Friday, October 26, 2007

Dear British Airways,

As some of you may know, British Airways are banning kayaks from next month. Here is my letter to them, highlighting what they will lose. I just hope they change their minds, because if more airlines do this it is going to make it very, very hard to live our kayaking-travel dreams. I don't want play boating in Africa in a 10 year old play boat big enough for an elephant....

Dear British Airways,

I am strongly dismayed by your decision to no longer allow surf boards and kayaks to travel on your air-crafts. As such I regret to inform you that I will no longer choose to fly with you.

This is a pity because in the last year I have made six flights on your airline and I have enjoyed flying with you. Of these flights, only once were you inconvenienced by my kayak. However, your actions affect me in such a way that I have decided I will not fly with you again.

I find your decision a little hard to stomach, since my plastic white water kayaks is in many ways very suitable baggage. It is no longer than a pair of skis and very easy to carry with a handle at each end specially made for this purpose. Furthermore (unlike skis) my kayak is almost impossible to damage - even when I hit rocks at high speed when paddling it is not damage. I also find it astonishing that an airline with your reputation of service will not take such baggage when budget airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet are no problems to fly with.
Basically if all airlines follow your line of reasoning I will no longer be able to explore new places with my kayak. This will be the death of my dream. I find that particularly sad because through my blog about paddling and climbing I inspire over 1000 visitors a month, to travel and explore the world too.

I may represent only one kayak trip to your management but that is only the beginning. Next week I am flying to London to New Zealand, I am just glad that I've chosen this time to fly Air New Zealand.

Thank you for your time,

Clare McLennan


Tim said...

Have sent my email to BA. I hate airlines doing that crap. They would not say they cannot take my mum's wheelchair as it is a signifacnt handling complexity as there would be a signifacnt public response. The same would happen if they tried doing the smae for golf clubs and the lost of business flights if they tried.

Go Virgin Airways (Pacific Blue) they treat your kayak or bike (or any sporting equipment) only as 5kg of your personal baggage allowance no matter the weight. No wonder everyone into sports are flying between Australia and New Zealand on Pacific Blue these days.

See ya soon in NZ Clare

steve said...

Go girl! You take it to the man.

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BB said...

Great letter Clare! And thanks for sharing it on your Blog - inspiring!

In Norway the paddle season is just beginning theese days and I think I will have my first go this week-end :)

BB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Sharp said...

Have you Green-Slime/Dave Hopkin's account of their first descent down the Dudh Kosi? They took their kayaks on as hand luggage!

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