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How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

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thorbirtley
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How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby thorbirtley » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:57 pm

I booked tix from Sweden to London as the 1st leg of a kitesurfing trip down to South Africa for the end of this month. Unfortunately this was before I knew of BA's ban on surfing gear. Sounds like pretty poor form as they're pretty good at most everything else.

Luckily kitesurfing's doesn't require such large gear as, say, windsurfing, so it could be possible to sneak past the ban. Anyone got some interesting/successful ways to slip my gear through and not get hassled?

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby crazy Horse » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:48 pm

It depends, if i am a "wave" kiter, using arround 6'0 shortboard.
You mean they won't take my equipment on thneplane?!

I can't imagin that. I want to pay, but they dont take?!

Thats kind of idiotism!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby TheRussian » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:08 pm

fly 1st or business &/or flash your BA gold card - once, I arrived late & this even got them to re-open a boarding gate that had closed.

Obviously, not a cost effective option - in days gone past, I either lied about what was in the bag or placed my foot under the board bag to lighten the load - better bet is to check in an oversize bag, as they wont take this at the gate, it involves going to the oversize check-in. So try to check in a near empty bag, when they look inside a) its light b) its empty - then miraculously on the way to the oversize check-in put boards & kit back in - the check-in staff (usually) work on the assumption its been checked in & looked at already and bingo - through you go. But don't blame me if it all goes wrong and you end up paying lots of excess!

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby KE » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:36 pm

Check it in as water skiing equipment as long as it is not larger that 240x75x65cm (You could pretty much take a windsurfer with you?! Weird)

Hope it helps

ref www.BA.com: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ba ... blic/en_gb

Each bag must be no more than 240cm x 75cm x 65cm (94.5ins x 29.5ins x 25.5ins) including the handle, pockets and wheels. Sporting equipment listed below is exempt from the oversized bag charge.

Sporting equipment we do not carry as checked baggage

Because of the large size and the associated handling complexities, there is some equipment that we cannot accept as checked baggage. Therefore, we do not accept the following equipment:


hang-gliders
windsurfing boards and sails
water skis that exceed the maximum dimensions

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby ziik » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:04 pm

Not saying this would work either... But I flew BA last week with a bag 170x45x20. Been away snowboarding... No problems at all. Suppose they would be a bit puzzled if you bring your snowboardbag to egypt though ;)

The only rules I had for sporting goods was: No more then 23kgs... And that was ontop of my alowance 23+23kgs of checked luggage. So I could haul a lot of kit if I wanted to.

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby thorbirtley » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:04 pm

Haha - I like your tricks Russian :-)

From what I've heard, people have been prevented from taking their surfboards on as regular checked luggage inside the free allowance for sporting goods, even though the bags came inside the allowance sizing & weights.

Looking carefully at the wording of BA's sporting equipment page, it seems to be open to some level of interpretation. As mentioned earlier by KE:
  • Windsurfing boards and sails
  • surfboards and
  • water skis that exceed the maximum dimensions "are not carried"

I've heard of people buying a cheapo golf rain bag to throw over the top so that boarding equip fits into the easy "Sporting equipment we carry" category. Given my kite gear's pretty light, perhaps best to just keep mum about it all and the journey could be fine.

Maybe I'm over-cautious, but I've heard horror stories from folk coming back to Sweden from Cape Town being forced to pay megabucks by picky check-in staff so I thought I'd check with everyone here.

Thanks all :-)

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby doc » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:22 pm

cabrinha golf bag is a well tried trick only 165cm though

thorbirtley
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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby thorbirtley » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:38 pm

165cm should do the job.
bit of a squeeze with everything in it, but probably does the job

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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby Lord of the Boards » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:51 pm

Same problem our travel agent mentioned. We are planning a trip to Fiji/ Australia. No surfing goodies allowed with BA. But if you look closer on the BA site ( http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ba ... blic/en_nl ), you can see that golf bags are allowed, as long as they are no longer than 2,40 meters and no heavier than 23 kilo's.


Because of the large size and the associated handling complexities, there is some equipment that we cannot accept as checked baggage. Therefore, we do not accept the following equipment:


hang-gliders
windsurfing boards and sails
water skis that exceed the maximum dimensions
surfboards
kayaks, canoes and oars
pole vaults
javelins


Kites and wakeboards are not on the list of banned equipment!

We are still planning the trip, so we just have to wait and see if this will work. Nothing submitted yet and no previous experience with taking kitegear on a plane. But I think there will be no problems taking your gear with BA.

PS. If they ask what's inside the bag, never even mention the word surfing. Tell them it's a wakeboard and some kites.

thorbirtley
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Re: How to sneak past British Airways' surfing ban?

Postby thorbirtley » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:19 pm

The golf bag's really are a brilliant idea by the kite companies, aren't they?
Given they cost a bit, I'm going to be going "wakeboarding" and "flying a kite on the beach" if pressed, as the BoardLord said!

Surfing of any nature will not be on the agenda ;-)


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