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Experience with bag fees on United Airlines

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Created by boardsurfr A week ago, 29 Nov 2018
boardsurfr
707 posts
29 Nov 2018 9:26AM
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Does anyone have recent experience with windsurf bag fees on United Airlines? Specifically, does United charge both oversize and overweight fees for bags above 23 kg (or 32 kg in business/first class etc.)? I have read the description of the United web site, which states that:
"These items are subject to standard oversize and overweight service charges. First, second and excess checked bag fees may apply. "
At other places, United states that all of the charges get added on if you have an item that's both oversize and overweight.

Thanks!

Manuel7
214 posts
29 Nov 2018 10:11AM
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Recent as of 5 years ago.
I packed 2 boards, 4 sails, 3 booms, I don't know how many masts.
Anyway, it was 99.9999999 lbs not exceeding their oversized luggage limits.
The agent scratched his head, then called his buddy over, who then called one more over, who then called... at some point we must have had about 7 agents staring at the one screen trying to figure out how it was even remotely possibly to bring such luggage in a plane. It was comedy Very Happy !!!

In the end I paid the $100, 150 or 200 fee for windsurfing equipment under 100lbs and not going over the size limit and that was it. It travels along the oversize luggage.

Imagine the hassle of slalom pro sailors checking in I don't know 6 of those bags? Heck, some people even have their own plane. I will try that next time Very Happy !

Where ya going?

boardsurfr
707 posts
29 Nov 2018 9:07PM
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Thanks for the report, Manuel. We're going to Western Australia for some speedsurfing (and, my wife insists, a bit of waves). We just weighed stuff yesterday and were quite surprised how much those race sails weigh.

The last time I flew with gear was about 7 years ago, and back then, there also was no extra charge for the back being heavy. But that was when United was still Continental, and before airlines started adding fees for everything. But we have heard from a couple of guys that they still just charge the $200 for windsurfing bags up to 99.9 pounds.

forceten
456 posts
29 Nov 2018 11:40PM
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www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=33865&sid=1cbaace3289a15c0cd9bdad641899266

So On here you were quoted tha applicable guidelines that United use. Being an employee of United , last in 1999, I feel that on any given day they can be interpreted by the customer service agent at check in. Be nice to them. In this case they should use the Windsurf , under sporting goods, rather than oversized, length width, and excess weight.

a Windsurf board would incur the appropriate charge , no way I see a board not being charged, irregardless of weight. Unless it's very short and light, not likely.
baggage as checked , has a weight limit per piece, over that its excess weight. This depending on the weight, and the agent themselves can be a grey area, they do have the weight limit to back them up. A item like a board, cant go down the normal belt loader, it's too long, it needs to be hand carried , out to the cargo carts , and into the terminal for delivery at the destination. Depending on the plane, cargo is hand loaded in the underbelly bins, we always too extra care to top load, bikes, boards etc., size and weight play into this.

picky here, but Gate agents check baggage that have been brought through security, that generally don't fit in the overhead bins nor under the seat. The ticket counter agents, or check in ones would check your board.
Contential and United were separate airlines, that merged, now United, planes have the old Continental globe on the vertical stabilizer.

i would print the guidelines, so if needed to quote, , and the lighter the better and being nice may get you a break.

kinda like a car warranty issue, sort of interpretations

robbo1111
NSW, 489 posts
30 Nov 2018 7:17AM
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The best way to lessen the excess charge in the US is to use the porters to check your bags in and tip them appropriately.

Once you land in AUS you will then be transferring to a domestic flight where the single bag limit is 23 Kgs. If you try and check in a 99lb bag you will have no hope. If you're flying Jetstar I wish you luck, they charge $25 per kg excess.

boardsurfr
707 posts
30 Nov 2018 7:29AM
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We don't have a connecting flight in Australia, we're coming through NZ.

One of the guys who previously had no problem with heavier windsurf bags on United just checked the United web site, and said that the wording has changed. In the past, they just stated a cost of $200. The phrase "These items are subject to standard oversize and overweight service charges." is new, he says. He is now worried that United will charge him more on future trips. Bummer.

boardsurfr
707 posts
30 Nov 2018 7:34AM
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That brings up the next question - which sail sizes will be the most commonly used ones in January and February for speedsurfing around Perth and Lake George? Problem is that I'm 90 kg, my wife closer to 60. If I'm on 7.0, she'll typically be on 6.3, sometimes 5.6. Makes sharing sails easy, but cutting a quiver down from 4 sails to 2 seems just about impossible. But bringing 4 instead of 2 sails might increase the bag cost by $800...

boardsurfr
707 posts
30 Nov 2018 8:22AM
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It appears that United has changed the terms for windsurfing equipment on September 27, 2018. On archive.org, this version was captured on September 10:


Simple - $200 per bag.
This is what the version from November 14 looks like:

This is identical with the "Contract of carriage", version September 27, 2018. The general terms for sporting equipment also specify that sports equipment must weigh less than 23.1 kg, and have maximum outside linear dimensions of 158 cm. The new instructions are very clear: the charge for a windsurfing bag over 23 kg should be $400 ($200 overweight, $200 oversize).

Our only hope is the section that reads:
"UA may, in its sole discretion, change, consider or make exceptions to its Excess or Oversize/Overweight Baggage policy (e.g., to the number, size, weight, type and/or applicable service charges)."

It might help that they changed the terms after we bought the tickets. Maybe it even helps a bit that they just dropped the charges for surf equipment when someone travels to California. One can always hope. But in the end, it will depend on the person who checks us in.


boardsurfr
707 posts
30 Nov 2018 8:55AM
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Last post on this .. we got lucky! The "Contract of Carriage" clearly states:
"Where the Ticket has been purchased and issued before the effective date of an increase in the applicable fare, the increase will not be collected, provided there is no change in Origin, Destination, Stopover point(s), flight(s) or dates shown on the original Ticket."

The contract that was in effect when we purchased the ticket has a $200 fee with a weight limit of 23.1 kg for windsurfing bags. It's 165 pages long, but the relevant sections should fit on 3 pages. I'll bring a USB stick with the entire file just in case.

stehsegler
WA, 2926 posts
30 Nov 2018 9:25AM
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Select to expand quote
robbo1111 said..
If you're flying Jetstar I wish you luck, they charge $25 per kg excess.


Windsurfers' rule #1... never fly Jetstar. They are pain to fly with even without oversized luggage. I think I rather get my wisdom teeth pulled without anaesthetic then going throw that stress.

stehsegler
WA, 2926 posts
30 Nov 2018 9:28AM
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boardsurfr said..
Last post on this .. we got lucky! The "Contract of Carriage" clearly states:
"Where the Ticket has been purchased and issued before the effective date of an increase in the applicable fare, the increase will not be collected, provided there is no change in Origin, Destination, Stopover point(s), flight(s) or dates shown on the original Ticket."

The contract that was in effect when we purchased the ticket has a $200 fee with a weight limit of 23.1 kg for windsurfing bags. It's 165 pages long, but the relevant sections should fit on 3 pages. I'll bring a USB stick with the entire file just in case.


Call United and ask them to add "surf boards, 2 bags" to your booking. My experience is apart from Hawaiian Airlines most airlines have no clue when it comes to windsurf gear. They still have an image of a 1980s windsurfer in their head.Hawaiian is a hole different story. They charge different for Windsurf boards and surf boards. Usually checkin staff between Honolulu and Maui will ask you to open the bag so they can see if what's inside is a windsurf board.

bowsa
QLD, 523 posts
30 Nov 2018 11:32AM
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say its golf equipment, most airlines take for free, has worked a treat for me many times around the world. most check in people are clueless - I flew with 100kg from oman - Brisbane and paid no excess baggage
Worth a shot

kato
VIC, 2322 posts
30 Nov 2018 12:46PM
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boardsurfr said..
That brings up the next question - which sail sizes will be the most commonly used ones in January and February for speedsurfing around Perth and Lake George? Problem is that I'm 90 kg, my wife closer to 60. If I'm on 7.0, she'll typically be on 6.3, sometimes 5.6. Makes sharing sails easy, but cutting a quiver down from 4 sails to 2 seems just about impossible. But bringing 4 instead of 2 sails might increase the bag cost by $800...


I'm 87kg ,here's what I've used in the 2 locations.
boards 110 L , 83L , 60L speed slalom
sails 7.9, 6.6, 5.8, 5.0.
If I had to cut down the luggage for WA ,LG and I wasn't doing the L to L I'd take the 83L slalom, 60L speed with the 6.6, 5.8 . It would cover 20kts to 40kts

ballast
QLD, 401 posts
30 Nov 2018 12:25PM
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If you're flying Jetstar I wish you luck, they charge $25 per kg excess.


Not sure this is right?

I brought a board back from Launceston to Brisbane on Jetstar in April.
I had to pay the $25 oversize and we just upped the amount of baggage allowance on our tickets to cover it.

I think it only cost maybe $50 to $60 total? Don't have the exact amount, but I remember it being cheaper than a board I freighted down there. Which was a bit over a hundred depot to depot with Ego.

Has to be less than 230cm long to fit in the baggage containers, so masts are a no go. Turned up early expecting a hassle, but could not have been easier.

Maybe the $25 a kg is if you turn up to check in and are over?

BSN101
WA, 1414 posts
30 Nov 2018 3:01PM
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I just read "speed sailing around Perth & Lake George", and about 3000km inbetween. Will you be flying to South Aust, LG or driving? or the other way? This is gonna be an expensive holiday!?!?

boardsurfr
707 posts
30 Nov 2018 9:19PM
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BSN101 said..
I just read "speed sailing around Perth & Lake George", and about 3000km inbetween. Will you be flying to South Aust, LG or driving? or the other way? This is gonna be an expensive holiday!?!?



We're flying into Perth and back from Melbourne. We'll drive to LG. Not sure yet whether we'll buy a car or rent a car or van, depends on what we see when we get there. Hopefully, we'll get a relocation deal for the drive. If not, we'll probably have to pay a one-way rental fee, which would drive the cost up by $700. But the got the airline tickets for about $200 thanks to miles .
It's a "how many things can we check of the bucket list" trip. Here are a few of these things:
- Sail in the Lancelin Ocean Classic
- Do the Cervantes windsurf challenge
- Sail in WA waves
- See & sail Fangy's Weed Farm and try Fangy fins
- Windsurf on proper speedsailing spots with miles of flat water
- Get a selfie with a quokka (that's on my wife's list)
- Check out why everyone who goes to Lake George the first time sets so many PBs

We'll do a bit of sightseeing on the way. It should be worth digging into the savings account .

If anyone has a cheap car in the Perth area they were thinking about selling, or knows a trustworthy mechanic who'd check out a used car before a sale, please send me a message. The car would need to be big enough to fit a 7.0 race sail in the back. We'll also be looking for a used slalom board in the 110-120 l range and a FSW board in the 80-90 l range.

forceten
456 posts
30 Nov 2018 11:13PM
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Why not , not buy a car but a small plane instead, Gulfstream comes to mind

mathew
VIC, 1680 posts
1 Dec 2018 6:25PM
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boardsurfr said..
We'll also be looking for a used slalom board in the 110-120 l range and a FSW board in the 80-90 l range.


Have you considered this option alone? ... WA happens to have the most gear available in the secondhand market.

Also... most of us dont bite ... much... borrowing gear might be an option too.

decrepit
WA, 8819 posts
1 Dec 2018 5:07PM
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Another vehicle question, how hard is it to sell a WA registered vehicle in Victoria?
It's a pain in the bum to get an eastern states vehicle registered here.

boardsurfr
707 posts
1 Dec 2018 9:35PM
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mathew said..

boardsurfr said..
We'll also be looking for a used slalom board in the 110-120 l range and a FSW board in the 80-90 l range.



Have you considered this option alone? ... WA happens to have the most gear available in the secondhand market.

Also... most of us dont bite ... much... borrowing gear might be an option too.


We have checked the listings. Buying everything for two would end up being much more expensive than bringing some of our own gear (and our budget is quite far below a Gulfstream budget). Even with just sails, which look quite reasonable, we have gotten quite partial to the race sails we have now (Loft Racingblades). We have had a couple of other brands with random masts in the past, and it's no comparison.

We will borrow some gear if possible. My wife already has a lead for some freestyle/wave sails, and we'll check out stuff Mike has mentioned, too. I also hope that I'll be able to borrow a small speedboard every now and then, the smallest we'll bring is a 54. But we'll probably sail just about every day when it's windy, and plan to participate at a few races, so I don't see how only borrowing would work. Renting for more than 2 months would be way too expensive.

boardsurfr
707 posts
1 Dec 2018 9:44PM
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decrepit said..
Another vehicle question, how hard is it to sell a WA registered vehicle in Victoria?
It's a pain in the bum to get an eastern states vehicle registered here.


Good question. Another problem is that our time in Melbourne will be quite limited, which also would make selling hard to nearly impossible. I think this will only be an option if we end up buying a car for less than a similar rental would cost, so that we could pretty much just give it away at the end. If we'd pay more (e.g. from a dealer), we might sell it in Perth and rent something one-way to LG and Melbourne. Not sure that would be worth the hassle, though.



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"Experience with bag fees on United Airlines" started by boardsurfr