Cheyne Magnusson Strikes A Blow Against Surfboard Baggage Fees
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“Pro surfer Cheyne Magnusson was recently extorted with a $1,050 bill for his boards courtesy of China Airlines on a round-trip to Indo. Cheyne lit up the airline’s Facebook page-a screenshot of which was Instagramed by Kelly Slater-which launched the conversation into bigger territory. Can the power of social media finally help stop unscrupulous baggage fees? Maybe.” – Vol. 14 December 2012 Transworld SURF
Interview via Transworld SURF
So this whole thing started on an Indo trip?
Yeah, I paid 1,050 dollars to and from Bali, and I even left two boards there. If I would’ve paid for all six boards both ways, it would’ve been 1,800 dollars, which is more than my round-trip ticket. This isn’t anything new, but it is ridiculous.
Posting comments via social media seems like an effective way to hit a nerve.
I’ve written letters to airlines in the past, but I wasn’t going to waste my time doing that. So I just wrote my letter on their wall for everyone to see. My goal was to let everyone know they charge that much.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re a private company and are well within their rights to charge whatever they want, but it doesn’t make what they charge right. If they get enough bad press, then maybe- just maybe – it could change.
Surfers have been battling these fees for decades. This might be the best offensive move yet. I love the idea of publicly shaming airlines that are gouging people.
They should be publicly shamed. How can China Airlines justify charging 150 dollars per board when Singapore charges 80 dollars for the whole bag? What the difference there? It’s greed and it’s a scam.
But we get it; surfboard bags suck. They’re heavy and take up a lot of space. I’m happy to pay a set surfboard bag fee. And if a bag is overweight, I understand that too, so tack something on there. But charging per board is a scam. It’s like them opening up someone’s golf bag and charging them per club. It doesn’t make sense; it’s all one parcel, one item. It should be determined by how big it is and how much it weighs, not the quantity of boards inside. That’s evil and greedy.
Have you followed up on your threat of a post for every dollar they charged you?
I was going to post 1,050 comments, but I got to about 100 all combined, and they blocked me. That was my initial thing to blow off steam. Now I’m doing a well-written e-mail to explain what these fees mean to the surfing community and get it out to all the airlines. I also want to start an online petition. We got some traction, lets see how far we can take it. Maybe one day it’ll be just a flat board bag fee and if it’s overweight, you’ll have to pay that fee, and that’s totally fine with me.