Save the Skateboards
October 10, 2012 6:18 PM   Subscribe

How can I bring my two skateboards on a US Airways flight??

OK, so I'll be leaving JFK next week and I have a US Airways flight, a layover, and a US Airways Express flight. I have absolutely no idea how to transport my two skateboards. Worst case scenario, they will make me check them and pay their Sporting Equipment Fee, which I hear is $200?!

I don't know how to ship them home instead. I don't know where to find boxes for that. I'd prefer not to ship them if I could.

I was considering taking the wheels off and perhaps tying the boards together and putting them in a garbage bag and maybe they'll just think it's regular baggage and just charge me $25 to check them. That would be neat. But I don't want to get there and find out I was wrong.

Maybe put them in a suitcase? But what suitcase is big enough and doesn't cost $100? I paid $50 for one and $40 for the other, so I'm not really into the idea of paying more than the skateboard actually cost, just to ship it or check it on an airplane. They're 32x8 and 31x7.5, if that matters.

I'm especially nervous since, like I said, I have two of these things to deal with!
posted by lhude sing cuccu to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Call the airline and ask.
posted by greta simone at 6:31 PM on October 10, 2012

It sounds like they are carry-on sized. See here.

Not even sure you need to have them in a bag/suitcase.

If I were you, though, to make them more streamline and easy-to-carry and store, take the wheels off.
posted by Sassyfras at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2012

I don't know who to call.

And apparently it can only be up to 22 in. for a carry on. At first I thought it was 45 in., but that seems to be cubic inches.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2012

Your skateboards are too long to be brought carry on, so you will have to either pay to check them or pay to ship them. It looks like checking them is $25 each way assuming that you put them in one container [can be a backpack, doesn't have to be fancy. You can get a bag from a thrift store].

Pretty sure the sporting equipment fee is for stuff that is otherwise too large to be checked like snowboards and skis. If you have questions, call them on the phone. If you have a reservation you will be able to get someone to answer your questions though they are unlikely to be more informative than what you can read on the website.
posted by jessamyn at 6:46 PM on October 10, 2012

I don't know who to call

Uh. Why not call the airline(s) that issued you the tickets?
posted by elizardbits at 6:50 PM on October 10, 2012

Salvation army / goodwill. Buy a giant suitcase for $5. Put them in it (possibly diagonally). Don't even bother with taking the wheels off (unless that somehow protects the boards), just pack 'em in loose clothing.

I have to ask though - If these have no real value, why do you need to take them with you - And two of them at that?
posted by pla at 6:57 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

why do you need to take them with you - And two of them at that?

Because I love them. And I can't really buy skateboards where I'm headed.

Why not call the airline(s) that issued you the tickets?

Yeah and which of the 10,000 numbers that they list should I call?

I'll try tomorrow though. I'll try them all if I have to, I guess.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 7:02 PM on October 10, 2012

There are very few numbers on that page and most of them are obviously not correct. You have a reservation. You call the reservations number which is 800-428-4322.
posted by jessamyn at 7:28 PM on October 10, 2012 [6 favorites]

Yeah just call the reservations number, tell them your problem and ask them to refer you to the right person/department if they can't answer that question. "Can I take this as a carry-on or do I have to check it" is probably a question that they have to answer 2378432987 times a day so surely they will forward you to a person that will have an answer.
posted by greta simone at 7:36 PM on October 10, 2012

They will check virtually anything that doesn't look like it will fall apart. People check cardboard boxes all the time. It would easily qualify on weight and size for the standard $25 bag fee. I do sometimes see trash bags on the luggage carousels but there is a huge chance that the boards will poke through and escape and leave you with an empty plastic bag. Get a goodwill bag or a cardboard box.

USAirways official carry-on policy actually allows for 45 linear inches, so 32x8x5 would technically qualify, but gate agents are pretty random in how they interpret the rule. If you can handle the $25 fee, that will work for dead certain.

Their reservations agents are notoriously clueless, so I'm not very confident you will get useful answers with a phone call. The last time I called them, they insisted that Peru was in Asia and I had to hang up and call again to get charged the right amount of miles for the trip.
posted by Lame_username at 7:54 PM on October 10, 2012

In the past, I've been allowed to carry on my ~38" longboard on U.S. and international flights and I've also been told I'm not allowed to carry it on because it "could be used as a weapon" and have been made to check it. The lack of clarity and consistency is seriously annoying. That said, whenever I've been told I have to check it, the airline has never charged me to do so. If I were you, I'd just play dumb and try to carry them on, then if they make you check them, check them and cross your fingers that there's no cost. But that's just me. I live dangerously.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 9:02 AM on October 11, 2012

If you have a favorite skateboard shop, why don't you ask them to ship the boards for you? I'm sure they do it every day. FedEx will ship a 25 pound tube box from NYC to Albuquerque (random location) for $30.66 by FedEx Ground (4 days.)
posted by halfbuckaroo at 12:29 AM on October 12, 2012

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