Anybody fly Air New Zealand with a boat? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-01-2005   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
Anybody fly Air New Zealand with a boat?

Just wondered if anyone has feedback to flying Air New Zealand with a boat. I bought the ticket and then checked out their cargo policy, which has a maximum length of 8'2" for oversized baggage. I'm taking a Phat which is 8'5" long.

I've called, emailed, and made 3 circles. Email said I need to call cargo. Cargo said they don't know anything about passenger baggage and to call the 1-800 number. The 1-800 number either says: It won't be a problem at all - or - Our policy is over sized cargo is not to exceed...bla bla bla (a robot answer regurgitating their policy) and I need to call cargo. Cargo says that to ship it cargo it will need to be trucked to Chicago and flown to LA, then to NZ taking 2 weeks and costing more than the god dam boat and they think I should just check it in as baggage. I ask: who can confirm that I won't have a problem checking it in. They answer: call 1-800 bla bla bla. 1-800 bla bla bla says I need to call cargo. -WTF?-

So, my gut instinct is that I will get to the gate and they will never check the length - or - will not make a big deal about 3 friggin inches, considering Frontier will take wind surf boards up to 10 feet on a whittle bitty plane, and I'm going to be on a friggin jumbo jet with AirNZ.

The problem is if I get to LA and they won't take my boat, I'm screwed. and my trip is basically ruined. I would have to find a place to store my boat in LA (or hock it on the street for crack - LA currency) and buy a boat when I get to NZ.

My only other option is to just buy a boat that is 8'2" or <. But buying a new boat after quitting my job and doping thousands of dollars on a plane ticket sounds < appealing.

Anybody got any input?

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Old 10-01-2005   #2
Ski Patrol
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
Phuck the Phat and save yourself some hastle. Fly to NZ without a boat and hook up with Bliss-Stick (if you are not flying to Auckalnd first or then direct to ChristChurch you may be screwed for this option.) and borrow or buy a used Huka or MAC from the Bliss-Stick shed on the central North Island and rock that. Give me a shout if you need any Info on Kayaking on the central North Island or how to hoook up with the stick guys.

Mike Hagadorn
970 547 8124
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Old 10-01-2005   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46
I would agree with Delish. Lots of boats available in NZ, either for sale or for rent. Check out Paddler Zone in Christchurch or the NZ Kayak School in Murchison for rentals. Exchange rates are still somewhat favorable. Bring you own paddle and gear.

Check out the NZ message board:

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Old 10-01-2005   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
Thanks for the advise guys, but I'm not sure if those options will work out. I'm flying straight to christchurch and spending the whole time on the south island so the Stick hook up is probably out. Looks like rentals are about 20 per day US. I'm going to be there a month and kayaking most of the time. That'll add up quick. Looks like buying a "New" Gus would be like 1400 US and I don't know if I want to waist half my vacation looking for a used boat.
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Old 10-01-2005   #5
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dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 846
when i was coming back from NZ and had my boat, i contacted airNZ and they seemed pretty laid back about getting it on. i don't even think i was going to get charged. but, i didn't end up flying with the boat for unrelated reasons, so i can't say if you'll get through alright. i would guess that it will be no problem getting your phat down there.

if you do decide to buy a boat down there, check out the buy/sell forum at if you haven't already. you might be able to arrange a creeker purchase in advance of your trip, the kiwis are good folks. have a fun trip, i wish i was going back there soon.
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Old 10-02-2005   #6
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 28
I've flown air nz with a boat, and had the same run around - no one really knows or cares what the policy is, until you find someone who knows what the policy is - such is life... But my experience was no charge, no questions, and quite honestly the quickest check in ive ever had. Get to lax real early. Though I agree it is easier to get a boat when you get there and sell it before you leave ( Buy a van as well, there is a hostle in christchurch that will give you a decent deal and buy it back for half price if you cant sell it on your own.
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Old 10-02-2005   #7
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 44
I flew to NZ with a playboat on Air NZ with no problems at all. I went to the counter, said I had two bags, they smiled, and checked it right in. I had it in a kayak bag. They didn't even ask me what it was, but during the check-in I heard them call it a surf board. I drove to LA to do this because I was worried about the domestic flight from Denver to LA - which I think might have been more difficult. But I guess if you are checking it in through Christchurch, you'll probably be fine (you can have bigger, heavier baggage on international flights).

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Old 10-02-2005   #8
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Kayak to New Zealand

Hey there,
I cant assist you as far as your kayak goes...but if you are travelling on the North Island I may be able to help you out. I am currently living at the South Pole in Antarctica and will be working for a Raft Co. out of Rotorua come Nov. I reside in Steamboat and work for an outfitter there. So I know about shuttles and such. Always nice to provide rides and anything else to make a trip easier. If interested let me know. Cheers IceTee
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Old 10-02-2005   #9
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 28
kayak bag is a must, get a sturdy one. Typically you are allowed 2 bags and a piece of sporting equipment
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Old 10-02-2005   #10
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
I haven't flown Air NZ but I've found a few things that helped with other airlines. The kayak bag is a must. It can be a nice expensive one or a makeshift one you threw together with some fabric: they don't care as long as it's covered so that nothing will catch on it. This also gives you the ability to not tell them exactly what it is unless they ask (or lie, if you're willing to do so). I've heard there aren't problems if you call it a short surf board or a paddle-boat (unless they actually check to see what it is). My choice is surf-boat (not lying and when they type it into their little computer it comes up okay because they let people fly with surf boards). Also, last time I flew, I let the guy on the curb carry it in for me, tipped him a twenty, and he made sure everything went okay. A little cash can definately oil the system if act cool about it and don't let them feel like they are being bribe (they're just trying to help a customer who happens to be a good tipper). The other thing that helped a lot last time I flew with my boat was to show up to the airport real early. That way there weren't any managers, who actually knew what was going on, on duty yet. I don't know if this stuff will help you or not if your concern is for the connection in LA, though. Good luck.

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