To represent the needs of thousands of surfers who are shocked by the new British Airways (BA) ban on the carriage of surfboards (effective from 6th November), the British Surfing Association (BSA) has set up a petition to lobby the airline to reverse their decision. The organisation is also urging all surfers to utilise a new members group on the social networking site Facebook, complain directly to BA and spread the word amongst other surfers.

The BSA has over 10,000 members across the country and hundreds of them have contacted the organisation over the past few days expressing their disbelief and anger at what they see as a marginalisation of the sport and everyone within the surfing community. Until now, due to BA’s fair baggage policy, the British surfing teams have almost always traveled with BA to their European and international events but if BA insists on continuing with the ban, all surfers will be forced to use other airlines. A large number of the BSA’s members are based on outlying British islands where BA is the only flight carrier and the new ban will mean they will not now be able to fly with their boards.

Karen Walton, National Director, BSA, says, “If everyone who surfs could take five minutes to go online and follow our recommended action steps then we will have a real representation of the swell of support for the reversal of this absurd decision. The Facebook site already has in excess of 1,000 members and lots of our members have been making complaints to BA. The media has been integral to us raising awareness of this issue and we’d like to thank all the journalists and media outlets who have been carrying the story thus far. Our new online petition means that people all over the world can add their support to our campaign and can add their personal comments about the issue. We will then be personally delivering the petition to the management at BA in the near future.”