British Airways recently banned a few items from being checked as baggage. Surf boards are no longer permissible. They are too unwieldy, the airline says. Perhaps they are hard to pack in baggage with the rest of the sports equipment? But what if you packed it in a box? “No, that’s not a surfboard” you could insist, “It’s a. . .” I’m not sure what a surfboard packed in box might look like. An electric piano? An ironing board?
Skis are allowed, but those are thin. A bicycle is allowed. Those are bigger than surfboards. Maybe you could pack a surfboard in a bicycle box? Other banned items are windsurfing boards, javelins, poles for pole vaults and canoes. People actually check canoes? That’s wild.
When I left The Gambia at the end of my Peace Corps service, I got a ride to Dakar, Senegal with a man who was finishing his contract with US AID. He had his personal car with him and was shipping it home on the plane we were to take to New York. If a car could be allowed in baggage, what’s the problem with surfboard? Maybe he was teasing me about that car. I’m about as gullible as they come, but still, I don’t understand what’s wrong with a surfboard. Either does Mick Fanning, Australia’s top surfer. He’s signed a petition geared towards getting the surfboard ban lifted.
**The photo was taken on the MRT in Singapore and posted on Flickr by Rick J.M. Verhoer. If Singapore, a country with rules upon rules, allows surfboards on its public transportation, what is up with British Airways?