Airlines & Travelling With MTB's As Checked Luggage...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Airlines & Travelling With MTB's As Checked Luggage...

    Next August, I'll be picking up my MTB in Oregon, and taking it back to Italy where I live. It will be packed in a SERFAS hardcase, and I'll be paying the oversized luggage fee. The bike is a Moots with high end components, with a value of about $10,000... I have a couple of connecting flights on the way to my final destination, so I'll be checking in my luggage twice.

    Will the airlines themselves (I'll be flying with a U.S. carrier) insure the bike for this value? If not, what's the best way to insure the bike? Also, how can I insure the bike without nosey baggage handlers being able to see the insurance value? Obviously they'll know that a bicycle is inside... Any ideas besides purchasing a used, beat up case, to have them overlook the importance of the contents? Has anyone had similar experiences?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Good Luck...

    Most (if not all) airlines have a cap amount that they are responsible for, usually around $1000.

    Your baest bet is to ship it, declaring it's vlaue, and acceoting the insurance costs, or look into your home owners/renters insurance to see if it is covered.

  3. #3
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    Agreed with Damion. If you've ever read the small print on the back of an airline ticket, you'll have noticed that there is some international agreement that limits baggage claims to a fairly small amount. Certainly nothing like 10 grand.

    If you have travel insurance, it will also have a limit for the value of any single item, and for bikes may mention a requirement that it is locked up to something when unattended (how this would work in transit I don't know.

    Ship it via fedex/ups if they'll take a box big enough, and insure via the courier.

    Finally, the last thing to be worried about is having the bike stolen by baggage handler... first of all, you don't have place a sign on the outside that says "$10,000 bike, STEAL ME" on it. Secondly, non-bikers have no clue about the high value of some bikes. Thirdly, a bike is a little too big to steal surrepticiously.

  4. #4
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    Ride it back, man!

    Seriously though, I would think twice about checking something that valuable as baggage. Ship separately... The oversize luggage fee might not be much less than just couriering it over! Try and get any tax back before you "export" it, cos you might get stung at the other end - don't know how strict the Italians are, but it does happen in my part of Europe.
    SPD shoes, pedals, cleats and the experience of going clipless. (a work in progress - let me know if I missed something!)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies... Customs where I live in Italy (Sardegna) is bad news; I'd imagine that I'd have to pay a few thousand $ if I declared the bike's true value. Will look into homeowners insurance, as I'd prefer the bike to travel with me.

  6. #6
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    As mentioned by above poster, I also don't believe somebody will *steal* your bike after check-in. Your biggest worry is if you change plane it will be mis-routed or lost...or being damage in transit. When you checked it in, take time and visually make sure the check-in tag has the correct destination. Do not just hand over the box to the check in clerk and trust he/she did everything right.

    I also don't believe you can insure it for $10,000. My experience with international travel is a bike box can be considered as 1 of your 2 check-in luggages hence no extra baggage charge. Overweight baggage is in excess of 70 lbs or 32 kgs - extras charges for this. The airline usually make you sign a waiver (from damages) if it is deemed oversized. There is really nothing you can do except hope it doesn't get lost (atypical of oversized baggages) or damaged (oversized - why they make you sign waiver). Put those FRAGILE stick ons they somehow help. You might get fidgety if after all the luggages are claimed and your bike box is nowhere- oversized baggages do not pass thru the conveyors and have their own claim areas

    As long as nobody knows there is a Moots bicycle there and the airport handlers are not avid cyclist who knows high end bicycles you need not worry.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your input! I've made the decision that I will risk travelling with the bike. I'll be sure to have the case I.D.'d well with my contact information, will place the "FRAGILE" stickers all over, and will make sure I see it on the conveyer belt, etc. I will also make sure that I get a visibly beat up case, so that everyone gets the idea that this is very routine.

    Any ideas for having thoughts about a "lost" or stolen bike while on board?

    Dan

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