Surfers rejoice: United Airlines is trying to win over wave riders by waiving the usual service fees for checking surfboards, paddle boards and wakeboards on all flights in and out of the Golden State.
That doesn’t mean surfers leaving or flying to California get to check their boards for free. Instead of paying the usual service fee to check an oversized “special item” — a price typically between $150 and $200 — the airline will let fliers check the boards and pay only a regular check luggage fee, which starts at $30.
The new surfer-friendly policy started Friday and applies only to flights to and from California on United Airlines or United Express, the carrier’s regional airline.
The break on board fees doesn’t apply to air travelers who are merely making connections through a California airport. (Sorry, Hawaii.)
The announcement comes less than two months after California Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed surfing the official sport of California.
United, based in Chicago, also announced plans to donate $50,000 to Sustainable Surf, a nonprofit environmental group dedicated to fight pollution, coastal erosion and other problems facing the surfer’s playground — the ocean.
To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.