Conspiracy: United Airlines Hate Surfers  - Stab Mag

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Abandon your boards forever, here. Credit: Eli Hannemann

Conspiracy: United Airlines Hate Surfers 

By revamping a much maligned two-board-only policy.

news // Sep 11, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Heavy birds struggle to fly. 

The same goes for metallic birds (airplanes). In fact, in aeronautics there is a term for this: the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). The MTOW is the maximum weight at which the pilot is allowed to attempt to take off, due to structural or other limits.

Important to know if you don’t want to meet the fate of the Dodo.

Recently, United Airlines has revamped a two-board-only policy that has nothing to do with MTOW calculus, and everything to do with punishing surfers traveling with quivers of mas de tres.

It’s not simply a matter of paying an excess for extra weight, it is a straight itemized cap on how many boards you can take regardless of whether you meet the relevant weight requirements i.e. bringing five boards? Wave goodbye to three.

Challenger Series surfer, Eli Hanneman was one of the first victims to be on the receiving end of UA’s new surfboard policy, and nobly, he’s made a warning caw to notify others of the danger. 

Per his IG:

“I hate being that guy who complains about things on social media, but take this as more of a letter of recommendation to never fly @united as a surfer. I guess they decided to revamp the 2 boards per board bag policy (regardless of if it’s under 50 lbs) that other airlines got torched for a few years back. Long story short, going into booking this flight I figured I’d be able to pay a fee for the extra boards in my board bag, but they told me there’s a two board limit and that’s non negotiable. I opened my suitcase and started counting the amount of shirts and shorts I had in there, but then they told me that’s ridiculous. But apparently, it’s not ridiculous if I count the amount of boards in my board bag 🤔 P.S. I asked the check in lady and she said this policy if for international travel as well, looks like I’m going to Ericeira with 2 boards 🤙🏽🤙🏽”

As if the 2022 aerotravel shitstorm needed another item of stress. 

Even more annoyingly, there is nothing on their customer service page informing surfers about the changes to this policy, meaning peeps are getting shafted at check-in before they can sort other arrangements. 

Old school one-way cul-de-sac.

As one, we are the last Dodo. Together, we are an ensemble of screeching magpies.

Let’s make some noise, this won’t fly. 


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