Pro surfer Jeremy Flores recently experienced a devastating setback when he discovered that his beloved surfboard, an essential tool of his trade, had been irreversibly damaged during a long-delayed flight despite warning the airline of its fragility. A mediocre response from the airline responsible has done little to quell the surf community’s anger…
It’s rare that two of our favourite categories here at DMARGE — travel and surfing — come together in such a contentious story. Though airlines seem to be taking excessive and sometimes embarrassing caution regarding the weight of their passengers and baggage, it seems they take a great deal less care when it comes to keeping that baggage in one piece…
At least, that was the experience of professional surfer Jeremy Flores who after disembarking from a heavily delayed flight with Air France — likely full of anticipation for a good shred in the days ahead — not only discovered his baggage had been lost but, when it finally emerged, discovered that his precious surfboards had been irreversibly damaged.
The footage, shared to the surfer’s Instagram account, shows him inspecting a number of boards, every single one of which has taken on severe damage of some kind. From deep scratches to dents to full-on fractures, all of Flores’ equipment appears to have suffered enormously. Though some appear to be fixable, the vast majority do not, effectively writing-off a whole stash of equipment that has a great deal of value, both financially and emotionally.
WATCH: Jeremy Flores walks us through his unfortunate discovery…
Expressing his discontent for all to see, Flores captioned his video with the following comments, which have been translated from French:
“Flight delayed 5 hours to the ground… No luggage on arrival…. and a bad surprise when I opened my cover. Even on purpose, I don’t see how anyone can do this much damage on surfboards! Air France, there is much worse in life but it’s still annoying, hoping it will help others in the future… not cool at all. #boardsdestroyed”Jeremy Flores
Though Air France did respond to the surfer’s comments, they did so with a lukewarm, cookie-cutter message that did little to quell his annoyance. In fact, by missing this crucial opportunity to set things right, the airline actually stirred up significantly more anger among Flores’ committed followers, many of whom are also devoted members of the surf community.
While some followers offered up DIY methods of keeping surfboards safe — including wrapping their edges in pool noodles prior to check-in — one follower responded to the airline directly:
“Air France I would love to know how baggage handlers manage to get away with doing such damage though? Sure, we can all go through the claim process, which is annoying and time-consuming, but after all these years why do airlines still break surfboards to such extremes?”@voyagevirage
It seems that in not taking proper care of Flores’ boards, Air France may have lost more than just one passenger’s luggage; they could have lost the support of an entire community. In other words, you could say that their lacklustre response has left us all hanging ten on a wave of disappointment.