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COMPLAINT: sucker punch baggage fee for surfboards: AA 2167

 
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  #1  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 1:59 AM
cory5000 cory5000 is offline
 
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dont fly american if your a surfer. i had two boards in one bag. they charged me $200 for oneway. my board bag is the same size and weight whether there is one board or two in it. it actually weighs more with only one in it because i shove anything else (towels, cloths, shoes, ect.....) in it to take up the extra space. its a complete scam. If they want to be fair, it should be based strictly on size and weight. On top of that, our flight was delayed 4 hours. we were dropped off in costa rica at midnight. Our car rental office was closed. they gave me 3000 bonus miles for our inconvenience. miles for an airline i will never fly again. thanx for nothing.
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  #2  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 2:01 AM
cory5000 cory5000 is offline
 
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dont fly american if your a surfer. i had two boards in one bag. they charged me $200 for oneway. my board bag is the same size and weight whether there is one board or two in it. it actually weighs more with only one in it because i shove anything else (towels, cloths, shoes, ect.....) in it to take up the extra space. its a complete scam. If they want to be fair, it should be based strictly on size and weight. On top of that, our flight was delayed 4 hours. we were dropped off in costa rica at midnight. Our car rental office was closed. they gave me 3000 bonus miles for our inconvenience. miles for an airline i will never fly again. thanx for nothing.
AA flight 2167 nov 13,2009
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  #3  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 3:14 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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I guess that means don't fly anywhere if you're a surfer? My eldest nephew (well one of my eldest nephews) likes to surf in Hawaii, Cancun, and Los Angeles (a few of his favorite spots), I know nothing of the sport, but he always ends up paying between 150 - 200 bucks each way (so look to pay that fee on the way back, just giving you a heads up), one surfboard bag with two boards. I don't know of any airline that will let you check them for free, considering those things would be considered "oddsize" objects. If you base the price strictly by size and weight, I would think you'd end up paying more? Other than that, depending on the reason for the delay, they should give you a bit more than 3,000 miles (I always thought the standard was 5,000). Usually its travel certificates, but since you won't be flying them again, well consider the whole thing moot.
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  #4  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 3:17 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Cory5000 wrote...

...they charged me $200 for oneway...

If, you go to a UPS Store (like the day before your flight) and have your surfboard shipped ahead it shouldn't cost you any MORE than $200 (unless you request "overnight" delivery.) Also, by using a UPS Store, your board will be packaged carefully and there's a lot less chance of loss. For myself, the only thing I would check with an airline would be something having little value---like dirty underwear and socks. Otherwise, I'll pay the higher charges of shipping ahead, and avoid the drama with airline baggage agents and deaf call center staff.

As long as one isn't staying at a rent-by-the-hour motel I've found most motels and hotels will cooperate with UPS deliveries for guests.
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Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Nov 29, 2009 at 3:19 AM.
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  #5  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 5:42 AM
justme justme is offline
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Originally Posted by cory5000
my board bag is the same size and weight whether there is one board or two in it.
So you're saying that one of your surfboards weighs nothing!?! You may want to get that patented, sounds like a money-maker!

Originally Posted by BCSH
If, you go to a UPS Store (like the day before your flight) and have your surfboard shipped ahead it shouldn't cost you any MORE than $200 (unless you request "overnight" delivery.)
How else are you going to get it at your destination unless you ship it next day, other than shipping it a week ahead of you. The other "problem" with shipping it USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. is that most of these companies contract with airlines to ship their packages for them. I can't even begin to tell you how many thousands upon thousands of pounds of freight (mail, UPS, FedEx, DHL packages) I have loaded and unloaded from airplanes in my career. So the idea that it won't get lost because someone other than an airline employee is handling it is moot since they are the ones handling a significant percentage of what's being shipped by these companies.


The bottom line is this, every airline charges a healthy fee to check large, odd/over-sized, overweight items. A surfboard meets all three of those requirements. A shipping company such as UPS may be cheaper, but don't think for a minute that it's not getting there the exact same way you are.
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  #6  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 6:11 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Justme wrote...

A shipping company such as UPS may be cheaper, but don't think for a minute that it's not getting there the exact same way you are.

Sorry, I'm not buying that one. So I'm supposed to believe that UPS, or Fedex, has no planes, of its own, at all? I guess myself, and others, are hallucinating when, at the airport, we see aircraft in UPS and Fedex liveries? Or, if you're willing to concede these two DO have their own planes, most of the packages they receive are NOT carried on their own planes? Yes, perhaps during holiday times, scheduled passenger airlines may carry SOME UPS and Fedex cargo.

If UPS and Fedex relied on the airlines as heavily as you would have us believe the loss or delay rate would be a lot higher than it is for these companies.
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  #7  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 6:36 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Justme---

If it makes you feel any better: Yes, on some routes, UPS will have a scheduled passenger airline fly their cargo. As an example a UPS "letter," dropped at a UPS box near my home, will be taken to Billings, Mont. then flown (probably by United) to Denver. However, in Denver, it is transferred to UPS aircraft.

Try sending a few 2-day, or overnight, UPS letters, then "track" them. What scheduled passenger airline has a hub in Louisville, Kent??
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  #8  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 9:36 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Quote:
So you're saying that one of your surfboards weighs nothing!?! You may want to get that patented, sounds like a money-maker!
Quote:
my board bag is the same size and weight whether there is one board or two in it. it actually weighs more with only one in it because i shove anything else (towels, cloths, shoes, ect.....) in it to take up the extra space.
Come on Justme... read the whole post...
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  #9  
Old Nov 29, 2009, 7:12 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by cory5000 View Post
dont fly american if your a surfer.
I did some research for you and I think your best option would be Continental. They too charge $100 for a single board but if you have 2 boards in a single case or bag they charge the same $100 each way. All of the others were the same as AA, $100 each board each way, with the exception of Southwest which only charges $50 per board (a good option for Los Angeles area, but they don't fly to HI or Costa Rica). The most expensive was United which would have charged you a whopping $175 per board traveling to Central America.
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  #10  
Old Nov 30, 2009, 1:45 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Quick hint if flying into San Jose Costa Rica, especially at night, expect delays if not having your flight diverted to another city due to rain and fog and mountains. I have several friends who retired down there due to cost of living and they always comment on it. Though they say they would rather divert to another city and be delayed if weather is bad then to meet one of the mountains
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  #11  
Old Nov 30, 2009, 9:24 AM
justme justme is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Come on Justme... read the whole post...
Jim, really... how am I not supposed to comment on someone saying that TWO boards weigh LESS than ONE!?! I, while not the exact same, know the pain. I travel with no less than 3 snowboards during the winter season. 3 weighs more than 2, more than 1, but, I know what he means about cramming other things in the bag. Still, a bag with 2 boards still has room for extra items, and hence, will still weigh MORE!
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  #12  
Old Nov 30, 2009, 9:49 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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What difference does it make to the airline what is in the bag.. surely the fair thing is just to go by weight and size? Are the airlines now going to ask you to open your luggage and charge you by item? Next they will charge more for a leather jacket than a pair of trousers!! That is the logical conclusion. It is ridiculous. By all means charge a fee if you must, but by the bag and the weight. Who cares what's in it?

You are having the same problem that many at Delta have. You seem unable to listen. He did not say two boards weigh the same as one. He said the bag weighs the same, because when he is travelling with one board, he loads up the extra space with other stuff. He was quite specific, but Delta has a hard time hearing what their customers have to say.

Last edited by jimworcs; Nov 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM.
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  #13  
Old Nov 30, 2009, 1:22 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
What difference does it make to the airline what is in the bag.. surely the fair thing is just to go by weight and size? Are the airlines now going to ask you to open your luggage and charge you by item? Next they will charge more for a leather jacket than a pair of trousers!! That is the logical conclusion. It is ridiculous. By all means charge a fee if you must, but by the bag and the weight. Who cares what's in it?
Sports equipment has it's own "menu" of charges, Jim. Just check out any airline's website. It's broken down by type of equipment, etc. I guess because sports equipment isn't considered an essential item they can charge whatever they want for it. There's always the option of shipping it UPS/Fedex or simply renting equipment at the destination. For a real sports enthusiast or a pro they will, of course, want their own equipment and will pay to have it transported there.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 5:34 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
What difference does it make to the airline what is in the bag.. surely the fair thing is just to go by weight and size?
Because sports equipment usually has a larger size and weight allowance per piece than standard luggage. So some people try to dodge the system by packing clothes in a golf bag, or in this case a surf bag. When you start packing your clothes it's no longer a piece of sports equipment, it's now a suitcase.
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  #15  
Old Dec 2, 2009, 9:26 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I have no problem charging by weight and size.. then it won't be an issue what is in it.

Charge by the weight. If there are extra charges due to oversize baggage, state what they are. But asking people to open their baggage and pay extra according to what they have in there is ridiculous. We need to nip that in the bud before things get out of hand.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 2:01 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
But asking people to open their baggage and pay extra according to what they have in there is ridiculous
Whoa what's going on here? No one said anything about opening bags and charging for the contents. I don't think any airline does that. The OP had to pay a service charge for the boards, which is what he's upset about not because of additional contents within the bag.
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  #17  
Old Dec 2, 2009, 7:56 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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It does happen at times, but from what I've seen and what I'm told still happens it's only when it's obvious. If there is a soft sided golf case and it's quite spongy when you pick it up, it's obvious it is full of clothes. So the passenger may be asked to open the bag.

What everyone needs to keep in mind is this - the normal weight limit is 50 pounds. Sporting equipment can be heavier, so the airlines take that into account. You also have to think about size. A golf club bag is larger overall than a regular suitcase. So, by doing what Jim is saying, someone with sporting equipment could royally get screwed on size/weight fees. The whole idea is to keep bags under a certain weight for free, while giving some leeway for sports items. So also by Jim's rational a suitcase could be over the 50 pound limit, but that defeats the purpose.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 7:57 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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I'd also like to add that the title of this thread is quite misleading. The OP is alluding to having been caught off guard by the fees involved. Yet he has stated that he has traveled with this before (many times at that) and hence should know to be familiar with the fees ahead of time.
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  #19  
Old Dec 2, 2009, 10:45 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Bob, if the OP states

Quote:
i had two boards in one bag. they charged me $200 for oneway
How did they know he had two boards in the bag, unless they made him open it OR asked him what it contained? The whole basis of the complaint is that he was charged for two boards, when he was loading just one bag.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 10:56 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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No Jim, he is allowed two boards in one bag. So it doesn't matter if there was two boards in the bag or one, as long as the bag doesn't go overweight he's good (Which is possible). But he still has to pay the service fee for the boards, which is why he is upset in the first place, because AA charged him a fee for the boards.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 10:58 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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I could look at a bag, if it's soft enough and tell you there are two surfboards inside. They have skegs so they can't really lay flat without something protruding.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 11:29 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Are we in a parallel universe? That is my point exactly. He had one bag. It had two surfboards. He was asked to pay for two.

Lets say he has one oversized bag, weighs 25kg and contains 1 surfboard and a load of diving gear he pays an extra fee of $100.

If on the other hand he had:

One oversized bag, weighs 22kg and contains 2 surfboards, he pays extra fees of $200.

So for the same size bag, he pays extra fees of $200, and in my scenario it weighs less. It is just price gouging and unjustified.
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  #23  
Old Dec 2, 2009, 11:41 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
How did they know he had two boards in the bag, unless they made him open it OR asked him what it contained? The whole basis of the complaint is that he was charged for two boards, when he was loading just one bag.
That's what I was commenting on.
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