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Old     (csswake3)      Join Date: Mar 2007       10-21-2011, 9:32 AM Reply   
Im about a month I am heading down to Florida for vacation, gonna bring a couple boards so I can hit up the cable park. Bought a board bag, and I am set there. Anything I should be worried about with the airlines? I have heard some airlines can be tough or difficult with "wakeboards", not sure if there is any truth to that? Any good/bad experiences anyone? Flying Delta not sure if that matters at all. Hopefully it will be smooth. Any help appreciated
Old    Swass            10-21-2011, 9:41 AM Reply   
I have flown a few times with my board with no issues. Wrap the edges of your board in pipe insulation for some added protection as your board bag is tossed around.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-21-2011, 10:56 AM Reply   
2nd the pipe insulation or the swimming pool noodles cut in half. I had a tag in my goLF bag when I got home and on it stated "These are not golf clubs!" but keep it under the weight and ur good to go.
Old     (txmxer)      Join Date: Sep 2011       10-21-2011, 11:48 AM Reply   
I searched all over the internet for this info a month back when my parents were bringing my wakeboard to me when they came to visit. What they did was got a board bag, and put bubble wrap around the edges of the board, and used a folded up blanket as padding. The life jacket was also in there and helped as padding. It was probably overkill but I didnt want to risk it. From my experience it seems as though they take good care of the stuff and my parents carried on their luggage so they just paid the regular fee for checking in bags, no extra fee. They flew American.

Ive also heard to make sure they dont think its a surf board because surf boards have extra fees.
Old     (austin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       10-21-2011, 12:21 PM Reply   
I've never used any extra pipe insulation or padding, and I've never had any problems. But I also have a padded board bag too. The airlines usually recommend taking the strap off, so I always do.

Most people will tell you to check your airline's website to see what they'll take with no extra charge, and then just tell them that's what it is (usually people will say golf clubs or skis). I've actually found the most common thing that most airlines will take for no extra charge is actually a snowboard--which is the most similar thing to a wakeboard anyway.

I do have a problem with lying though, so I usually try to be honest. I fly Southwest a lot anyway, and they list wakeboards specifically on their website as being no extra charge (and unlike all other airlines now, standard checked baggage is free on Southwest). So here's how it typically goes:

Airline employee: What's in it?
Me: A wakeboard.
Airline employee: A what?
Me: A wakeboard.
Airline employee: What?
Me: It's a WAKE-board.
Airline employee: What's that?
Me: It's like a snowboard that you ride on the water.
Airline employee: What?
Me: It's a snowboard.
Airline employee: Oh, okay.
Old     (BlitzedVLX)      Join Date: Feb 2011       10-21-2011, 12:52 PM Reply   
I had no problems with Southwest using my Slingshot golf bag flying from STL to Orlando last winter with 2 boards. Curb side bag check is where its at. Have a $5 bill handy and you shouldn't have any problems.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-21-2011, 1:42 PM Reply   
Yes curbside is the way to go but when u hit the small towns like Dayton, OH they dont have fancy stuff like that. I flew with 3 brand new boards, 2 sets new bindings, kids trainer skis, vest, heater top and 2 towels all in one bag. No questions asked leaving FL but in OH i got the 3rd degree bc it weighed 58 lbs. better be on safe side and at least use towel or clothes to wrap edges at least.
Old     (austin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       10-22-2011, 11:09 AM Reply   
What's the benefit of curbside bag check? I fly a lot, but I've never used it because I don't see any significant benefit to it. As far as I can tell, it saves you from having to carry your bag a whole extra 100 ft. and saves you from having to stand in line for a couple minutes.

But I don't mind a little exercise, so I'm more than happy to carry my own bag an extra 100ft. And I like to arrive early to be on the safe side, so I don't mind spending a couple of minutes standing in line. If I was arriving late enough that I felt like I had to use the curbside rather than stand in line, I'm not sure I would trust them to get it on in time anyway--kind of like how a super-fast layover almost always results in your bag not making it from one plane to another.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-22-2011, 1:22 PM Reply   
I flew Southwest and had no problems with my board bag. Some people like to take their boots off and carry them on, but I didn't even bother doing that. The boots were sorta smushed, but after a few rides they were back to normal.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-22-2011, 1:24 PM Reply   
Southwest is a whole different beast, n a good way compared with the rest.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-22-2011, 1:54 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by LR3w8kbrdr View Post
Southwest is a whole different beast, n a good way compared with the rest.
Their planes are disgusting, but maybe it's no better elsewhere. As far as I know, all American airlines are **** in terms of traveling comfort.
Old     (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004 Location: Minnesnowda       10-22-2011, 2:49 PM Reply   
The Pipe insulation is a good idea. I have gone all over the globe with boards. And I have had some serious issues flying with boards in the past. A few times my boards and bag have gotten destroyed. Nothing that wasnt ridable, but massive dents in the edges, one time they even managed to puncture the bottom of the bag and break the glass on the base of the bottom board. That was on a trip to Germany so that might have had something to do with it. If I have enought time before I leave I usally just ship a few boards in a board box, its about the same price as flying with them and you dont have to monkey with them in the airport. Then I just bring my binds with me. I would suggest taking your boots off your board before you pack it all up.
Old     (Bumpass1)      Join Date: Oct 2010       10-22-2011, 3:22 PM Reply   
General question - Do the airlines ever step up and pay for the damage that they cause to the boards? I had them rip the wheels off of one of my reg suitcases in a trip from Vegas back to DC. We had to change flights in Chicago. The airline basically told me that I had to prove that they caused the damage. It was not worth the hassle over a suitcase, but if my board got screwed I would be HOT
Old     (njskier)      Join Date: Jul 2005       10-23-2011, 7:06 AM Reply   
I will only fly Southwest with my board. As stated before, their policy actually says wakeboards are no extra charge.

Flew Airtran once and they charged me around $200 extra round trip for my board. Got home and looked again at their policy which says nothing about wakeboards but golf clubs fly free. So I called Airtran and argued that my board bag is smaller/lighter than a golf bag and they sent me a refund.

Buying the goLF bag with wheels for next time....that's the best way to travel with a board.
Old     (paulharenberg)      Join Date: Jul 2007       10-23-2011, 3:32 PM Reply   
I usually ship my board down to Florida because its less of a hassle and I know it gets there. When I took my trip in March I didn't have my usual place to ship the board available to me so I had to get a bag. I flew Airtran and going from Allentown to Orlando I just told them it was a snowboard and it was regular checked bag fee, since it was under the allowed weight. The bag had 2 boards, detached bindings, life jacket, rashguard, etc., Going from Orlando to Florida, I walked the bag up to the counter, the guy said golf clubs?, and I said yep. No issues whatsoever.

I had a friend have the same "wakeboard" explanation to a airline counter person where they had no idea what it was and they were going to charge him like 90 bucks. I think it was spirit airlines. His parents dropped him off and waited to see what would happen with the board and he walked out and gave it back to his parents to have them ship it to save some cash.

I have no problem lying to the airlines.
Old     (hockeysk8er222)      Join Date: Jul 2009       10-23-2011, 6:30 PM Reply   
I had an issue with Delta trying to tell me my board was a surfboard. They wanted to charge me 150 each way. Mind you it was only my board and jacket inside a board bag. They ended up calling it a snowboard and knocked the charge down to $25. I just say it's a snowboard now. When I fly to FL I do get funny looks for checking a snowboard though..


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