Runway Robbery?

Question: How much did you pay to get your board(s) on the plane?

Asked at Ngurah Rai International Airport on Thursday, March 14th.

We fly from Lombok to Bali on Lion Air and pay 200,000 IDR for each boardbag. Cheap!

This morning we came from Bima (Lakey Peak, Sumbawa). We were on a Merpati flight. We each paid 200,000 IDR for the board bag tariff and then another 200,000 IDR bribe to the guy at the check-in desk to make sure our boards made it onto the plane, because they didn’t have enough room on the plane for all the boardbags. Our boards all made it, which was a relief because we’re flying home to Melbourne tonight!

I flew with my surfboard from Vietnam and took Malaysia Airlines. They were super good. All my stuff was under 23 kilos, so I didn’t have to pay anything. No questions, they didn’t check inside my bag. They were really nice to me.

I came over with two boards and paid fifteen bucks for the extra 15 kg baggage allowance. I come over to Bali every month from Perth and always fly with AirAsia because they don’t charge per board – just the flat rate for the extra 15 kilos. These two boards were 14.8 kilos with the bag, so I got it sussed. After 20 years of coming here I should.

We flew from Copenhagen to Bali on Emirates with one surfboard, one kiteboard and two kites, and they charged us nothing extra because we were under the weight limit. We were at 25 or 26 kilos each and the weight limit was 30 kilos for one flyer. The surfboard was actually oversized – I think the baggage size limit is 1.5 meters long – but we got lucky and they let it pass somehow. Now hopefully our boards are in one piece.

We came from Narita (Tokyo) on Garuda. All our boards are free! I brought three, he brought two, he brought two… It’s Amazing! I know most airlines charge a lot of money for surfboards. On Garuda I think surfboards are free until 23 kilos. We couldn’t believe it!

I’ve been flying China Airlines from San Francisco to Bali for years. I usually make two round trips a year. I used to take 7 or 8 boards from California back to Bali with me every time. I would put them all in a huge bag and tell them it was a ‘surf boat’ and they would say, “Surf boat? Okay,” and only charge me $100. A year ago it went up to $150 for the whole bag, and now they’re trying to charge $150 per board each way! On this last flight from SF to Bali the guy at the counter tried to get in my bag and count my boards. I had four boards inside but I had them all wrapped in cardboard, then wrapped in a couple layers of plastic tarp, and then more cardboard, so they couldn’t see how many boards were inside. I told them it was just one big ‘surf boat’ but the guy remembered me from last time and said we had to bring the bag to the X-Ray machine to make sure. I thought I was busted, but eventually they gave up and I ended up trading 20,000 of my frequent flyer miles to pay for the oversized bag. They’re getting hardcore about boards these days. I’m not going to push my luck with China Air anymore. I’m only bringing one or two boards next time.

My board flew free on Singapore Airlines from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Kuala Lumpur. Then I flew AirAsia from KL to Bali and had to pay for the 15 kg extra sports equipment fee. I think it was like 20 dollars. It’s not bad compared to what some of the airlines are charging now. I’ve heard some charge 50 bucks per board – each way! I’d probably pay that if it was the only way to get my board to Bali though. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to surf in Saudi Arabia!

I came on Malaysian Airlines from Kuala Lumpur with just one surfboard and it was free. But it was special circumstances because my boyfriend is a pilot. So I flew for free too. So just date a pilot and you’re all set!

How much have you paid to travel to Bali with surfboards? Share your stories in the comments box below.