British Airways Ban Surfboards

I have just read over at that as of November 6th this year British airways have decided they will no longer carry certain sporting equipment for their passengers.

Most worrying for my self, and I imagine a number of friends will be the inclusion of surf boards on the list of banned equipment.

Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Due to the large size and handling complexities, some sporting equipment cannot be accommodated through the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold. Therefore we no longer accept the following equipment at check-in as part of your sporting equipment allowance.

  • hang gliders
  • windsurfing boards and sails
  • surfboards
  • kayaks or canoes
  • pole vaults
  • javelins

Any surfer will tell you carrying boards is a difficult and worrying process at best. The wait at any airport collection waiting to see if your pride and joy made the journey in one piece is never a nice one. However, surfing in great waves on your own equipment is the best feeling you will have.

The flip side is that if you decide to buy boards at your destination to use, you may well get so attached to them you want to bring them back, something I have done myself.

It is worrying to think that if other airlines were to follow British Airways lead then neither of these choices would be an option. In some cases that may mean waves just are not available. Without a way to transport equipment they might simply be off limits.

If you want to voice your concerns over this, head on over to the British Airways contact form and let them know.

Link to British Airways Contact Form

via: and British Airways Information

8 thoughts on “British Airways Ban Surfboards”

  1. Went and emailed them this message, maybe others could do the same:

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I have just seen your announcement ( detailing the fact that after November 6th 2007 you will not carry surfboards as part of the additional sporting equipment allowance. I just wanted to write and say that I think this is a bad decision by British Airways, this will definitely affect my flight booking decision in future.

    I do not see the logic in this decision as surfboards weigh far, far less than the 23kg per item allowance and the average size of a surfboard is no larger than most skis and snowboards that are taken abroad every winter.

    I would encourage you to please reconsider this decision.

    Yours faithfully,


    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  2. 23rd OCTOBER 2007


    As the governing body for surfing in this country we are extremely shocked to hear about British Airways’ new policy on baggage and their statement that after the 6th November they will no longer carry surfboards at all. In their own words BA is the company that promotes itself as the UK’s largest international scheduled airline and ‘takes pride in providing a full service experience.’ Hundreds of airlines across the world manage to carry surfboards every day so why BA suddenly finds itself in a situation where it thinks these boards are too difficult to handle is inexplicable.

    At the BSA we have over 10,000 members across the country and hundreds of them have contacted us today about this new decision, expressing their disbelief and anger at what they see as a marginalisation of the sport and everyone within the surfing community.

    Surfing is one of the fastest growing mainstream sports in this country with tens of thousands of people taking to the waves for the first time every year, then continuing to develop and hone their skills in a whole range of surf destinations. International surf travel companies are expanding every day as British people look to pursue their new found passion abroad, particularly in the winter months and BA has recently reopened its route from Gatwick to Newquay, no doubt keen to capitalise on the growing number of British people heading for the surf.

    As the national governing body, we arrange the international travel for the British Surfing Teams each year and almost without fail we have chosen to fly with BA in the past, mostly as a result of their generally fair baggage policy. We therefore feel completely let down and angered by the news that our national airline is banning surfboards rather than following some other airlines and charging a supplementary fee.

    Although every surfboard, piece of sporting equipment and musical instrument is different in shape and size, we’d find it extremely hard to believe that the average mini mal would be more difficult to handle when compared to a double bass and a full bag of golf clubs. Most people would fit into a double bass case and a full set of golf clubs would certainly weigh more than your average surfboard so how BA can justify these ridiculous statements is beyond us.

    We can only imagine that many more of BA’s frequent flyer executive club members are golfers or musicians than surfers and that the decision to ban surfboards is a commercial one made on this basis. Either way, we find it alarming and would be keen to stress to other airlines that this is a move that is in no way satisfactory.

    We’re currently considering the action that we’re going to take but we will be contacting BA directly on behalf of our members and offering those members an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and comments to an uprising debate that is certain to rage.

    Karen Walton, National Director, British Surfing Association


  3. Ahh… Why not just boycott BA…Ohh thats not gonna be to hard is it??? And surely BA aren’t the best at handling baggage in the first place?? So surely they’re gonna try and make their lives easier?? I always try to use United Airlines and Star Alliance!! So….daaahhhhhh..why not just use another airline??? Its not the end of the world for {edit}***{/edit} sake???

  4. Of course boycotting is not difficult. As long as you know in advance and don’t turn up at the airport with your stick.

    How long do you think it will be before other airlines also decide to limit the size of the baggage they handle? As a friend of mine would say. one up, all up.

    Aren’t you lucky the UK opened up their airspace to allow United and Star to land here ;D

  5. You could always sponge…

    …surfing maybe the sport of kings, but emporers lie down. 🙂

    Sri Lankan Airlines were great when we flew with them a couple of years ago. I reckon, just boycott BA – if they are not offering the service then don’t pay the money.
    In response to the BSA – maybe you should be encouraging more people to take the train to Newquay. It’s probably just as quick with the shocking bus services from Newquay airport to the rest of the county.

  6. BA are just crap! They should take a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book.
    Part of my job is to approve departmental travel in a rather large international company. I’m making sure my people fly alternative airlines.

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