The new British Airways (BA) ban on surfboards kicked off yesterday, so you can no longer take your boards on holiday along with other sporting kit including hang gliders, windsurfing boards and sails, kayaks, canoes, pole vaults or javelins. To coincide with the ban, BA has proudly announced that it will be loosening any restrictions on their carriage of skis, snowboards, cycles, diving equipment and even guns, amongst other items.
To ensure that the airline understands the disappointment and frustration of surfers, the British Surfing Association has created an online global petition, pushing for a reversal of the ban. In less than a week, over 6,500 people from all corners of the globe, including the current world champ Australian surfer Mick Fanning, have signed the petition.
An additional Facebook group ‘British Airways Surfboard Ban’, started by volunteers, has now amassed over 10,000 members.The Acting Chairman and National Director of the British Surfing Association will today join members of the Royal Yachting Association to personally deliver copies of the global petition to BA’s headquarters near Heathrow Airport.
Although collectively the organisations represent tens of thousands of members and the petitions and support groups have gathered major support in an extremely short time period, the BSA’s request for a meeting with BA’s CEO Willie Walsh to discuss the ban has not been met.
Neither Mr. Walsh, personnel responsible for baggage decisions, or any other relevant senior member of staff have been able to make themselves available to accept the petition and discuss the views of their current clientele, the restrictions that the ban will cause for tens of thousands of travelling surfers, and the effects on small developing surf communities and tourism spots.
Following the delivery of the petition, the team will make their way to the Palace of Westminster to meet with keen surfer David Davis, MP for Monmouth to discuss the extensive implications for the ban and agree next steps for the global campaign.
Surfer action steps
1) Go onto www.britsurf.co.uk and click the ‘SIGN ONLINE PETITION OF PROTEST IN THE NEWS SECTION ON THE HOME PAGE’.
2) If you have a Facebook account, join the Facebook ‘British Airways Surfboard Ban’ group
3) Click this link and register a complaint with BA directly
4) Encourage all other surfers to follow these steps