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Surfers Petition KLM And Air France Baggage Rules

Surfers and airlines have a famously terrible relationship. When surfboards arrive at their destination missing fins or broken in half, surfers feel that the bright red 'FRAGILE' stickers are merely targets for bag handlers to aim bigger objects at. On the flip side of the coin, surfers can be overly dramatic about their water scalpels and tend to overreact about dings that may have been there before they left.

This relationship has not improved with time. After almost a full year, a petition against KLM and Air France is gaining some media attention.

In March 2010, KLM and Air France changed their check-in baggage policy. Anything over 158cm (for the total length, breadth and height) will incur a US$200 and €200 penalty fee for a one way flight from the USA or Europe. So that means surfers (and its derivatives) are paying an extra 400 US Dollars and Euros to take their boards on holiday.

This rule does seem a bit unfair when you consider golf clubs, which are twice as heavy and cumbersome, are not penalised at all. However, other sporting goods like cricket bats, snow ski, diving equipment and tennis rackets are subjected to the same size/weight/height requirements.

A peaceful resolution between both parties does not seem likely. Someone will always be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to airline check-in allowances - else we'd all bring everything but the kitchen sink with us on holiday.

If you do feel really strongly about it, you are better off signing a petition than taking matters into your own hands. Take a look at what happened to a disgruntled Belgian student and his friends who tried to take matters into their own hands, after a scuffle ensued with Ryanair officials over extra luggage charges.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.