Your Skimboard – Don’t Leave Home Without It - Bag Check Tips
October 2019 / Contributor: Alex Bevard
Repping keeps me on the road. A lot. I’ve been doing this for 15+ years and travel has never lost it’s appeal.
When I’m flying baggage checking my boards takes pre-planning because airline fees aren’t where I want to spend my cash.
Here are some of the guidelines I use for my trips:
#1 – Always check online for the baggage fees and policies for the airline you are using. You’ll know, off the top, a general idea of what you’re working with.
#2 – When I pack my board(s) I try to put towels on the nose/tail/rails. Board bags are meant to keep your boards protected but, let’s face it, Baggage Handlers have to move fast. Not saying it’s a Nascar Pit Crew, but speed is key. I’ve personally witnessed my bags tossed from man to man underneath a plane, dropped, picked up and tossed again. Some extra cushion helped minimize the damage. Board Bags usually have at least a couple inches margin around the board that will help with adding padding.
#3 – When you get to the airport almost every airline will start off asking for a $100 bag check fee. Most carriers automatically see a skimboard and call it a surfboard. Not so. For the sake of carving cost… insist that what you have is a boogie board not a surfboard.
#4 – You will likely get pushback from the ticket agent if they haven’t dealt with this before. In that case, I simply ask for a manager. I patiently explain the board is not a surfboard and the bag is shorter.
Here is where knowing your airline rules helps. I’ve traveled Spirit Airlines a lot in the past several months and, at the time I’m writing, this is their “Contract of Carriage” policy:
Section – 220.127.116.11. – Any checked baggage that exceeds the standard size and weight limit including handles and wheels is subject to excess baggage charges in addition to the standard checked baggage charge (a standard checked bag is defined as a bag not exceeding 62 linear inches in overall dimensions (Length + Width + Height) and 40 pounds in weight).
I state again, politely and patiently, that the bag is shorter than 62 inches and thank them for looking into that for me.
That usually results in an immediate adjustment of the bag fee from $100 to $50. On a great day, many airlines allow staff to complimentarily check a few bags at no charge. Can’t say I’ve had that happen, but pro Ryan McFarland has one that lottery at least once.
Have any baggage check tips to share? Comment below…
Safe travels. – Alex