British Airways - no kayaks policy

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Andy_L
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British Airways - no kayaks policy

Post by Andy_L » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:27 am

Apparently BA will not allow kayaks and canoes from 6th November

http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ba ... blic/en_gb

This is a worrying precedent; other airlines might follow.

The windsurfing and surfing people are up in arms about this. Surf boards are also to be banned.

Andy

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Simon Westgarth
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Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:35 am

Interesting as I fly to India with BA on the 6th November!

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Graham Milton
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Post by Graham Milton » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:07 am

The Student Windsurf Association recommends that everyone goes to http://www.britishairways.com/travel/cu ... blic/en_gb

and submits something like this....


Dear Sir/Madam,

It has been brought to my attention that you intend to halt the transportation of larger sporting equipment (including surfboards and windsurfing boards/sails) via the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold from 6 November 2007.

I would like you to reconsider this decision as I am one of many in the water sports community who have read about this through numerous forums. I will be looking to take my business elsewhere if this change is implemented.

I look forward to your reply within 14 days,

Regards,

Roger x

Although I suggest you dont just copy and paste this one

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newkid
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Post by newkid » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:23 am

I will definitely be submitting a comment. Thanks for the link Graham.

Phil

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kendomat
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Post by kendomat » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:37 am

Sent back in to the dark ages of kayak exploration....

Looks like its going to be a dark day for international kayak travel....

Get your rust land rover out, and book 6 weeks for a 3 weeks holiday, as you ship across to the states, or drive out to china etc...

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Snakey jake
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Post by Snakey jake » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:46 am

We are also flying out on the 6th. Just phoned BA, if you booked your ticket before this notice was put out they will stick to the old rules and let you take your kayak on the plane. Sorted.

Jake

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Post by Poke » Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:18 pm

Well, I've sent an e-mail. Makes a change me doing something productive in my lunchbreak:
Poke wrote:Dear Customer Services,

I have recently learned about your decision to stop carrying certain items of sporting equipment on flights. In particular I refer to your decision not to take kayaks. In the past I've chosen BA over other airlines (for flights to Nairobi and Bishkek amongst others) as I knew that although the ticket prices were slightly higher, you guaranteed carriage of kayaks.

I would like to know what your reasons are for such a backwards step? If you are not able to stop these policies from being introduced, I would like to know whether you will be able to put in place procedures whereby a limited number of large sporting items will be allowed on each flight.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards
Tim
Important - the message is not submitted until you create an e-mail account with them (a few windows after you think you've submitted the message). Make sure you go through this process and finish sending the message or it won't get through.
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Andy_L
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Post by Andy_L » Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:53 pm

Poke wrote: "In the past I've chosen BA over other airlines (for flights to Nairobi and Bishkek amongst others) as I knew that although the ticket prices were slightly higher, you guaranteed carriage of kayaks. "

That was the one big plus with BA - they would take our kayaks without any qualms. Almost too good to be true!

Take Virgin for example - We had big problems with them last year. We had to pay £400 extra for each kayak! Nearly missed the flight because we spent so long arguing our case. A very stressful start to our holiday. Had the same problem on the return flight, and they only gave in after we threatened to dump the kayaks in Delhi airport.

Andy

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ol
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Post by ol » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:03 pm

OL writing an email to BA wrote:Dear BA Customer Services,

I have just learned via several internet forums that you plan to withdraw your service enabling passengers to carry certain types of sporting equipment, namely Kayaks, windsurfers etc.

I have always favoured BA in the past due to their excellent record in this area, travelling as I often do with such equipment, and tried wherever possible to fly with BA when travelling overseas.

It greatly saddens me that I will now have to look elsewhere to fly due to what seems to me to be a very retrograde action.

I have also flown carrying bicycles with other airlines and have usually been charged an appropriate fee for doing so. Could not such a policy be introduced on your airline, rather than the drastic and backward step of an outright ban?

I look forward to your response.
Regards.
Oliver Renison

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Chris W
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Post by Chris W » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:37 pm

Oh dear.

So, within just over a year after introducing a policy that seemingly permitted the checking in of kayaks FOC, kayaks will now be banned. Crazy.

Given fuel price and environmental trends, something had to give. What I don't understand is why they couldn't introduce fixed charges, say between 10 and 20% extra return. Why?

1. Well, factoring in body weight, a kayak and paddles only increase weight by an average of c. 17-20%

2. Creek boats don't exceed the limits they set last year of 23 kgs/ 2.5m length.

3. Pack the other permitted 23 kgs into the boat and you have little extra volume too.

4. For other airlines, fixed surcharges seem to work e.g. Ryan Air are charging us a fixed surcharge of £31 each return for flights to Portugal.

We do actually have a good case- IF we accept that an additonal charge is only fair.

I'm booked to fly with BA in February. Sea kayaking- so I was planning to take my 2.2m paddle bag but no boat. I've flown with BA countless times and am not amused.

Chris W.

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newkid
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Post by newkid » Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:38 pm

Done,

It would be great if this could be overturned as BA has always been my first choice, for this reason. If anyone gets a response, please post it up.

Phil

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Grumpy Fisherman
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Post by Grumpy Fisherman » Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:59 pm

"Dear sir / madam,

It has recently been brought to my attention that your baggage policy regarding sporting equipment is changing on November 6th 2007, and from that date you will not be carrying kayaks.

I would like to express my great disappointment with this development, being that I am planning a kayaking trip to Uganda in the New Year, and had been planning (along with friends) to fly with or kayaks on BA. This now will not be possible.

Can I enquire as to the reasons for your change of policy? The recreational kayaking community across the globe is growing year on year, and not being able to fly with kayaks on BA will severely hinder trips abroad for kayakers seeking adventure. I would strongly urge you to look again at this policy, and if necessary introduce a handling charge for oversize sports goods, but I implore you not to refuse to carry them altogether.

Many thanks,

Owen Jackson"

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Ben-E
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Post by Ben-E » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:17 pm

I have sent a similar message as well.

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Post by Corran » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:33 pm

Knees wrote:Oh dear.

So, within just over a year after introducing a policy that seemingly permitted the checking in of kayaks FOC, kayaks will now be banned. Crazy.

Given fuel price and environmental trends, something had to give. What I don't understand is why they couldn't introduce fixed charges, say between 10 and 20% extra return. Why?

1. Well, factoring in body weight, a kayak and paddles only increase weight by an average of c. 17-20%

2. Creek boats don't exceed the limits they set last year of 23 kgs/ 2.5m length.

3. Pack the other permitted 23 kgs into the boat and you have little extra volume too.

4. For other airlines, fixed surcharges seem to work e.g. Ryan Air are charging us a fixed surcharge of £31 each return for flights to Portugal.

We do actually have a good case- IF we accept that an additonal charge is only fair.

I'm booked to fly with BA in February. Sea kayaking- so I was planning to take my 2.2m paddle bag but no boat. I've flown with BA countless times and am not amused.

Chris W.
WITH my kayak and all my s@#t i weigh less than most americans.

corran

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Post by Corran » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:34 pm

Dear Sirs

I have recently discovered that you intend to halt the transportation of larger sporting equipment (including surfboards and windsurfing boards/sails) via the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold from 6 November 2007.

I would like you to reconsider this decision. The only reason I fly, ever, is for trips to destinations where I can surf. I fly, on average, about 20 000km a year (on various airlines, depending on the final destination), most of the time for a duration of 1 to 2 weeks. Shipment by cargo of my boards is thus not an option (given the time I spend on each trip, even if it were financially possible as cargo is always too expensive). I have always, when possible, specifically chosen British Airways in the past because I was sure to be able to transport my surfboards with me. Without them, I have no reason to fly.

We generally travel in groups of 4 to 5 people, all with the same reason - to go to exotic destinations to surf.

I will of course be forced to take my business elsewhere for my trips if this change is implemented, and will support only airlines who take my boards (without excessive charges) even when I fly without them.

I look forward to your reply,

Regards,

Corran Addison

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Post by Poke » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:10 pm

Ayres wrote:I have booked my flights to uganda a couple of weeks ago and intended to take my boat will I still be able to take my boat or will I have problems?
No, probably not (see quote below), but you really should e-mail customer services and tell them that you wouldn't be flying with them if their new policies were in place...
snakey jake wrote:We are also flying out on the 6th. Just phoned BA, if you booked your ticket before this notice was put out they will stick to the old rules and let you take your kayak on the plane. Sorted.
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Pete the kayaker
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Post by Pete the kayaker » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:18 pm

Snakey jake wrote:We are also flying out on the 6th. Just phoned BA, if you booked your ticket before this notice was put out they will stick to the old rules and let you take your kayak on the plane. Sorted.

Jake
Jakey, Make sure you've got that in writing and take it to the check-in with you as they can be awkward b*st*rds.

If I don't see you beforehand - have a great time.

Pete.
*Fringe Extremist*

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Post by joekelly » Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:32 pm

Sent.

ChrisMac
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Post by ChrisMac » Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:06 pm

sent

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Post by DanH » Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:36 pm

I've also just sent them a message.

Does anybody have a list of kayak friendly airlines now?

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Post by jimkennedy » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:35 am

Looks like they have a standard response ready to go. This is the email I got back...

Your customer relations case ID is XXXXXXX.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. The volume of correspondence from our customers is much higher than usual. We have recruited more people to help, but it may still take us up to 28 days to reply to you. We have set up your file and the reference number can be found above. While you are waiting for a reply from us there is no need to re-send your email. Our aim is to ensure we make contact with you as quickly as we can. We are very grateful for your patience.

Regards
British Airways Customer Relations

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Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:38 am

Dear Mr Westgarth

I am sorry to learn about your disappointment.

Due to the large size and handling complexities, some sporting equipment cannot be accommodated through the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold. Therefore we no longer accept kayaks at check-in as part of your sporting equipment allowance.

Please contact your local freight company to arrange carriage for any items that exceed the permitted weight and size.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us and have a nice day.

Regards
Manisha
British Airways
My reply received this morning

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Post by andyw » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:47 am

BA wrote:some sporting equipment cannot be accommodated through the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold
Well that's nonsense - they managed just fine the several times I've flown my boat with BA this year.

Maybe the new "state-of-the-art" baggage handling system at T5 has something to do with this...

Andy

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Post by Lowri Davies » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:55 am

my reply (so far):
Thank you for taking the time to contact us. The volume of
correspondence from our customers is much higher than usual. We have
recruited more people to help, but it may still take us up to 28 days to
reply to you. We have set up your file and the reference number can be
found above. While you are waiting for a reply from us there is no need
to re-send your email. Our aim is to ensure we make contact with you as
quickly as we can. We are very grateful for your patience.

Regards
British Airways Customer Relations
It seems lots of people feel as we do and have been contacting them about it. Keep up the good work!

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Post by little tim » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:15 am

sent.

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Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:22 am

andyw wrote:Maybe the new "state-of-the-art" baggage handling system at T5 has something to do with this...
I would say that this is more likely a leading reason for this radical change in BA's sporting equipment policy.

Andy J
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Post by Andy J » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:57 am

Email sent, although i'm dissapointed they are doing the old copy and paste job in reply to most people it seems, so i've tried to try adn get some futhur contact details from them. It's worth a stab in the dark......

Dear Sirs,


It is just come to my attention that BA are to stop carrying kayaks and other similar sporting equipment on all flights.

This information stunned me as I have specificly used British Airways alone in the past over other airlines because of thier sporting baggage allowance. This previous policy is known and well exectued amongs kayakers and kayak expedition compaines throughout the world, not just the UK.

I would like to know why this policy has come to place. I have read the reasons on your websit listed here: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ba ... blic/en_gb

Hence, I would be grateful for a response that is clearly not just copied and pasted from such a resource. If this is not possible I would like it if you could forward me the contact details of someone who would be able to give me i more in depth response then others have been given so I will be able to continue my liasons with British Airways over this topic.

Shocked, but more disspointed at this announcement, I look forward to hearing from you,

Regards, Andrew Jaunzems.

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Post by Myles » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:21 am

I have also sent in a response with similar questions, but have had nothing back apart from the automated one.

I also emailed a friend of mine who works at BA. Although he didn't know, he asked around. I have summed up his response below:

Apparently the reason is a policy change to do with T5 about what the baggage system can handle. There is also a different process for putting the baggage into containers called ULDs.

Not the best of news really but hopefully with enough pressure they might reconsider.

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Post by Randy Fandango » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:28 am

Myles wrote: There is also a different process for putting the baggage into containers called ULDs.
Travelling to Nepal at Easter with Qatar Airways we were faced with this problem at Heathrow. They initially told us at the check in that they'd happily take our boats except they were physically too big to fit in the ULDs on their new planes.
Annoyingly I can't remember how they got around this problem but our boats did make it to Kathmandu with us.
Not quite sure how this helps the current problem except to say that other airlines have found their way around the ULD issue when they've wanted to.
Giles

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Post by David Fairweather » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:31 am

Randy Fandango wrote: Annoyingly I can't remember how they got around this problem but our boats did make it to Kathmandu with us.
I think they borrowed an double sized container from a different airline. They did also talk about strapping the boats to pallets and putting them on tops of the ULD containers.

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