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  1. #1
    jcard14
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    Airline travel with a bike

    I have never flown with a bike before but will be doing so a few times in the coming months...what choice of travel bag/box has anyone out there used and what were their postives/negatives?

    Any tips in relation to flying with a bike would be much appreciated...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    "Its All Good"
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    Are you flying domestic or International? Is it a DH bike or a SS bike?

    I would have flown with my bikes (either AM, DH, SS) some 100 plus flights a year for the past 2 years....

    There is loads of changes taking place at present with many airlines around the globe, loads more are charging for extras etc.... Hence if you give some more information, I can share with you what I have learnt and know.....

    Cheers
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  3. #3
    jcard14
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    I will be traveling both domestic and international.

    It is an AM bike (SJ FSR)...I've checked on the fees...not cheap but I'll just have to suck it up.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    "Its All Good"
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    Well in general, most airlines will not carry Specialized bikes......LOL, only joking...

    Genrally for domestic flights in the USA, it is around 70 USD per bike...... Each way..

    Going International is generally speaking free, only time I had ever paid was in the USA, but it all changed a month ago. My main route is New Zealand to Europe, with a stop over in LA for work..... With some 19 baggage issues from 20 flights through London Heathrow, I started to only check my bags one flight leg at a time. So when I picked up my bags and bike in London to travel on to Barcelona, they now charge a flat rate for bikes and golf clubs of 150 Euro (250 USD) each way...... So keep away from Iberia Airlines like a bad sexual disease.....

    British Airways, probly the WORST airline in the world are now not accepting surf boards at all, and I hear thoughts that they will also start charging for bikes....

    I flew from Spain to London the other day on EasyJet, that was 50 Euro return for my bike, which was ok...

    See the link attached.... http://www.setteusa.com/show.php/Acc...ags|travel_bag

    I have had a great run with these bags, I can almost get 1 year out of one, keep in mind I am a travel whore..... They are a really reasonable price at PricePoint....

    I have tried hard cases, far more hassle to break the bike down....

    Using the Sette bag, I remove of course the wheels, handlebars from the stem and the rear der....... And the pedals of course......... The straps are what binds all together, the seat and the stem keep everything tight if that makes sense.... I do in the sleeves inside the bag on each side have a cardboard box flattened to give it support....

    The worst I have had is a bent disk rotor, of which I now remove the disks.....

    Hope that helps, the more stopovers with flight changes, the greater the risk is for damage and loss of bike..... So when you can fly direct somewhere, sweet as....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  5. #5
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    Hey Whafe...

    I have a carbon fiber framed bike, do think the Sette bag would be supportive/protective enough to take my bike on the plane without damaging it? Also, with suspension parts, do you have to take the air out of them for possible changes in pressure while it flight?

    Thanks, I really appreciate the help.

  6. #6
    "Its All Good"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leprechaun
    I have a carbon fiber framed bike, do think the Sette bag would be supportive/protective enough to take my bike on the plane without damaging it? Also, with suspension parts, do you have to take the air out of them for possible changes in pressure while it flight?

    Thanks, I really appreciate the help.
    Good question Leprechaun - I have taken my road bike which is full carbon. I had no issues.... For me, the most important part is the cardboard cartons that I have flattened and popped in the wheel sleeves inside the bag... For me, this really helps to enclose the bag as like a case....

    Am not to good at explaining in words, but by removing the handle bars, having a flat line if you can imagine with the saddle and head stem, keeps it really square and straight. The straps also really bind it all together, cause the top end strap sort of pulls under the saddle along with under the headstem....

    Back on air, I do release the pressure in my shock and forks, and of course the tires....

    Hope that helps, let me know any other thoughts or questions, and will for sure help out if I can... Cheers
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  7. #7
    Five is right out
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    I used to travel a lot with my bike (tourer). I always avoided boxing it if at all possible in the belief that baggage monkeys were less likely to stack it under other cargo that way. This worked fine, but it does result in a lot of minor scratches to the paintwork.

    If I were to travel with a bike with more fragile parts (ironically the things that make FS bikes so good for rough terrain- things like suspension and hydro cables) then I'd certainly get a Crateworks case. It's made of corrugated plastic, so it's far tougher than soft bags and it folds down for easier storage than something like a Trico.

    One rarely mentioned tip for flying: Turn up for your flight early and be really pleasant to the check-in people.

  8. #8
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    Smile shipping

    I made a wooden box that fits everything except the wheels. now most airlines on domestic
    routes only allow 1 piece free, I ship the wheels together in a separate box to where I am
    staying via ups. The wooden box is just under the 62 linear inches. they almost always
    measure it. just fill it up with clothes and keep it under 50 pounds. going to make a new
    box out of foam, fiber glass and resin this summer to get weight down a bit and not have to
    find a scale on return flight home.
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  9. #9
    Praise Bob
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    Well done!

    ^^^

    That's the way to do it. I just bought Thule 699 cases only to find out that most airlines wont accept baggage over 62 linear inches/50lbs. If you keep it under that limit you can get it on standard check in baggage. You are allowed to check in oversize baggage of up to 80 linear inches for an additional fee, but my Thule cases are 84inches. Doh! What really sucks is that the cases are awesome. The bikes fit in there really well and you dont have to take much apart. The cases have wheels and handles too. I ended up shipping with UPS and got a suprise bill 2 weeks later for fuel surcharges and oversize package fees.

  10. #10
    is buachail foighneach me
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    i've actually had really good luck with cardboard bike boxes. get a small size, reinforce all the handholds (top bottom and sides) with packing tape, and pack as stated above. best of all they're free from the dumpster behind any bike shop, and only a few dollars for the tape. granted i'm travelling with a steel, rigid ss, so i don't have much to worry about, but it works if you're on a budget.

  11. #11
    Five is right out
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmitch2
    I made a wooden box that fits everything except the wheels. now most airlines on domestic
    routes only allow 1 piece free, I ship the wheels together in a separate box to where I am
    staying via ups. The wooden box is just under the 62 linear inches. they almost always
    measure it. just fill it up with clothes and keep it under 50 pounds. going to make a new
    box out of foam, fiber glass and resin this summer to get weight down a bit and not have to
    find a scale on return flight home.
    That is a bloody excellent box

  12. #12
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    2 boxes might be the way to go now

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmitch2
    I made a wooden box that fits everything except the wheels. now most airlines on domestic
    routes only allow 1 piece free, I ship the wheels together in a separate box to where I am
    staying via ups. The wooden box is just under the 62 linear inches. they almost always
    measure it. just fill it up with clothes and keep it under 50 pounds. going to make a new
    box out of foam, fiber glass and resin this summer to get weight down a bit and not have to
    find a scale on return flight home.
    Just last year I bought the smaller of the 2 boxes that Performance sells (the trapezoid shaped "Team" box) and flew with it a couple of times. I once got away with no fee, but usually had to pay about $75. The box works great and I was able to keep the total weight to less than 50lbs.

    Now these jacked up fees are a big problem. I leave on Monday for a week in Wyoming and I'm afraid that I'll get to the airport and get slammed by AA with an oversize + bike fee (if they figure out it's a bike, I sure as h3ll won't tell them). I might not be able to keep it below 50lbs either since I have a new bike that I haven't weight-weenied yet.

    I might try getting a wheel box and cutting down a bike box instead of using my fancy one... not sure. Problem with that is I'd have 2, maybe 3 checked bags... and I'd get hit with big fees for that too.

    Maybe we'll see some smaller "2 piece" bike boxes hit the market soon.
    I read that on the internet.

  13. #13
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    hello!
    ways to transport you bike:
    1. Bike cases.
    pros - yeah! you travel in style. its like having the louie vitton or gucci of bike bags. good protection.
    cons - bike cases are heavy so most of your baggage allowance goes to it. you pay alot of excess baggage. ouch!
    2. cardboard boxes.
    pros - light and cheap!
    cons -not much protection. bike gets a beating. airline peeps throw boxes around drops them etc. etc. no matter how much fragile stickers you stick on it. usually when transporting luggage, they pile it up putting the bigger boxes underneath smaller ones. so if you can squeeze your bike in a shoe box then maybe your bike won't be under all that heavy suitcases/luggage.
    3. crate it.
    pros - light. good protection. won't stress bike.
    cons - haven't tried it but..... disassembling the bike almost part by part? this is ok i think if you're moving to a diffrent place permanently or at least stay in just one destination for a long time but if your on a tour flying from airport to airport, then for me thats a lot of work.
    4. wrap it. with glad wrap! just kidding....

    high density white foam cut to size, strapped with velcro. easy and reusable. this one's my fave!
    pros - easy, light, roll on/ roll off feature, not part of the piled up luggage, no disassembly/assembly required, can be ridden to and from airport (if you're hard core and if you travel light).
    cons - not much protection(but if they see that it's a bike wrapped in foam they somehow feel that its very fragile probably because there's too much foam on it making them sense how anal the owner is). am not sure about airline baggage size policies outside our country but here in the philippines it's not a problem.

  14. #14
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    pardon my ignorance but what do they mean by linear inches? length PLUS width PLUS height?

  15. #15
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    Yes linear inches is length + width + height.

    I just flew with my bike domestically and it was a $100 on US Airways. I used a case from Serfas and packed it with clothes, cytomax, and a few other things came in weighing 55 lbs.

  16. #16
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    I'll be flying to Europe in 2 weeks and am not sure how to pack the bike, so it won't be too big and bulky. I don't think the trans Atlantic flight will be an issue, but my concern is a flight I have from Duesseldorf to Milan on Air Berlin. Anybody have any experience/advice?

  17. #17
    Surly OG
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    Trico Iron Case. 'nuff said.
    Earn your turns. )'(

  18. #18
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnBikerDan
    Trico Iron Case. 'nuff said.
    The problem with the Trico and the Thule 699 (which I have) is they're over 80", which the airlines deem the maximum they'll allow now...

  19. #19
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    If you disassemble it anyways, just take a normal hardcase suitcase. They're often offered as a set of two. The wheels will fit in the bigger one, and the frame will fit in the smaller one (if your frame is a full suspension size S or M).
    All you have to do to get it boxed is: Take off the bar and the fork, separate the rear trinagle from the main frame, unmount cranks, pedals and saddle. That will fit in the first suitcase. The wheels with the tires taken off fit in the second one.
    It took me about 35min to package the bike and another 35min to put it back together at the destination. There's still plenty of space left in the suitcases for your other stuff.
    Of course this solution implies no additional charge. If you don't have a set of hardcase suitcases yet- be careful with the size. If there's something like a big handle on the tp or a bulky hinge on the bottom, your bike won't fit.
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  20. #20
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Got back from Wyoming on Sunday... cost me a lot to bring the bike in my box. The only way to avoid these high fees is to have 2 checked boxes right at the size and weight limit (62", 50lbs). You might still get hit with the checked bag fees, but they're a lot lower than the bike/oversize fee.

    The wooden box above looks great, but what about making one out of sheet plastic (similar material to the Trico case) and plastic angles for the edges? The sheet could be glued and rivited to the angle and a lid could somehow be devised also (maybe using a hinge?).

    Anyhow, does anyone know what kind of plastic the Trico is made of and where you can get sheets of it? And extruded angles? Or, is there a better plastic to use? I stopped by the homeo depot today and didn't see anything suitable.
    I read that on the internet.

  21. #21
    Just hit it with speed
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    How can you possibly get a non FS bike in a box under 62 linear inches? When people say to use a bike box are they assuming then that they will be larger than the 62 linear inches? I'll be traveling to Oregon this August w/ my bike. SS, Front Sus, 29er. I am flying Southwest and they only charge $50 each way. (This is my understanding) Do I have to be under 62 linear inches for it to be considered regular checked luggage? If I do I'll be no where close even with the size small bike box I picked up today at my LBS. I have no problem paying the 50 each way.

    The Sette bag mentioned above is 52 x 9 x 37 =98.75" no where close to 62".

    I'm confused.
    Don't hate on the minivan!!!!!!!

  22. #22
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    You can't fit a non-FS bike in a 62" box. You should carefully read the terms and conditions of your airline to find out if the surcharge is for boxes bigger than 62". There are airlines that charge an extra fee for a bike and an even higher extra fee for a bike in a box larger than 62" :-(

  23. #23
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Southwest is the way to fly

    Quote Originally Posted by GFisher2001
    How can you possibly get a non FS bike in a box under 62 linear inches? When people say to use a bike box are they assuming then that they will be larger than the 62 linear inches? I'll be traveling to Oregon this August w/ my bike. SS, Front Sus, 29er. I am flying Southwest and they only charge $50 each way. (This is my understanding) Do I have to be under 62 linear inches for it to be considered regular checked luggage? If I do I'll be no where close even with the size small bike box I picked up today at my LBS. I have no problem paying the 50 each way.

    The Sette bag mentioned above is 52 x 9 x 37 =98.75" no where close to 62".

    I'm confused.
    You are lucky! Southwest charges $50 per bike, no matter the size and weight. That's what the agent told me on the phone the other day when I asked. So you don't have to get it within the typical 62" or 50lbs. You should call and confirm though.
    I read that on the internet.

  24. #24
    psu cycling
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    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.

  25. #25
    "Its All Good"
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    That truly sucks, am sorry to hear of your experience....

    So Alitalia has taken on the same policy as Iberia (Spain). 150 Euro is load of money, and even worse converting it to USD...

    My last trip here to Spain I did not fly Iberia, no more business from me. EVER..

    I head back to New Zealand on Thursday of this week. Am flying Lufthansa from Barcelona to Munich, then to LA, then New Zealand, so no charges at this point.....

    It is getting harder and harder. Taking the bike to pieces completely etc doesnt skid my wheels much at all.....

    Do hope that you get some result re your pedal and tool... Not sure though, I never have...

    Best of luck though

    Basically no airline gives a SH!T about customers gear and baggage.... I too think a fragile tag means practice 3 pointers into a hoop...


    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.
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  26. #26
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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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.

  27. #27
    Five is right out
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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.

  28. #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.

  29. #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.

  30. #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

  31. #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.

  32. #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



    .

  33. #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.

  34. #34
    Gringo
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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.

  35. #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.

  36. #36
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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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.

  37. #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 01:40 AM.

  38. #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.

  39. #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.

  40. #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.

  41. #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

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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.

  43. #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.

  44. #44
    g3h6o3
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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.

  45. #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. <center>

  46. #46
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    Smile

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

    thanks

    Mitch

  47. #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. <center>

    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.

  48. #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".

  49. #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"

  50. #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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