Kelly Slater and Bob Hurley really got people riled up. All it took was one Instagram post calling out Hawaiian Airlines and all of a sudden a fire that’s never really stopped burning felt like it had a ton of fuel dumped onto it. They aren’t the only two surfers to air grievances over the frustrating inconsistencies of traveling with surfboards, so it should be no surprise plenty of people jumped on the bandwagon to gripe even more about their own experiences. Somebody took it far enough as to start the online petition, Tell Hawaiian Air to be Fair About Surfer’s Bag Fees!
The petition isn’t calling for a boycott of the airline and it’s not offering them an ultimatum. It plain and simply asks Hawaiian Airlines to “be more fair when it comes to charging athletes to ship their boards.”
Sounds fair enough (no, that wasn’t a pun).
The entire summary of the petition is as follows:
I’m signing this petition to ask Hawaiian Airlines to be more fair when it comes to charging athletes to ship their boards. Fares should be charged by size and weight of the board bags, not by the number of surfboards inside the bag.
The surf industry brings so much to Hawaii and to Hawaiian Airlines. Surfers understand respect and we’d like a little in return. Please help us help you.
So diplomatic. So direct. So…not the typical nonsensical and emotional BS you find on the internet. The petition went live on February 5th, just a couple days after Slater’s and Hurley’s outcry started turning heads. And of course the obvious sign this is a direct reaction to that incident is the petition exclusively calls on Hawaiian Airlines to change their policies. In reality the same requests could be sent to a long list of airlines that regularly serve surfers around the world. While Hawaiian Airlines’ response to the recent bad press came off like nothing more than a “deal with it,” they’re far from the only culprit in what Slater called a default profit racket.
“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.,” they wrote in a statement of their own. “The majority of the other US airlines have the same rule, for the same reason.” The larger problem isn’t simply one company and a single policy on fees. In fact, Hawaiian Airlines even touched on the biggest frustration of them all; it’s the common experience of rarely knowing what to expect when you show up at the airport with a mini quiver to bring along.
Slater put it best once again, this time on Instagram’s comment’s section, after Hawaiian Airlines stated their case.
It’s not about whether myself or Bob Hurley can afford the price as people want to try and take aim at me for,” Slater wrote. “This is an issue for every single person that flies with boards…People just want logic but instead they nickel and dime everyone at the counter and open bags to count boards so as to charge more. Without public support this gets brushed under the rug. I’m happy to be the bad guy if it helps others in the long run. Most people seem to agree with us. Wonder whether I’ll get blacklisted somehow? #ChargeMeDouble 😳”
So there you have it, Kelly. Is public support on the way?