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I've done quite a lot of surf travel and I've mostly been lucky except once and luckily it happened on the trip home. But the downer on this is that the airline took out a good chunk off my tail and I had plenty of protection there.
There is nothing the airline will do for it, any airline. You are SOL .
I just got back from Hawaii two weeks ago and instead of paying $250.00 on Delta to lug by board around, I rented once I got there.
I spent less than 30 minutes looking and found a Firewire that was the shape I surf. It was a quad and I like thrusters, but oh well. It cost me $65.00 for 5 days. Worked out great!
If your board was damaged by the airline, there's nothing they will do except say "Oops!"
Surfboard rentals at local surf shops have gotten a lot better over the last couple of years. Not worth bringing your board with your anymore.
I can see what you mean Jake but you would think that in this day and age you should be able to travel with your own board without a looming black thought that your board may get damaged.
And for me there is nothing like my own board.....