Experimental data for inductive cross shaped metal meshes with periodicity constant g=20 μm have been reproduced by the Micro-Stripes simulation program for various thicknesses. A similar calculation has been performed with the Fourier modal method for cross shaped meshes with periodicity constant g=1 μm. The transmittances of all these meshes show similar resonance peaks and the same dependence on thickness. A rudimentary coupled oscillator model describes very well the dependence on thickness of the peaks, suggesting that the transmittance of all metal meshes in the short and long wavelength region are excited surface waves coupled by waveguide modes of the openings. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.