Alex Gray Gets a Refund But The Questions Linger

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

It's two thumbs up and a happy ending for Alex Gray. You'll remember last week Alex Gray took to social media after four of his five boards were busted on an American Airlines flight from Hawaii to LA. Gray's campaign got a lot of traction, helped in part by fellow flyers United Airlines manhandling a passenger off an overbooked plane.

Yesterday Gray announced that American Airlines would reimburse him for all boards and the board bag, and they'd also return the excess baggage fee he paid.

"The airline was apologetic," wrote Gray, "while acknowledging their negligence, and agrees the boards were most likely run over. I'd like to commend AA for handling this situation appropriately."

"Most of all I'd like to thank all of YOU for your engagement. It's amazing to see the positive side of social media bring like-minded people together."

And that should be the end of the matter, right?

Except more than a few commenters felt aggrieved by Gray claiming to speak for all surfers and then giving the thumbs up when only he was compensated. "It's very apparent this isn't about me," Gray wrote in his original post, "it's about us. This is about the surfers who love to travel and expect their boards to be handled with care."

Chris Breheny voiced his concern. "Your earlier posts and television appearance suggested that this was a crusade to affect meaningful change for everyone through coercing airlines into restructuring their surfboard baggage policies. It now appears as though it was merely about you seeking reimbursement for your own personal misfortune, and that the broader argument about airline surfboard baggage fees and property damage is now redundant in light of your successful media campaign."

He wasn't alone...

"I thought this was about the broader issue? Wouldn't be endorsing their behaviour until I was sure they had changed."

"Great that they refunded the money for boards you didn't even pay for, but what does it do to change the way they handle our luggage? Until board fees and damage are gone, I wouldn't be so quick to praise them just because they gave you a couple bucks. That's called hush money."

"That's great @a_gray but maybe you could help the little guys. The ones that don't have a huge social media following to get reimbursed."

"What 81,000 followers gets you. What happens to the guy who is not a social media star?"

Etc etc..

And Gray's last word? "I am positive the reply to this circumstance will hold as the example for all surfers in the future. Again, thank you all. Let's get ready for more surf adventures."


tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 at 4:21pm

Each airline, each board baggage are different. Reckon Grays done a good job and good on him. If the airlines start having to replace equipment, can't see that being good for business.

penmister's picture
penmister's picture
penmister Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 at 5:07pm

Keep charging gray..
Social media can suck a big fat one..
Glad you used social media to get it out there..
I would of just went nuts in the airport and probably got handcuffed

supversive's picture
supversive's picture
supversive Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 at 8:21pm

maybe it was the guy in the camel suit
Bag handler took my camel suit
By Stephen Gibbs
April 8, 2005

Twenty minutes after David Cox checked in his bags at Sydney Airport, he watched astounded as a baggage handler was driven across the tarmac wearing the camel suit he'd packed in his luggage.

Images of Schapelle Corby - and her claim that an airport worker had hidden drugs inside her boogie board bag - came to mind on Wednesday morning at the domestic terminal.

The 34-year-old marketing manager was heading to Melbourne with a crocodile suit and the camel costume, both checked in as luggage 40 minutes before the departure of QF425 at 10.30.

Twenty minutes before take-off, as he sat at Gate 4, directly in front of floor-to-ceiling glass, Mr Cox's attention was drawn to the occupants of a baggage trolley tug being driven across the tarmac below.

"I'd heard a little kid say: 'There's a guy with a moose head', but I didn't even think to look," Mr Cox recalled. "It was a good three or four minutes later when I saw this thing go past."

What went past below was the trolley tug driven by a man, with a passenger wearing the top half of Mr Cox's camel suit. Gobsmacked, he watched the vehicle - and the camel-headed handler - being driven back and forward between the terminal and the plane.


"My jaw dropped," Mr Cox told the Herald last night. "And it wasn't just the one run, it must have gone around a couple of times."

Mr Cox hoped his experience with the camel's head helped the defence of Schapelle Corby at the Gold Coast woman's Bali cannabis-smuggling trial that Brisbane baggage handlers planted drugs inside the cover of her boogie board. "The only question mark here is how it got from my bag onto his

campbell's picture
campbell's picture
campbell Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 at 9:52pm

Pro surfer gets refund for boards he got for free one of which was most likely snapped prior to being loaded on any plane, well done Alex gray, justice prevails! Good luck to anyone normal without all the social media following getting any action in the same situation.

thomas11's picture
thomas11's picture
thomas11 Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017 at 4:07am

Precedence has been set, if it happens to you now all you need to do is refer to Alex's situation.

What he has done is excellent for the travelling surfers IMO.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017 at 6:19pm

Social media - a force for good in society or an echo-chamber for whingers and fault-finders no matter what the cause?

You decide.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 22 Apr 2017 at 7:37pm

American Airlines staff assault passenger. ABC news online