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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Anger at airline's surfboard ban
Gabe King.  RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Surfers say they feel let down. RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Surfers are calling on British Airways to reverse a ban on carrying boards.

The ban, due to start on 6 November, will include BA flights between London Gatwick and Newquay in Cornwall, one of the UK's main surfing destinations.

BA says that "large size and handling complexities" mean it will no longer carry surfboards, hang-gliders, javelins, canoes and pole vaults.

Members of the Newquay-based British Surfing Association (BSA) have reacted with "disbelief and anger".

We'd find it extremely hard to believe that the average Mini Mal (surfboard) would be more difficult to handle when compared to a double bass
Karen Walton, BSA
BA says on its website: "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 the following equipment at check-in as part of your sporting equipment allowance."

Karen Walton, national director of the BSA, said the ban was "inexplicable".

She said: "We'd find it extremely hard to believe that the average Mini Mal (surfboard) would be more difficult to handle when compared to a double bass and a full bag of golf clubs."

She added that the ban would be bad news for the growing numbers of surfers travelling to destinations around the world.

Ms Walton also said that among those who would be disappointed were the British surfing teams, who have previously chosen BA "mostly as a result of their generally fair baggage policy".

Ms Walton continued: "We therefore feel completely let down and angered by the news that our national airline is banning surfboards rather than following some other airlines and charging a supplementary fee."

BA restarted its flights between Gatwick and Newquay in March after a three-year absence.

SEE ALSO
British Airways back in Cornwall
29 Jan 07 |  Cornwall

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