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  1. #26
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    That's terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by asmxxiv
    My personal experience:

    I just got back from Italy a few weeks ago after spending 7 weeks there. I flew USAir and contacted them a week before flying out. They told me I could sub a bikebox for a bag if it were under dimensions because I had bought my tickets before they changed their policy. When I arrived at the airport in Philadelphia: $80 charge. They then told me that Alitalia would honor their same policy on the way home ($80). OK, I thought. I took a cut-down cardboard bike box that was around 40lbs with clothes and such stuffed in.

    On the way home:

    At Leonardo da Vinci Aiport, Alitalia made me run to about 5 differert places in the airport, where I was eventually charged 150 E, or $238.50. TSA also decided to search my box, and they ripped it open in multiple places, as well as the plastic bag I had my pedals, tools, and drafting supplies (I was studying Architecture) contained in. I lost one CB pedal and a CB Multi-five tool. I contacted both parties and have received nill compensation. This was after I drove back to the Pittsburgh airport 2 days later to pick my things up since they lost my bags. Very bad experience.
    I hate to hear that. It's maddening that we can't take a 25-30lb bike with us without paying a small fortune, but 350lb obese people are just fine.

    Maybe on the bright side someone like FedEx will capitalize on this and offer some kind of awesome bike shipping deal in the future. The commercial airlines suck... period.
    I read that on the internet.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmxxiv
    They then told me that Alitalia would honor their same policy on the way home ($80). OK, I thought. I took a cut-down cardboard bike box that was around 40lbs with clothes and such stuffed in.
    Man, that sucks. Best get that kind of claim in writing, especially when one airline makes a claim about another airline's policy.

  3. #28
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    I'm Heading to Whistler next week....

    After much thought and deliberation, I decided to just pull the bike apart and seperate into 2 pieces. Going to buy a double wheel bag or tape my single ones together. The frame will be pulled down, wrapped up and inserted in between my riding clothes.

    It will probably take me about 1/2 hour to re-assemble. Not bad for a weeks worth of riding.

  4. #29
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    Since 9-11 I have started using this service instead of the airlines

    http://www.sportsexpress.com/

    I have used this shipping service for several trips and have not had any issues with them. You can call them and track the shipment, add inusrance for the full value of the items (they do require your bike be in an "approved container" ;see website for approved bike cases) to pay out on any damages but you will have a much batter chance of getting a settlement from a commercial vendor than the TSA or airline. I did have minor damage once and they paid for the parts that I replaced without any hassle at all.

    Sending a bike into a black hole where the entrance is controlled by people not interested in doing their job well and where the case may get opened for inspection or damaged without much recourse short of legal action is just not worth the hassle to me.

  5. #30
    Praise Bob
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    Expensive

    I just looked at the Sports Express site and generated a quote and it was really expensive. They want $400 each way to transport my 2 bikes to/from moab! I just paid $150 each way using UPS.

    The irritating this about all this is that my airline tickets are cheaper than it is to ship the bikes these days. As other posters have pointed out, airlines have stopped accepting the Thule/Trico cases so our options are severely limited. I think the way to go is to seperate each bike into 2 smaller packages and then ship them FedEx

  6. #31
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    I did it!!!!!

    I could'nt take the pressure of not knowing anymore, and I did not want to wait till the last moment while I was packing to find out it was not going to work.

    I pulled my bike apart and covered a lot of the parts with styrofoam wrapping and placed everything in a canvas bag. this then went into a medium sized duffle bag. The fork (150mm) fit with 2 inches to spare. Packed a full face helmet in there too and a bunch of riding clothes. So we have the wheels (1st piece) and the duffel bag (2nd piece) and I will be carrying a cary on with some more of my clothes. The two pieces will cost me $15 and $25. not too bad.

  7. #32
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    I travel with a TRICO Iron Sport Case...little to no problems.

    One thing: I had a trip a while back when my bike was re-packed shoddily (2003)...I've since taped pictures, of how the bike is supposed to be packed, to the lid with a nice note to the TSA folks thanking them for handling my Bike with respect.

    Laugh now, but believe it or not, trips have been perfect from that standpoint, with one time even a "Thank You" note from a TSA dude written on the TSA tag they leave in your case (that tghey checked it)...he/she even wrote: "NICE BIKE!"


    No problems since



    .

  8. #33
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    Not the point......

    Quote Originally Posted by RSW42
    I travel with a TRICO Iron Sport Case...little to no problems.

    One thing: I had a trip a while back when my bike was re-packed shoddily (2003)...I've since taped pictures, of how the bike is supposed to be packed, to the lid with a nice note to the TSA folks thanking them for handling my Bike with respect.

    Laugh now, but believe it or not, trips have been perfect from that standpoint, with one time even a "Thank You" note from a TSA dude written on the TSA tag they leave in your case (that tghey checked it)...he/she even wrote: "NICE BIKE!"


    No problems since



    .
    I have a hard case that protects the bike very well. The problem is that shipping an oversized case that weights over 50 pounds is now going to cost a minimum of $150 each way. I just got back from Whistler this weekend and it cost me $50 each way beacuse of how I packed everything. BTW - It did NOT take me 1/2 hour to re-assemble, it took 1 1/2 hours. Still worth it though.

  9. #34
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    Please, everyone who travels with bikes keep the forum updated on their allowances. I for one find comfort knowing that there are still loopholes for oversized sporting equipment.

    FWIW:

    Delta still accepts bike boxes, at least on their big jets, and waives the oversize fee if you tell them it's a bike. If it's one of your 'allowed' checked bags (2 for international travel), there is no extra fee! If overweight or in any of the other penalty categories, you are charged only for that category. There are some inconvenient embargoes during specific dates where no oversized carriers are allowed, particularly to Latin American countries.

    I carry email confirmation of the bike policy obtained two weeks in advance from each airline at check in to avoid problems.

    EVERY airline seems to be different now, so do your home work before you get to the airport, but I'm surprised that it is reported that the large carriers are no longer taking boxes over 80 inches. Every time I call the airlines I've used, they say it's ok if it's a bike.

    Air Berlin may be like Lufthansa, and charge a per kilo fee for sports equipment which is

    Wheelchairs in boxes are never a problem, however...

    G.

  10. #35
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    I have flown AirBerlin/LTU in my move to Germany with 800 pounds of luggage and three bikes. Two were in cases, both charged $32 each. You must reserve in advance, by phone. Their policy is clearly stated on their website.

    Also I will be working on establishing a tutorial, including some research and experiences with Whafe on how to travel with your bikes by plane. I hope a component will be to constantly update the limitations as they seem to be frequently changing.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo
    Please, everyone who travels with bikes keep the forum updated on their allowances. I for one find comfort knowing that there are still loopholes for oversized sporting equipment.

    FWIW:

    Delta still accepts bike boxes, at least on their big jets, and waives the oversize fee if you tell them it's a bike. If it's one of your 'allowed' checked bags (2 for international travel), there is no extra fee! If overweight or in any of the other penalty categories, you are charged only for that category. There are some inconvenient embargoes during specific dates where no oversized carriers are allowed, particularly to Latin American countries.

    I carry email confirmation of the bike policy obtained two weeks in advance from each airline at check in to avoid problems.

    EVERY airline seems to be different now, so do your home work before you get to the airport, but I'm surprised that it is reported that the large carriers are no longer taking boxes over 80 inches. Every time I call the airlines I've used, they say it's ok if it's a bike.

    Air Berlin may be like Lufthansa, and charge a per kilo fee for sports equipment which is

    Wheelchairs in boxes are never a problem, however...

    G.
    I've never had that level of service from Delta when flying with a bike and their recent website changes seem to suggest > $200 each way. As I have to fly with them for work I've not bothered flying with a bike since January before the changes came into effect. Prior to that my charges had ranged from $0-$150 per flight.

  12. #37
    Gringo
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6thElement
    I've never had that level of service from Delta when flying with a bike and their recent website changes seem to suggest > $200 each way. As I have to fly with them for work I've not bothered flying with a bike since January before the changes came into effect. Prior to that my charges had ranged from $0-$150 per flight.
    Good point. I should have clarified that I've also had a little luck with Delta and these are for international flights, but their website is also a bit ambiguous as to what is/is not refused...

    My experience is that you pay $150 for oversize unless you delcare it's a bike, I tell them that's what the website says and so far it's worked, but this TECHNICALLY/OFFICIALLY changed this year.

    You'll also get clipped for another $150 if it's overweight, and another $150 (I think) if it's outside your one or two bag allowance. All of these are each way.

    Their online written policy is a bit ambiguous, making it seem that any oversize bag is not allowed. If it is outside their sum of the dimensions formula, they now waive the size dimension so you can still bring it but then you get to pay $150. The transport bags (not the huge boxes) can measure small and barely stay under the dimension formula. I'm also extra nice to the check in staff, and this has often saved me $$$ in oversized or overweight penalties... If it's close they have discretion to ignore.

    Maybe I've had luck, but I've also had their customer service send confirmation email of that policy which seems to confuse the check in staff enough to let it go. I'm testing it again by bringing a bike back to Munich from the States on November 1. I currently go out of my way to fly Delta when I'm taking a bike (even though Lufthansa is quicker), and I almost always bring a new one back when I am coming from the USA several times a year.

    I'll try to confirm the Lufthansa/Alliance handling rates, I'm not clear from their website alone, though they've always been ski friendly.

    Air travel has really gone down hill over the past decade, and I suspect that the US based carriers will soon go to a flat fee for golf clubs and skis and then bikes will follow suit.

    G.
    Last edited by Gringo; 08-13-2008 at 02:40 AM.

  13. #38
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    I just flew US Airways from San Diego to Anchorage and was charged $125 (for bike and luggage) going to Anchorage and just $25 on the way back.

    The ticketing agent on my return flight was quick to charge me $25 for 2 checked bags but when he saw one was my bike, he didnt seem to care and let me slide without paying extra.

  14. #39
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    https://www.delta.com/traveling_chec...x.jsp#bicycles

    According to their most recent update a bike is $175 as checked baggage, I'm not sure what the weight and size limits are or whether they try to tag extra fees on top if you go over 62" and 50lbs.

  15. #40
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    My interpretation of that is the bike can be of any dimensions/weight, as long as it only has one seat (carry-on the second seat on a tandem ). As noted in a previous email, there is no way a non-suspended bike (that isn't S&S or Ritchey coupled) is going to fit in 62 linear inches.

    I have an S&S (62" linear dimensioned) case, and recently have claimed it contained wheelchair parts when asked. I may burn in hell for lying, but I'd rather not dick around trying to justify the 62" limit is what is important, and not what the contents of the box are.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6thElement
    https://www.delta.com/traveling_chec...x.jsp#bicycles

    According to their most recent update a bike is $175 as checked baggage, I'm not sure what the weight and size limits are or whether they try to tag extra fees on top if you go over 62" and 50lbs.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo
    Delta still accepts bike boxes, at least on their big jets, and waives the oversize fee if you tell them it's a bike....
    G.


    Ding-ding-ding!

    I fly Delta often and that's what I do.


    R

  17. #42
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    One more thing....

    before you buy tickets check if there is no 'Excess Baggage Embargo' in place for the airlines you want to fly with. If you ever fly with Continental please check this link:
    http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...e/embargo.aspx
    I was flying from Toronto to Lima last year and had to change airline one week before departure because of this 'restriction'. Changed to Air Canada and it cost me $75 CAD / $50 USD for my bike case loaded with large Cannodale Jekyll. This is a case I bought:
    http://www.roofbox.co.uk/bikebox.html
    It is huge and can be loaded with boots, helmet, camel back, tools, etc. just make sure you don't go over the weight and/or linear inches limit. The only problem I had with this case was the size which in case of small planes (domestic airlines in Peru) it was impossible to load on the plane without removing the handle and $45 extra charge.

  18. #43
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    Out of colorado, I have flown to Atlanta, Georgia and Rome, Italy with our two road bikes, in one pro-bike double xl case, and find that rolling it up to baggage check is like playing the lottery. Flying to Georgia we were charged $240 for the case, after explaining to the counter person that this was our luggage and that she needed to figure out what needed to be charges to get it on board, at first she said it was too big, and overweight and would have to be left behind. The return flight from Atlanta was $85 no questions. Going to Rome, from DIA, the counter person asked me to remove parts to get the bag under 80# and I explained that the case was designed to meet airline regs. and that I would not remove and repackage the case unless United accepted responsibility for the safety of the repackaged boxes. She said that was impossible, and charged us $340 to check the bag to rome. In roma, the united agent paged a super hot baggage rep that escorted me to the large baggage check-in and they x-rayed the bag and checked it through to denver without any extra charges.

    In both trips the TSA repacked the bag, and did not reattach the fork mounts, and things were moving around during travel. Nothing was damaged, but make sure that if you have a system of packing that some TSA agent may have to unpackage that you leave detailed instructions for the TSA to repackage your bike.

    Another tip for checking bags is to not argue or piss off the counter agent, my girlfriend always gets mad when they start adding additional charges to the bill, and will get short with the agent. When that happens any measure of latitude you may need to get your oversized bag on board will be lost. Kill them with kindness, and accept whatever charges they have, and things will go much smoother. Pissing off the counter agent only makes the process worse. Explain your packaging to the agent, and show how the case/bag is designed to protect your light and expensive bike, and tell them of the extensive riding plans that you have for your distination. That way they understand that you are not just bringing a heavy case to make their work harder, but that it's the only way to protect the plans you have on this bicycling trip. If you can check bags at the curb, a $20 tip for the sky cap can sometimes get your bag checked without the bag charge roulette at the ticket counter.

    Happy travels.

  19. #44
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    This thread should be stickied if you ask me. Anyways thanks for all the shared experience. I'm planning a trip to Bolivia in the next year and I'm still concerned with travelling with my bike. I have yet to decide whether I'll go for a rent when I get there if if I'll bring my own bike. One way or another, this thread helped me a lot to weight to + and - and I'll sure head back here when comes the time to decide.

    Thanks all
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  20. #45
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    I'm flying Delta from PHX to ATL tomorrow. I managed to pack my FS into an Apple G5 box. Weighing in just below 50lbs with my complete bike + shoes + tools + camekbak + cardboard. I had to trim the box down just an inch to fit under the 62 required inches. If I have any troubles I'll be sure to post them.

  21. #46
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    Smile

    what is the width of the box with the tires off?

    thanks

    Mitch

  22. #47
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    On the way back...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ry-daddy
    I'm flying Delta from PHX to ATL tomorrow. I managed to pack my FS into an Apple G5 box. Weighing in just below 50lbs with my complete bike + shoes + tools + camekbak + cardboard. I had to trim the box down just an inch to fit under the 62 required inches. If I have any troubles I'll be sure to post them.

    Stop by Home depot and pick up 2 pieces of foam insulation. Cut them to size and slice them lengthwise and slip over your seatpost, seat/chain stays, crank arms, frame, etc.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmitch2
    what is the width of the box with the tires off?
    the box is 23" x 24" x 16".

  24. #49
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    Again, I am certain that there is no rhyme nor reason with each companies policies.... More so on the counter agent on the day...

    The other day I flew from LA to Vancouver on Alaskan Air.... I went with them because am Platinum frequent flyer with One World and thought this would help. Not at all, got charged extra, had to pay 75 USD, of which they said they let me off 50 USD......On the return trip from Vancouver to LA, I only got charged 25 CAN Dollars. So again, totally different rates for a company with the same policy...

    Last night I flew back to New Zealand on Air NZ from LA to Auckland, had one of my bikes, and 2 other bags, had a total of 80 Kgs, no charge at all.....

    I will say though, I usually average 6 months out of a Sette Bike Bag from Price Point. That would be used usually for say 10 return trips.. But of late I have had the bag with rips right through after one trip, along with straps being ripped off...

    So traveling with our bike in toe is indeed a journey that will never have any guarantees, which sucks the big one.......

    But hey, I will still travel with my bike.....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  25. #50
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    I was the OP on this thread....glad I started it, it seems to have helped a lot of ya'll out. Just wanted to update the thread with my recent (and first) airline experience with a bike box...

    I flew from Fort Lauderdale to Portland, OR for the Labor Day Weekend on Southwest. I was charged $50 each way for the box (Serfas)....so not a bad deal.

    My next travel with the bike will be in November from Miami to Costa Rica on American...so far, American has told me it will be $100 each way...we shall see, I will let ya'll know how it goes....

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