30 July 2008

The Unfriendly Skies

Delta just raised its fee for carrying a surfboard on a single flight, after disclaiming any responsibility for the board's well-being, to $175! For that, you might as well buy your shortboard a round-trip seat next to you in coach. Unlike the airline, you'd handle it with care - plus you'd get a second package of pretzels.

British Airways has even banned surfboards, while on most airlines, golf and ski equipment still travels for free. I cannot understand how the airlines continue to get away with such blatant discrimination against surfers. If there is any silver lining to be found in our increasing numbers, maybe it will be eventually achieving parity with pot-bellied, gray-haired duffers when we check our toys.

Now, here's a quiz: Who can tell me how much Qantas charges to bring a surfboard to Sydney from SFO, using only the information provided on the Qantas website? (And yes, I may soon need to know - woo hoo!)

OK, no one's playing, so here's the answer: around $50. But it was like pulling teeth to get that info from Qantas. An actual amount was not available on the website or through email. It took a phone call with the typical 5 minutes on hold before an agent would give me that estimate.

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