Kelly Slater and a collection of pro surfers took Hawaiian Airlines to task on Instagram over what they perceived as unfair board bag fee policies by the airline.
On Thursday Hawaiian Airline’s response its own rebuttal on Instagram:
We’ve gotten a lot of feedback in the last few days about our surfboard policies. It’s feedback we value and we want to respond to it directly here. Hawaiian Airlines carries a lot of surfboards—it’s part of who we are—and we’ve given these rules a lot of thought. We don’t expect everyone to agree with our policies, but we thought it would help to share some thoughts on why we have them. First, we take transporting your boards seriously. We understand their importance and do our best – not always successfully – to make sure they arrive in the same condition in which we accept them. There is a cost to that mālama (care) – unlike a checked-in suitcase, our customer service team must hand-carry surfboards from acceptance to the belly of the plane and manually process them through security screening. Plus, we’re liable for damages if something goes wrong. The fees we charge are intended to cover those costs, and we try to keep them reasonable and competitive. Second, we enforce some restrictions when it comes to checking in surfboards. The one that’s gotten a lot of attention this week is the limit of two boards per bag. That limit is based on our experience that it’s more likely boards will get damaged when three or more boards are packed together – damage for which we are rightly held liable. The majority of the other US airlines have the same rule, for the same reason. We try our best to inform our guests about these policies before they travel, because nothing is more upsetting and frustrating than learning about them at the airport. Information about ocean sporting equipment is maintained here – http://on.hwnair.com/SportsEquipmnt The community’s feedback on this specific policy has been heard loud and clear. This is a subject that is deeply personal to all of us at Hawaiian Airlines, as long-standing supporters of our local ocean sports and with many of our employees surfing when they’re not at work. We’ll continue to do our best to get your boards transported safely, and to extend you our very best hospitality. Mahalo.
As noted in the company’s lengthy response, the aspect of Hawaiian Airlines’ board bag policy that has drawn the most ire is the fact that, regardless of whether or not your board bag falls under baggage weight restrictions, the company won’t allow you to pack more than two boards in your board bag without paying extra.
While the company stated that limit is based on experience, and that charging per board for more than two boards is standard in the industry, it doesn’t seem like many surfers are happy with its response to criticism, quoted from Grind TV.
“This isn’t a rule with ANY other airline. Only you,” pro surfer Carissa Moore commented on their Instagram post.
“@hawaiianairlines those are the worst excuses for a bad policy,” wrote big-wave surfing legend Mark Healey.
“It’s very disheartening to hear that absolutely nothing has changed in your policy @hawaiianairlines, I travel year round as many other people in the surf industry. Hawaiian is the only airlines I’ve ever had an issue with board limit while flying.” Brent Bielmann commented
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Source: gindtv.com / Author: Robert Pursell