2011 Surfboard Baggage Fee Comparison

An Updated Breakdown of Airline Baggage Fees

| posted on January 13, 2011

When you're traveling with your stick, airline choice can make all the difference. Save your money for when you get there. Photo: Burkard

With some airlines now even charging for a blanket or a bag of pretzels, it seems companies are doing all they can to squeeze an extra buck from you. And surfboard baggage fees are no exception. They can easily become the biggest unexpected expense on your next surf trip if you don’t choose your airline wisely. Here we’ve provided you with a comprehensive breakdown of fees, so you’ll be prepared next time you step up to the check-in counter. (Fees are accurate as of 1/12/11)

Aeromexico $0 $0 $60/bag (none)
Air Canada $0 $30 $50/board WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
Air France $0 $55 $0/bag* up to 6’5″, $263/bag 6’5″+ *If count as first piece of luggage, if second then $55/bag
Air New Zealand $0 $50 $25/bag (none)
Air Pacific $0 $0 $50/bag Bag may not exceed 9’6”
Air Tahiti Nui $0 $0 $0 for one board* *Each additional board is $150 each, even if packed in same bag
American (US or PR) $25 $35 $150/bag (none)
American (to/from Mexico) $0 $30 $150/bag (none)
American (to/from Europe) $0 $50 $150/bag For UK: Bag cannot exceed 6’6″
Alaska Airlines $20 $20 $50/bag up to 6’6″, $75/bag 6’7″+ Bag cannot exceed 9′
Continental (domestic) $25 $35 $100/bag Bag cannot exceed 9’6″
Continental (to/from Mexico) $0 $30 $100/bag Bag cannot exceed 9’6
Continental (to/from Europe) $0 $45 $150/bag up to 6’6″, $300/bag 6’7″+ Bag cannot exceed 9’6″
British Airways $0 $0 $0/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’2″
Delta Airlines (US or PR) $25 $35 $200/board Bag cannot exceed 9’6″
Delta (to/from Mexico) $0 $30 $200/board Bag cannot exceed 9’6″
Delta (to/from Europe) $0 $55 $200/board Bag cannot exceed 9’6″
Delta (to/from Brazil $0 $0 $100/bag Bag cannot exceed 9’6″
Hawaiian (interisland) $10 $17 $25/board (none)
Hawaiian (trans-Pacific) $25 $35 $125/bag (none)
Hawaiian (international) $0 $0 $200/bag (none)
JetBlue $0 $30 $75/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
Lufthansa (to/from Europe) $0 $50 $200/bag (none)
Lufthansa (to/from other international desintations) $0 $0 $250/bag (none)
Qantas $0 $0 FREE (none)
South African Airways $0 $0 FREE if 6’6″ or less Bags longer than 6’6″ must be sent as cargo
Southwest $0 $0 $50/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
TACA $0 $0 $100/bag (none)
United Airlines (domestic) $25 $35 $100/board Bag cannot exceed 9′
United (to/from Europe) $0 $50 $200/board (none)
United (to/from Mexico) $0 $30 $200/board (none
United (to/from other international destinations) $0 $0 $200/board (none)
US Airways (all flights except EU. and SA.) $25 $35 $100/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
US Airways (to/from Europe) $0 $55 $100/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
US Airways (to/from South America) $0 $0 $100/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
Virgin America $25 $25 $50/bag WILL NOT accept bags over 6’6″
Virgin Atlantic $0 $60 $0 (if first bag), $60 (if second bag) Bag cannot exceed 9′
  • Fajita

    Anyone getting tired of Bobby Martinez talking all the time? Now the ASP wants to fine him… If it all sucks so much retire Bobby!!!

  • Chris

    Don’t forget about British Airways, no surfboards allowed, ever, anywhere. No surfers will be flying BA.
    Thanks for the info, very easy to read, I usually have to dig to find this info.

  • Dewey

    If possible, don’t fly United, don’t fly Delta. When charged I always ask how much they charge for golf clubs just for the thrill of watching them rationalize why they don’t charge.

  • mattman

    Continental is $100/bag, but only for bags with up to two boards. $400 for a bag with three boards, and $800 for four boards. Biggest rip off in the business.

  • Noah Hamilton

    Awesome, good on you team for doing this. Surfline was lagging on their update. This last summer Bethany and Alana where charged $1300 4boards and Alana 5 boards $1500 on Japan air from Honolulu via singapore to the Mentawais.

  • james t

    On Qantas, on many internal oz flights inc jetstar they are limited to 6’6″ boards in the fine print – I was forced to leave a board behind once. On Virgin Pacific internally in oz they will take all boards for free.

  • mac

    Great article but what about Air Asia?

  • Kippy

    I’ve flown on SAA from the US to Joburg with boards often and the the 6’6” restriction does not seem to apply. The issue with South AFrican Airways is that you are forced to change planes to travel on to P.E., Cape Town or Durban, and that is where things can sometimes get expensive. You don’t clear customs and put your boards back onto a conveyor belt to be sent on to their final destination, like you might in the US. You have to lug them to domestics, and re-check them for the domestic flight with a desk agent. They don’t charge you for the boards but can add them to the weight allowance allowed on the short domestic flight, which is considerably less than the international weight allowance due to the fact that you will now be on a 737. This used to not be a big deal money wise but is more problamatic now becuase of the unfavourable $/RAND exchange rate. In short… you don’t pay in US for boards on SAA, but can pay once in SA for domestic transport of them. You will not pay anything on the way home though.

  • Todd

    I would never fly japan airlines because of horror stories like the above mentioned mentawai trip… i’m not going to mention the airline i fly, because they have a reasonable board charge and they are unreal customer first w/ great service and reasonably priced flights to destinations that i fly….. secret airline. lmao.

  • liferiot

    as a german traveller i want to spread the good news from europe to the east:
    (europe to asia/australia/new zealand)

    – emirates: free! (within normal baggage allowance 30kg!
    – qatar, china, quantas, singapore: free! (within normal baggage allowance 20kg – some hava a limit of 9′)
    – thai from frankfurt to denpasar (1 board free additionally to the 20kg baggage allowance
    (one of the very very few airlines where you get something extra as a surfer. but beware: only one board! second board is $300!)
    – malaysia: mucho $$, size limit 8´4

    in europe:
    – ryainair euro 40 per flight per bag up to 20kg
    – air berlin/germanwings: euro 35 per flight
    – tap: europe euro 35, intern 75 per flight
    – lufthansa: as stated above: mucho $$, beware; different size restrictions, check website
    – british airways, iberia’: not allowed or mucho$$, iberia many damage reports; beware

    my experiences with indonesian airlines: most of them free or very small fees, check websites.

  • steve

    These guys are on it! Even advertise full page ads in aussie surf mags.

  • steve

    These guys are awesome. They even take out full page ads in the aussie surf mags to advertise it

  • Mara

    BA/Quantas charge check-in cargo prices for boards, based on a volumetric scale which is generally as much as you paid for that board 🙂 To be avoided.

  • luke

    China Airlines is FREE! I fly with 3 boards, usually in a 6’9 coffin, so lots of padding and all my clothes, usually weighs around 25kg, and have never been charged!~

  • Carl

    Boycott Delta

  • kent

    what about flying crom easr coast to west coast. ala charleson sc to l.a. is there anyone whoe does not charge…..southwest?

  • jerry

    Copa Airlines – Panama
    charge 75$ each way

  • James

    I just got charged £80.00 to take a board to SA and back , 6’3”

  • wladimir

    Airlines don’t surf. F…k ’em

  • ryan

    China Air isnt the worst but they always charge, th least ive paid for a 7 foot coffin stuffed is 50 and the most is 250 but they ALWAYS charge……. Qantas and Vaustralia never charge ever they are the best. United can lick the bag the are one of the worst. Air asia wll charge you excess weight fees so keep your bag light and off to the side and you can get out easy, I paid 30 bucks while the other guys on my trip got stung as high as 400 for the same bags basically.

  • michael

    China Airlines is NOT free! I went from SF to Bali on China Air – in SF they charged $50 for the bag, but in Bali on the way back, they charged per board in the bag, almost $300. Quite a difference and definitely not free.

  • Sean

    Just at a quick glance I say dont take all these fees as gospel. Unfortunately the person at the counter when you check in has ultimate control and unfrtunately are not alwasy up to date on current policy, and policies change regularly.
    For example, Air Pacific above are now charging $100 per bag each way maximum 26kg, and TACA charge $125 for a bag with two board out of the USA.
    I know this is a difficult and often unreasonable issue to address.

  • JN

    Be aware in Emirates (free transport of boards) they will not accept a baggage with more than 30kg!
    As such, be aware if you are using a big bag with many boards inside of it !!!

  • Wayne

    If you’re travelling around Pacific, OZ, NZ and Indo, check out Pacific Blue – an offshoot of Virgin. They do not charge for boards and simply assign a notional weight – same with all other sports equipment.

  • KevinK

    Just got back from the Philippines.

    Philippine Airlines does not charge for boards going from US to the Philippines but will charge you $75 per bag on the return trip. $75 RT total for boards. Not to bad.

  • Richardw

    I just travelled on TACA and the board fee was 125 not 100. that was last year. they managed to ding it too and it was an epoxy.

  • Anthony

    I may have missed it but I don’t see a mention of Singapore Airlines. Any information??

  • Alex K

    Please go to the website:

    and sign the petition. We will be making some waves against these airlines in the very near future. Stayed tuned to your TV sets.

    For those that would like to be actively involved in global demonstrations, please contact me at to help orchestrate this.

  • bob

    you guys forgot to include Interjet airlines. Im flying them out of Tijuana to Huatulco for a mainland trip. board bags travel free as part of 2 bag max per person.

  • Jessica P

    Yup – Interjet is probably the best option in my opinion in the Mexico area. You should be able to get your boards on included as part of your two bag max as Bob stated above.

    One thing to consider though is where you are flying into Huatulco from. Judy recently had a problem with booking some tickets on Interjet from outside the country.

    She wrote about it here

  • Maria

    Hey guys , anybody knows how much china airline ( NOT air china ) charges for taking surfboard from UK to Bali ??? as hearing lots of different things , thanks a lot

  • jamie

    Korean Air charged me 200 pounds to check 2 boards at heathrow, london. never again.

  • Matt P

    Cathay Pacific is now charging $600 EACH way for one surfboard.

    Boycott Cathay Pacific. There are better options such as Singapore Air.

  • Jimmy

    has anyone flown with air pacific with boards found a cheap flight from LA to Brisbane but i dono if there gona mess up somewhere?

  • Pingback: Are Surfboard Airline Fees Reasonable?

  • Ernesto

    FYI, United is not $400 F-IN DOLLARS to ship your board from coast to coast in the US. I may have got totally taken but never flying United again!!! F-THEM!!

  • BurritoRules

    LAN (in Peru) no charge for any board! They are cool!

  • lofsArodo

    Steve Donziger is a supreme attorney and state championship on felony ways and boy violence. He worked as a hack owing Cooperative Press International and freelanced for the treatment of four years, filing more than 150 stories from Central America. He was on the acceptable team representing the Ecuadorian plaintiffs against Texaco in the 1990s and now serves as legit advisor to the Ecuadorian legal team.

  • Longbrother

    Tam Airlines -> 10’4″ longboard blank shipped from Brasil to Chile for 50 bucks as normal luggage.
    Lan Chile -> no problems with 9’6″ longboards, 50 bucks I think for international flights….

  • Joe

    Just spoke with Virgin America. Flying June 2012 from SF to San Diego. They WILL take my 9’6″ board for the standard $50 fee. If you notice on their website they take up to 15′ for windsurfing. When you call and bring this to their attention, they will make it happen, but I recommend calling first.