american airlines

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by mexsurfer, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. mexsurfer

    mexsurfer Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    does anyone have any experience with flying boards with american airlines? i know their policy but i wanna know some first hand experiences
  2. MDSurfer

    MDSurfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2006

  3. snakepliskin

    snakepliskin Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    AA baggage monkeys

    AA....Many, many times. 30x or more for surfing. Always south to the islands or to Central Amer.

    I usually tried to upgrade my ticket to biz or first. It seems that the AA check-in people don't open the coffin like they do if I fly coach. And be sweetness & light to those people or you will pay & pay.

    Haven't done a trip since spring 2011. Check the website for fees. Then it was $150.00 each way. Someone told me it's now $ 200.00 ea way, per board. And airlines wonder why people hate them.

    I always only paid for one board. Even when I had two or three tucked in the coffin. Having said that, AA's policy is per board. So it was a calculated gamble on my part that they wouldn't go digging.

    The baggage monkeys wrecked my board on 2 separate occasions. Once it was so bad that a chunk was literally ripped off the tail. Un-rideable upon arrival in the tropics. Local dude pieced it together but it was a mess. I *****ed about the damage to AA cust svce (oxymoronic term with airlines) & they gave me a $ 400.00 voucher.

    The second time the baggage chimps wrecked my board, on another trip, AA said sorry, we don't guarantee safe passage of surfboards. But you charged me $ 300.00 rt to transport my board! Sorry, that's our policy, ad nauseum.

    I learned. I pack my boards with as much cushion as I can without making the coffin too heavy. The pipe wrap material that comes in long tubes, at Home Depot, is great for the rails. Don' get the stick-on pipe wrap: the black glue melts onto your board while it's roasting in the cargo hold or on the tarmac. A real pain to get it off the board. Use painter's blue tape to stick the pipe wrap on your rails. I also used a sheet of thin cardboard on the top deck to help spread the impact from the corners of 6o pound suitcases being tossed onto my board coffin by the AA baggage monkeys.

    Oh, and lock that thing up with a TSA padlock. Even locked, you'll still want to try to put your leashes, fins & fin screws in your carry-on or in another checked bag. Baggage monkeys like to steal stuff like that from the board bags - - easily sold to surfers at your destination. Safe travels!
  4. snakepliskin

    snakepliskin Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    ....and I'm flying AA to CR in a few weeks....but this time I'm renting boards while down there.....
  5. mexsurfer

    mexsurfer Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    are you flying into liberia? and where are you planning on surfing/renting?
  6. snakepliskin

    snakepliskin Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Yes, going into LIR. Renting from a guy in Nosara. Guiones & that area. First trip to Costa Rica, so will be going with the flow.
  7. David

    David Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2006
    It's been a while since I've flown with boards, I fly from DCA and they get so few board bags etc. they don't know they are supposed to charge per board so it's pretty easy. However leaving a place like Liberia, they see a board bag and know what to do with it, in terms of charging you. Airlines won't pay for damaged boards as they will pass the blame to TSA or something. Now when I go to CR, I rent (usually in Tamarindo) and there is a huge selection of places/boards to choose from so it's not worth the hassle, price, and potential for damage for me to take a board to CR.

    Pisses me off as golf bags are just as heaving as boards yet much cheaper to travel with.
  8. beach bum

    beach bum Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Just flew boards with them last week. it's 180 each way. I had 2 boards packed in one light travel bag under 70lbs. They charge you 150$ + a 30$ extra bag fee even though the wording on there website says 150 "Regardless of bags checked".
  9. ecshady

    ecshady Member

    Jul 4, 2008
    I just came back from CR I travel there with 2 boards in the Airbag from SOMA and it works pretty well. Very light as it is air all way around boards, but my buddy had his ran over by luggage cart and popped it and both of his boards were damaged. I flew Delta of all airlines. Left from DCA early morn. No charge for boards. Supposed to be $200 each way for a board. but they do not usually open the board bag. Flew in to Liberia, on my way back out the guy at the airline counter did charge me $150 to come back ith both boards, but Our luggage was over weight, so I slipped him some cash and he did not charge the luggage fee. Not a bad trip all way around. Stayed in Tamarindo, and can travel from there to all the surf spots. great starting spot.
  10. mexsurfer

    mexsurfer Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    how much did you slip that b*stard?!
  11. Glass

    Glass Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    This is a valuable post. I'm going to Barbados in 2 weeks ( flying AA ) out of Reagan/ National with 2 boards in a double bag. I trial packed them and they look like one board, total weight 35 lbs. My plan is to just put it on the check in platform and say " I have a surfboard. The whole bag weighs 35 lbs " and hope they don't get too curious. I hadn't thought about putting a small padlock on it but maybe that's a good idea.
  12. mexsurfer

    mexsurfer Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    im flying to liberia with united! 320 round trip! i called the lady and she said if you dont bring a suit case, my board bag can count as my free luggage. can anyone confirm this? (i only travle with carry on anyway!)
  13. snakepliskin

    snakepliskin Member

    Nov 14, 2011

    I'd like to see you score, but it is really up to whoever the agent is & what he / she is trained on or what the agent is feeling like doing. Nothing tops the airlines for mis-information specialists. You get a different story from almost every one of the airline workers.

    Let us know how you fare on that free-bag aspect. Hope you slide.
  14. spongedude

    spongedude Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    mis tablas de surf son muy grandes

    Keep in mind that the airlines have a standard for the maximum size on any bag whether it's free or charged. That means if it exceeds that size, you're going to pay extra anyway. There is no way that your board bag fits within the parameters of the standard checked baggage size. Be compared to schmooze as much as possible, and if you go with a Latin American airline, having somebody who speak Spanish… like somebody's mama… is also especially helpful in getting things past the ticket counter.

    buena suerte y buenas olas
  15. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    62 linear inches is the new watchword for checked baggage -- LxWxH not to exceed 62" or excess length charges (some of which are big dollars like $150). Over 50 lbs, excess weight charges. It is best to check all the rules at the time of booking and to print them out. It is uber confusing out there right now.
  16. beach bum

    beach bum Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    As long as the boards fit into one bag and stay under 70lbs and 126 inches you could have as many boards as you want and not get charged extra. Read there website. Another tip I've used is self check in. Depending on the airport you can print your own luggage tag and drop them off at questions asked. But you have to be sneaky.

    Lightweight surfboards packaged in a single bag that weighs less than 70 lbs. will be accepted as a single surfboard for charging purposes.
  17. mucker

    mucker Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    That was my experience this summer. We flew with AA out of ewr and I took 3 longboards to CR. We were charged $150 each way. As long as you are under 70 lbs you should be ok.

    The only problem I had and continue to have is they damaged my boards on the return flight. I filed a claim and am getting the run around. It's a long story, which I won't go into unless someone really wants to know, but the Customer service for damaged items sucks at AA. It's so bad that even though I have used them every year for the last 7 years to go to CR, this experience will probably make me switch airlines next time we go.
  18. bauer

    bauer Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2010
    goto tamerindo rent! they have so many surf shops with good boards of all sizes and it like 15-25 a day that is about half of what any airline will charge to damage your board.