Professional surfer Alex Gray had four of his five surfboards essentially destroyed on an American Airlines flight from Honolulu into LAX. Mark Mester reports for the KTLA Morning News on April 10, 2017.
Last night on April 7th from Honolulu to Los Angeles, @americanair flight AA 284 BROKE 4 out of 5 of my surfboards. When the board bag came off the oversize belt I notice the top and bottom had very large holes in it. From the back hole in plain sight I could see two tails of my boards bent in half sticking out of the bag. I walked over to make a claim. Upon actually opening the bag (the video you're watching above), each board I pulled out had either a tail or nose broken. The final board on the bottom was completely broken in half from the middle of the board. I'm sure many of you at this point of my post are saying: "this has happened to me before". That's the saddest part. Time and time again we pay $150 or more for our surfboard bags only to have our boards ruined at the destination. And you know that little signature you give on the bag tag? That's a signature releasing the airlines of any liability to damages that may occur. Hmmmmm. My question on this one is how did they do such a fantastic job of destruction? First thought is the baggage handlers ran it over with some vehicle because the nose and tails are all broken in the same spot. But why is only one broken in half from the middle of the board, while the rest are broken at the nose and tail? Did they open my bag, break that board, and put it back in? I had buckled both straps inside the back which locks the boards down and they were unbuckled. So that makes me believe they went into my bag. I'll let you put your two cents in with comments below please. It would be great if #AmericanAirlines would review the security videos while my bag was either being loaded or unloaded on the plane. If there's anyone that follows me who works for #AmericanAirlines maybe you can get this video to the right colleague.... So now what? Well I've been instructed by #AmericanAirlines to make a claim of value for the boards they broke. And in return they will do their best to compensate me for my loss. #morals #americanairlinesbreakssurfboards
Thank you all for your comments, re-posts, and DM's regarding my @americanair board destruction. After seeing my previous video post go viral, it's very apparent this isn't about me, it's about US. This is about the surfers who love to travel and expect their boards to be handled with care after paying hundreds for them in excess. Seems like it's happened to all of us at some point. Yes, 4 of 5 boards of mine were broken. Yes there is a black residue on two of them which appears to be from a tire. Yes one of them was broken in half from the middle and put on the bottom of the bag where I didn't pack it. And yes, that means my bag was opened and re-arranged. But what stings the most is #americanairlines charged me $150 in excess fees to allow this destruction. I paid for all of this! Why is other sporting equipment free?! On a happy note.... thanks to all of you, I have an incredible following of passionate, positive humans. I will do everything I can to use my platform in hopes of a change for once in this ongoing "surfboards VS airlines" dilemma. I will update you as my claim is processed. Hopefully that's sooner than later. Again thank you all for everything. Please continue commenting on @americanair Instagram as I believe that's the most powerful response. And feel free to use this hashtag #americanairlinesbreakssurfboards to tell any of your stories similar to mine.