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Old 03-29-2010   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
Frontier Airlines

This might be common knowledge, but Frontier allows kayaks on all of their airbusses. I just flew back to Denver from Portland and they took my Nomad 8.5 no questions asked, and only charged me their standard bag fee. They said they will take any kayak as long as it is less than 15 feet. Thought I would pass it along.

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Old 03-29-2010   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Did they charge you $75 for the kayak fee or $25 for a standard bag? When I went over the regs with a frontier customer service rep they quoted $75 each way plus any basic baggage fees that applied.

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Old 03-29-2010   #3
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
You got lucky.

Frontier charged me $100 each way for a single surfboard.

I have travelled extensively with surfboards and I think they are about the same in terms of kayaks in terms of how unpredictable your experience can be while air travelling with them.

Sometimes (rarely) I get my boards on for free. My fees have ranged from $45 to $200 one way for a board bag. They pretty much make it up on the spot, using their airline's policies as a guideline.

Always call in advance to verify whether or not they will even let you on with a boat or whatever, not that it means anything because I've had airlines (FRONTIER) tell me no problem over the phone and then show up and they are like "what are you thinking, no way that thing is getting on the plane."

Always be prepared to shell out some serious cash to get oversized baggage like a boat on the plane or be prepared to leave it behind if you don't want to pay.
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Old 03-29-2010   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
I wasnt charged any oversize bag fee. I had 3 checked bags with one being the kayak. I was charged 20 for the first, 30 for the second and 50 for the third, that is just their standard rate for all checked bags. So it was still $100 for all three bags. Maybe they thought I had already paid enough. I didn't call ahead, I just showed up with my brother who lives in oregon. He was prepared to take the boat if they wouldn't take it or charged too much for it. Maybe i just got lucky.
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Old 03-29-2010   #5
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
When I went to Indonesia for my honeymoon, I took my surfboard & got to the airport at 5am for a 7:30 United flight. Because they don't turn on the billing systems until 6am, the gal couldn't charge me for the board. Not sure if that's still the case, but if you want to increase your odds of getting a free pass, that might be one of a number of tactics you might try....
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Old 03-30-2010   #6
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 747
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Yeah, I think it's all a crapshoot, that comes down to who you end up talking to at the counter. Another trick I've read about but not tried is to curb-check your boat with a skycap and tip him $30 and hope that he takes pity on you.
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Old 03-30-2010   #7
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
I went to Costa Rica a few years ago with a large herd of boaters. We sent to 4 different checking agents and got 5 different prices. All the agents were standing next to one another. Good Luck
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Old 03-31-2010   #8
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Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
Good to know. I've flown down to Costa Rica three times with a kayak using American and have always had to wrap the boat in packing plastic and lie to the baggage check-in lady saying my kayak was a kite board. I figured if I didn't know what the heck a kite board, some lady at baggage check-in wouldn't either. I was right until the last one. She busted me, told me she knew it was a kayak, I denied it, she let me on anyway saying, "I still know it's a kayak."

I figured my days of taking kayaks to C.R. were over, but GOD BLESS FRONTIER! They must be the only airline in the world that has figured out that playboats are about 2 feet shorter than the average surfboard and not much heavier.

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