A professional skateboarder booked on a Spirit Airlines flight snapped his skateboard in half to get around the airline’s luggage fee. Shaun Hover was told his board di lui was too long and he would have to pay an $ 89 fee before coming up with a novel solution.
Skateboarder avoids luggage fee
When Shaun Hover, a 35-year-old pro skater, was told by Spirit Airlines that his skateboard did not conform to carry-on size regulations and would incur an $ 89 luggage fee, he had a dilemma on his hands. In a video posted to social media, Hover shared his three possible choices with followers – A) Pay the $ 89 fee; B) Don’t board the plane; or C) Never let Spirit Airlines know your next move.
It’s fair to say Hover opted for option C, as he swiftly snapped his board in half with a powerful stomp next to the Spirit Airlines departure desk before placing the folded board in the carry-on sizer. Hover, who was traveling with his kids di lui at the time, later revealed that a member of Spirit’s cabin crew gave him complimentary snacks during the flight and apologized for the incident.
Commenting beneath the video, fellow skateboarder Tony Hawk revealed a similar incident he experienced in the UK,
“Haha, I did the same at London Heathrow because they wanted me to check it in. But mine went in the trash because they wouldn’t let me take the two pieces as carry-ons.”
Another skateboarder, Jon Depoian, said below the post, “I almost did that one time too and they had a change of heart. “Hover’s Tik Tok video has since received over 15 million views and 2.2 million likes, while his Instagram upload has over 600,000 views and counting.
The right choice?
Immediately after Hover snapped his board, a Spirit Airlines employee told him “that was not necessary, sir.” Given that his board di lui is now unusable, would it have worked out better for Hover financially if he had just paid the fee? The answer is probably a no. Here’s why:
Firstly, Hover is a professional skateboarder with several sponsors, including Untitled Skateboards, 818 Skateshop, Landslide Skatepark, and almost certainly doesn’t pay for his own boards. Pro skaters regularly break boards while skating and most likely have several new, blank boards at home.
Most adult-sized skateboards are too long to keep within airline carry-on size restrictions. Photo: Getty Images
Secondly, while the board, also known as a deck, itself was snapped, the other components (wheels, bearings and trucks) are still perfectly intact and can easily be removed from the snapped board and placed on a fresh deck.
According to skateboarding blog SkateboardersHQ, decks will usually set you back between $ 35 and $ 65, while the cost of the wheels, bearings and trucks starts from $ 45 at the low end to $ 210 for higher quality parts. Even if he had to pay for a replacement deck out of his own pocket, Hover will still have saved money by doing what he did.
Spirit’s luggage policy
Spirit Airlines’ carry-on policy allows passengers to bring one personal item onboard free of charge, so long as it is within the airline’s maximum dimensions (56 x 46 x 25 cm). Any additional items, or items that exceed these dimensions, will incur a fee.
According to Spirit Airlines,
“We accept non-motorized / non-battery operated skateboards onboard as a carry-on or personal item provided the item is within Spirit’s carry-on or personal item size dimensions, and stowed with wheels up to prevent rolling. Skateboards count towards a Guest’s bag allowance and carry-on bag charges apply, as applicable. A limited liability release form must be signed as well. “
Given that Hover’s skateboard was an adult-sized street board (around 80cm long), it would seem that most skateboards don’t conform to Spirit’s carry-on size dimensions. Whether passengers are permitted to bring their skateboards aboard or not will likely be up to the discretion of the Spirit employee on duty that day.
Have you ever had a problem bringing a skateboard onboard a flight? Did you have to pay an additional fee? Let us know your stories in the comments.