Flying with your windsurfing equipment is always a hassle, but well worth it to be able to ride your own gear. When planning to fly with windsurfing gear, you will almost always have to end up paying an excess baggage fee. However, the amount charged by each airline varies, as well as how much you are allowed to pack after paying the excess baggage fee. Be sure to note whether the airline allows you to pack your board in a separate bag from the sail. Here are our picks for the 5 best domestic airlines for flying with windsurfing equipment in the USA.
JetBlue is the most windsurfer friendly airline, charging a $50 fee for your windsurf bag for both domestic and international flights. Just note that this is in addition to the regular checked bag fee, but they offer a reasonable weight and size limit for the windsurfing gear.
What is accepted:
One windsurfing board with an aluminum (or similar type material) wishbone style boom, one mast with a maximum length of 15 feet, one sail. Items weighing more than one hundred pounds (100 pounds) will not be accepted as checked baggage.
Wind Surfing equipment is accepted on JetBlue domestic flights for a fee of $50 each way and will count as one of your checked bags.
Windsurfing equipment on JetBlue International flights is accepted for a fee of $50 each way and will count as one of your checked bags.
Windsurfing equipment is accepted to all destinations EXCEPT to/from Bermuda, Cuba, Haiti, Peru, Port of Spain, Santo Domingo and Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Virgin America is a windsurfer-friendly airline, and like JetBlue, charges a reasonable $50 fee. However, you are limited to only 50lbs/23kg, which should be just enough to fit 1 board and 1 sail with mast and boom (pack the fins, extension, mast foot, harness in your regular baggage), however if you exceed this weight limit, you will be charged an overweight fee of an extra $50.
Windsurfing equipment is accepted on Virgin America flights after paying a $50 USD fee, regardless of the class of service, in lieu of the appropriate checked bag fee. Additional overweight charges apply if the item exceeds 50 pounds.
One item of windsurfing equipment is: one windsurfing board with an aluminum (or similar type material) wishbone style boom, one mast with a maximum length of 15 feet and a sail. Acceptance of the windsurfing equipment will require a limited release tag under those conditions.
Southwest Airlines charges a fee of $75 for windsurfing equipment. This can replace one of the two free checked bags that Southwest allows, so you will not be charged for a regular piece of baggage in addition to this.
The items listed below will be accepted as Checked Baggage for a $75 each way charge.
Wind surfing board, keel removed and placed in checked baggage to prevent damage to the sail, boom, and other baggage.
Frontier Airlines accepts windsurfing gear, but does not have a special baggage fee for the equipment. Standard checked baggage fees apply, as well as normal oversize and overweight fees. However, if you pack into a single bag with 1 board and 1 sail, you could fit within the regular weight limit of 50 lbs, and only be charged the single $75 oversize fee.
Frontier Airlines acecpts windsurfing equipment as checked baggage. One bag which may include one windsurfing board, one wooden boom, one mast, and one sail.
Items which exceed 99.9lbs will not be accepted.
The following limits for length apply based on aircraft type:
Airbus 319/320: 15 ft
Airbus 318: 11 ft
Allow an extra 30 minutes for check-in.
Frontier Airlines Windsurfing Fees:
Standard Checked bag fees, including excess, are charged based on Fare Option purchased. Overweight and oversize fees are charged if applicable.
American Airlines is one of the more generous airlines when it comes to flying with windsurfing equipment. Although they charge a flat fee of $150 for windsurfing equipment, the nice thing is that they allow for 2 bags of 32kg/70lbs, allowing you to check in a both a boardbag and quiver bag, making it easier to handle your equipment when travelling and bringing it through the airport. This also allows you to pack boards and sails to cover a range of conditions.
You can travel with:
A boom and sail
$150 for every 2 pieces
Maximum Weight and Size
70 lbs. and 126 inches based on the airplane size and load factors
Acceptance conditional on aircraft size and load factors
Up to two pieces (as described) count as one piece for baggage charges.