Continental charges $100 one way per bag with up to 2 surfboards. It goes to $400 per bag for up to 3 boards, and $700 for 4 or more boards. Makes no sense at all since 3 boards in one bag doesn't really take up any more space. Just b**sh*t way to jack up the profit margin. Oil just dropped below $35 a barrel. What's their excuse for charging now?
This is the stated policy. It's pretty easy to figure out that traveling with 2 boards is your best bet when flying Contential. You would be safe in figuring that your round trip fees are going to be $200. Yes, they are f***kin crazy to expect someone to pay $700 one way for 4 boards in one coffin. If you are traveling with 2 or more people, and say you're bringing 4 boards, my recommendation would be to pack 2 boards in one smaller case and then put it in a larger coffin with the other 2 boards. If you're lucky, you will get thru with a $100 or less charge. If they open the coffin and want to count boards, then simply check the smaller case seperately from the larger coffin and you're charge $200 each way instead of the $700 quoted online. My experience is that you will get away with a $100 charge at least 50% of the time. Remember to smile and tell the gal checking you in how great she looks today even if she is a beast!!
the airlines have been taking a big hit for the past 5 years or so and many have gone on the verge of bankrupcy, so now that fuel has dropped people wonder why fees and high airfair have not dropped with the fall in fuel prices. Airlines are making up for the money they lost over the past few years by simply keeping fees and prices high. If fuel costs stay down look to see fees and airfair start to slowly go down over the next year or so. That will help with the cost to travel with your boards.
Some airlines charge per board too. Not just per bag. I find the over packing method works fairly decent. I made a bubble wrap sock that fits 2 boards. And I put that in my board bag along with some towels all taped up. I never had anyone unpack my boards to check. They may unzip it and look in. But, they aren't going to rip it all apart to check. At least it never happen to me.
Where did you end up staying once you were there and did you rent a car?
You will need a car to get around, don't even try without one. I am lucky and have friends that own a house which they are kind enough to let me stay at. If you need a place, PM me I can hook you up no problem.