Remember that time John John paid $500 to have his board messed up by jetBlue?

Remember that time John John paid $500 to have his board messed up by jetBlue?

The Inertia

As surfers, we spend a lot of time in the water. We get to know the local breaks, we watch the weather, we know which seasons are good, and we can almost always tell you what the tide is. The only problem that a lot of surfers have is that there is an entire world full of coastlines that we would like to surf, too. So we work our nine-to-five breaking our backs daydreaming about exotic beaches in Israel and chasing waves that seem to run for miles in New Zealand.

Finally, the day comes where you get to pack up your quiver of boards and head to the airport. You can’t wait to get to that ideal barrel you have been dreaming of since your first wave. You’re like a kid who is getting on a plane to go to Disney World for the first time, when out of nowhere you get sucker punched by an airline checked baggage lady who looks at your precious boards with greedy intentions. The next thing you know, you’re sitting on a plane with your wallet feeling a whole lot lighter because your baggage fee was just as much as your ticket.

For too long, surfers have been burned by airline companies, so Swellspy decided to put together a comprehensive list of surfboard friendly airlines. In doing research, we were pleasantly surprised by how many airlines were definitely friendly for surfers. However, just as we were getting our warm fuzzy feelings, we found some companies that were absolute kooks for the prices they were charging. This visual guide is to help surfers save time and money when planning a dream “surfcation.” We put the airlines into three groups: the surfer-friendly airlines with free/checked baggage, the board or beer airlines who charge $100 or less for boards, and the kook airlines who think they can charge $150 or more… per way! As always, the best way to avoid getting wrecked by a hidden airline fee is to contact your airline directly and make sure that you know that fine print.

Happy surfing and see you in the water!


Swell Spy


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.