United Airlines Makes Itself More Surfer-Friendly by Waiving Extra Fees for Boards

But only in California
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2018 has been a pretty stellar year for local surfers: On August 20, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that crowned surfing as the official sport of California; today, United Airlines announced a new policy that waives hefty service fees (upwards of $150) to check a surfboard, paddleboard, or wakeboard on any of its flights into or out of the state. According to the airline, the policy was inspired by surfing’s new royal status.

The move is somewhat of a surprise considering United is known for its garbage customer service (last year, a passenger was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight; earlier this year, the airline caused the death of a puppy because its owner was made to stow it in an overhead bin). But hey, even small steps towards redemption are better than no steps at all.

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Now, being that United is a money-hungry airline and all, you can’t just waltz onto your next flight with a board in tow for free. But you can check it for the price of a normal bag on any United Airlines or United Express flight, which will set you back by a much more reasonable $30. (This falls in line with competing airlines like Alaska Air, which dropped its sports equipment fee to $25 in 2017).

While this is great news if California is your final destination, it is kind of a bummer that the break doesn’t apply for flights connecting through a California airport. But hey, who needs Hawaii when you’ve got Manhattan Beach?


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