British Airways Surfboard Ban


Olaus at Marazion, Cornwall, UK – January 2007

Photo Courtesy

The International Surfing Association, ISA, and is shocked to learn of the British Airways (BA) ban on the carriage of surfboards (effective from 6th November) and supports the British Surfing Association’s petition to lobby the airline to reverse their decision. Like the British Surfing Association, the ISA is also urging all surfers to utilise a new members group on the social networking site Facebook, complain directly to British Airways and spread the word amongst other surfers. 

Karen Walton, National Director of the British Surfing Association says, “If everyone who surfs could take five minutes to go online and follow our recommended action steps then we will have a real representation of the swell of support for the reversal of this absurd decision. The Facebook site already has in excess of 1,000 members and lots of our members have been making complaints to BA. The British Surfing Association online petition means that people all over the world can add their support to our campaign and can add their personal comments about the issue. We will then be personally delivering the petition to the management at BA in the near future.”

Surfers are urged to take the following steps to help us lobby British Airways to reverse their decision:

1) Go onto and click the ‘SIGN ONLINE PETITION OF PROTEST IN THE NEWS SECTION ON THE HOME PAGE’. Follow the easy steps to sign this online petition and add any comments.

2) If you have a Facebook account, join the Facebook ‘British Airways Surfboard Ban’ group

3) Click this link and register a complaint with BA directly

4) Encourage all other surfers to follow these steps


More Information from the BBC:


The ban, due to start on 6 November, will include BA flights between London Gatwick and Newquay in Cornwall, one of the UK’s main surfing destinations.

BA says that “large size and handling complexities” mean it will no longer carry surfboards, hang-gliders, javelins, canoes and pole vaults.

Members of the Newquay-based British Surfing Association (BSA) have reacted with “disbelief and anger”.

We’d find it extremely hard to believe that the average Mini Mal (surfboard) would be more difficult to handle when compared to a double bass

Karen Walton, BSA

BA says on its website: “Due to the large size and handling complexities, some sporting equipment cannot be accommodated through the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold.

“Therefore we no longer accept the following equipment at check-in as part of your sporting equipment allowance.”

Karen Walton, national director of the BSA, said the ban was “inexplicable”.

She said: “We’d find it extremely hard to believe that the average Mini Mal (surfboard) would be more difficult to handle when compared to a double bass and a full bag of golf clubs.”

She added that the ban would be bad news for the growing numbers of surfers travelling to destinations around the world.

Ms Walton also said that among those who would be disappointed were the British surfing teams, who have previously chosen BA “mostly as a result of their generally fair baggage policy”.

Ms Walton continued: “We therefore feel completely let down and angered by the news that our national airline is banning surfboards rather than following some other airlines and charging a supplementary fee.”

BA restarted its flights between Gatwick and Newquay in March after a three-year absence.

So leave your Javelins and Pole vaults at home guys next time you’re traveling.  Don’t even think about bringing one of those stand-up paddleboards…It ain’t gonna happen!


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