charge. Of course I said they were waterskis.

Old     (agfan12)      Join Date: Mar 2004       08-19-2005, 11:13 AM Reply   
Joe is talking about the BEST Kiteboarding bag. Best Kiteboarding has a bag that is designed to hold a kiteboard/wakeboard, and on the front, in big ass letters it says "BEST GOLF." Pretty ingenious if you ask me.
Old     (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-19-2005, 11:19 AM Reply   
I fly with my board about 4 times a year for the past 4 years and have never had a problem. Once with the bag being a tad overweight, but just moved some stuff to another bag. I would not lie about what is in there. If they lose your bag, it could be a a pain to claim the value. Could get messy in the fraud dept.
Old     (louise)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-19-2005, 11:22 AM Reply   
When I recently flew on United from Sao Paulo, Brasil, to Orange County, California with my wakeboard, I just told them it was a boogie board and no additional charge. So far as the bindings, I packed them in my suitcase.
Old    outrage            08-19-2005, 6:51 PM Reply   
I have to agree that it is a little silly for the airline to charge extra because it is a wakeboard but allow me to point out one detail.

My father is a pilot for United Airlines and has suffered 2/3 paycuts and the company is currently bankrupt. They also recently stop contributing to his pention plan. I think that at this point united is doing everything they can just to stay from breaking up and i think they may feel that charging a little extra on wakeboards could bring in a little extra income.

Just my opinion coming from the inside.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-19-2005, 6:57 PM Reply   
then they need to be fair and charge everyone else; skiers, golfers, etc.
Old     (domin8)      Join Date: Mar 2004       08-19-2005, 8:50 PM Reply   
Ya Joe like that, sureley making the skiers and golfers pay more should work well because that would be fair.
Old     (fox)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-22-2005, 8:27 AM Reply   
$75 per bag for golf bags and the like isn't going to rescue the airlines. Too much overhead in labor, fuel charges, airport access fees. The whole thing is rediculous really and surprising that they can keep operating the way they do.

Old    sking55405            08-22-2005, 10:33 AM Reply   
my message is sent
Old    bambamski            08-22-2005, 10:34 AM Reply   
they don't charge extra for snowboards. Just call it that, they don't know the difference.
Old     (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-25-2005, 12:41 PM Reply   
hmmm. I'm travelling next week and can't decide on what to do.

1 - tell Continental it's a trick ski and hopefully save the $80 provided the person at the counter doesn't know the difference

2 - tell Continental it's a snowboard and hopefully save the $80 provided the person at the counter doesn't know the difference

3 - pre-ship the board to my destination via UPS or Fedex and have it be there when it arrives - pay $20 for shipping in advance (both ways).

Your thoughts?
Old     (spoonman)      Join Date: Aug 2005       08-25-2005, 12:53 PM Reply   
I flew 4 times last winter into orlando all from Sioux Falls,SD on United. We only got asked once and we were not aware of the policy so we told him they were wakeboards but we were not charged.I think it depends who you get. Why not just ship it way less damage that way.


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