Let’s face it flying with your kayak can be kinda of scary. Everyone has heard horror stories of getting shut down at the front desk and not getting their boat on the plane. Since Winter is coming, I thought that I would share some tips on how to get your boat with you on your destination!
1. Get to the airport as early as you can. This will allow you time to handle unexpected delays, and give the airport staff plenty of time to get your boat where it needs to go. For most domestic flights, the airline wants you to have oversized baggage checked at least an hour before you fly.
2. Know your airlines policy (they are all different). I recommend printing off the airlines over sized baggage policy and having it with you for reference. This is super helpful because sometimes the person behind the desk may not be aware of the policy, and you might have an easier time if you can both reference the policy.
3. Have your boat packaged and easy to carry. If your boat is poorly packaged and stuff is falling apart, you will have a very hard time moving through the airport and getting it on the plane.
4. Your boat can be a “surf ski”. Certain airlines will not take kayaks, but will take surf ski’s. As long as your boat fits within the parameters for a surf ski you can give it a go. If your going to attempt to pass it off as a surf ski, I highly recommend having your boat wrapped up and using a box on the stern to not make it look like it’s obviously a kayak. Truthfully, I would recommend trying to always fly an airline that openly accepts kayaks, and it will make your life easier. However, sometimes it’s not realistic and you have to improvise.
5. Be really nice and smile. The person behind the desk can make or break your trip if your trying to get that boat on the plane. Getting confrontational won’t help if things aren’t going your way. I have learned that being nice and polite will usually get the boat on without to much hassle.
Hope this helps guys!
As always SYOTR