airlines & kayaks - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-18-2006   #1
 
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airlines & kayaks

hi,

so i just tried to book a ticket with united from denver to west virginia and when i asked about carrying a kayak they said it would be a $160 fee each way. hmmmm.

so i know all the stories about calling it a wave rider or surf ski but does that really work? it feels a little strange to do that but the alternative, being honest, seems awfully expensive.

any other tips?

thanks,

dean

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Old 02-18-2006   #2
 
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Have done it before...

We did the surf ski thing- the person behind the counter had no clue they just go through a list in their computer and assign a name to the package which assigns the value- I guess kayaks used to be 10 feet long so 160 was reasonable- Now that playboats are 6ft-35 lbs 160 is a little unreasonable....By the time you wrap the boat the way they want it- they really don't know the difference between the boat and a surf ski or whatever.
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Old 02-18-2006   #3
 
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"surf equipment", get the surf board rate, and you're being honest because you are going to surf in your boat, right?
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Old 02-18-2006   #4
 
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I've been doing Forward Air or DHL for Gauley Season for a few years now with some other guys. It cost me $51.52 one way for my EZG60 last year with DHL, and I loaded it up with wet boating gear. With Forward Air, the boat goes depot to depot. With DHL, you ship to the depot but can return ship it to your own place if you want.

If you are flying into Charleston, you need to use the DHL depot in Nitro, just west of Charleston. We prefer to fly into Pittsburgh because the flights are better and it is only about 90 minutes more driving. Forward Air has a depot close to the airport. Also, Pitt is closer to the Yough and Cheat if they are running (here's hoping).

Flights to Pittsburgh are running just over $300 right now. Last year we went for $160RT into Charleston (bought in March for fall), but we all agreed that this year, Pitt was the way to go logistically and cost-wise.

fwiw
steve
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Old 02-18-2006   #5
 
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Check sportsexpress.com

Also, Fedex stated shipping ground for kayaking and it cheap door to door service.

Just got 8 boats delivered to me yesterday and fedex was awesome.

Craw
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Old 02-18-2006   #6
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Thanks, always good to hear we are making people happy.
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Old 02-18-2006   #7
 
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thanks everyone

hey, thanks everyone. very helpful. looking at all the options. sportsexpress will go door to door for a hundred bucks each way...cheaper then the airlines and no hassle.

what a great boating community. now, if someone could only come up with a plan for the grand to shorten the wait.......

dk
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Old 02-23-2006   #8
 
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Yea, I agree that the airlines probably created their kayak policy 15 years ago when kayaks were much bigger. $160 per trip with a kayak is absurd.

I wish the AWWA would lobby the airlines and work with them to update their policy. Ask if an AWWA rep can visit an airline rep and show them the difference between the old boats and the new ones.

Until the airlines update their policy, I think it is reasonable to call your boat "surf equipment" or "surf ski". Our new boats are now closer in wieght and size to surfboards than the old kayaks.
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Old 02-23-2006   #9
 
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I think the problem stems from the '96 Olympics at the Ocoee. Delta was the official airline for the athletes and some Czech racers had their boats broken in transit. As a result, the airlines (esp. Delta) still seem to think that all kayaks are 12+ feet long and fragile. Would love to see AW lobby on that issue. Seriously - consider this - they are already letting boaters on with "surfing toys", so why not just embrace the market. Imagine...

"American Airlines will fly kayaks up to 7 feet long for $60 each way on domestic flights."

Wouldn't you fly American then? We aren't a big market, but still, the airline market is cutthroat. Why not get an advantage?
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Old 02-23-2006   #10
 
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I got good advice from Kent Ford about flying. He said to tell them that it is a display for a business trade show. They won't fuck with you there since they want all the business travelers as possible. I haven't actually tried it, but he said it works for him. and he's flown many times with huge slalom boats. I think he told me they don't even charge him when he does that, but don't quote me on it.

Nick
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