4 cases where surfers have gone toe-to-toe with airlines

Pro surfer Alex Gray‘s recent dispute with American Airlines over four destroyed surfboards is just the latest incident where professional surfers have used social media to try to gain justice, or at least compensation, from airlines.

It is however not the first time a famous surfers has thrown their social media weight around to complain about cases of airline crimes against surfboards.

Here’s a list of some of the more notable incidences where surfer have gone toe-to-toe with airline companies:

John John Florence vs. JetBlue

In 2015 John John Florence received over 30,000 likes after he posted an image of a broken surfboard after a flight with JetBlue, noting that he had paid $500 in extra baggage fees.

His legion of fans bombarded the airline, taking out their collective fury for every little ding that had ever happened on their travels.

Jericho Poppler vs. United Airlines

Jericho Poppler, one of the first full-time female professional surfers and former runner up in world, also made the KHON2 TV news last year after her $1000 custom surfboard was snapped into two pieces on a United Airlines flight to Honolulu.

Poppler had paid $150 for the privilege and was told her release form meant the airline was not held accountable.

Kelly Slater vs. Hawaiian Airlines

A post shared by Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) on

Kelly Slater also weighed in last year, taking Hawaiian Airlines to task over their “two boards per bag” rule and excessive fees.

“They made over $80M last year in oversize/overweight baggage charges,” Slater commented on Instagram. “It’s their cash cow.”

Other professional surfers quickly jumped in registering their disapproval. “Yep Hawaiian air is blownnnnnnnnnn,” wrote Hawaiian Mason Ho. “To get my three boards on the plane I had to pay extra and tell them I shaped the boards myself in art class in school.”

Alex Gray vs. American Airlines

A post shared by Alexander Wisdom Gray (@a_gray) on

After four of his surfboards were destroyed on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, Gray’s Instagram post of the damage quickly went viral. He also ended up on the KTLA 5 news a few days later, gleefully outlining the destruction done to his precious boards.

It seems surfers all round the world could empathize with Gray’s plight, many piling in online to offer their own horror airline stories and the complete lack of any form of compensation for damage done to their surfboards.

More surfer versus airlines stories from GrindTV:

Hawaiian Airlines responds to Kelly Slater's criticism of board bag fees

Pro surfer John Florence's boards destroyed by airline