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 Post subject: Air China - urgent help needed please!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:59 pm 
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Hi, has anyone ever taken kiting gear with Air China...? I have my flight booked only too find out they want to charge me $600 to take my gear because it's over the total dimension limit of 158cm which is beyond ridiculous given that it won't be over the 23kg limit! I find this hard too believe that they will actually do this over a mere few cm's but i can't afford to just turn up and take a gamble! If this really is the case then i will have to cancel the flight and re-book with someone else. If so has anyone got any suggestions on which airlines are best... i'm going to boracay? Final option is too sack off the board all together and either rent or buy one when i get there...again if anyone has any experience with renting/buying a board in boracay then any advice would be appreciated. Cheers guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Air China - urgent help needed please!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:49 am
Posts: 3623
Location: Japan
We've flown Air Asia X and assorted other hinkey little LCC airlines around here with my 170cm board in a bag. We've declared it as "sports gear" and just sucked it up and paid... the extra US$100.

We've had good luck. No questions at all with Air Asia X but we misunderstood what the Firefly webpage was talking about regarding sports gear... we had 20kg x2 check in and 32kg of kite gear. Firefly webpage said 16kg sports gear each so I had prepared to split the gear into 2 bags, so it'd be 20kg x2 plus 16kg x2... what the ACTUALLY meant was, you were allowed 16kg as part of your 20kg check in :o

However, they let us on the plane without extra fees or hassles at all :thumb: just an "Oh, I see - let me check with my supervisor..."

That's one thing I really loved about Malaysia and Thailand - almost everybody has a "How can we help?" attitude when it comes to dealing with problems. Here in Japan and back home in NZ, the attitude is more of a "How can we hinder you?" even when you know all the rules and exactly what has to be done...


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 Post subject: Re: Air China - urgent help needed please!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:17 pm 
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You are talking about a twintip board, right? Not a directional?

I flew with kitegear on Air China about half a year ago. I brought a twintip in a boardbag; a bag with one kite / wetsuit / bar / harness / et cetera); and a separate bag with clothes and other things. In other words, three bags, and at least one of them (the board bag) must have been above the 158cm total dimension limit that you're talking about. Also, I recall that I was slightly above the total weight limit, though not by much.

At any rate, the Air China staff at the check-in counter checked me in without any comments. No problems. This was an international flight originating in Beijing.

That being said, I think your luck with checking in big bags (or getting away with being over the total weight limit) varies greatly by who happens to check you in and what kind of day that that person is having. My philosophy is to always be exceedingly nice to check-in staff. Smile, never raise your voice, apologize if they comment that the bags are heavy and say that you did not realize, and so on. I'd say that nine times out of ten I get away without having to pay anything extra for large or heavy bags. Sometimes you'll end up paying, though. I view it as a bit of a gamble. Things seem tougher on fligths originating in Europe and North America, too.

If you want to be certain of not having to pay anything extra, then fly with an airline that doesn't have any size or sports gear limitations even on paper. Singapore Airlines comes to mind - they'll happily let you check in a surfboard as part of your regular allowance if you want to.


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 Post subject: Re: Air China - urgent help needed please!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:36 pm
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Thanks guys, i think i should be okay. Managed to get hold of the air china office at gatwick and they basically said that as long as im under weight the acual shape/size doesnt matter (within reason) and it'll just go in the oversize baggage free of charge. Although when i asked for email confirmation they said no so i rang back half hour later and was told the same thing from a different person so hopefully be ok. Failing that one of the schools i emailed out there has offered to rent me a used/repaired board for a month for $100 so i have a couple of options.


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