Airline Policies - Bikes as Luggage

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Steve Juniper, Feb 4, 2003.

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    There seem to be varying opinions and experiences about airline = policies regarding taking
    bicycles with you so I am trying to get the = policies directly from the airlines, in e-writing.
    So far, it has not = been easy, but I have gotten policies from Continental and Northwest =
    (Continental clearly to be avoided for international travel, with = Northwest clearly stating
    that bikes travel free). If I am traveling abroad, I will print and take copies of the =
    policies with me to checkin so that if I am told otherwise I will have = something to show them.
    I will paste copies of their policies below, exactly as received. = When I get others I'll post
    them as well.=20

    From Continental:
    ----------
    Dear Mr. Juniper:

    Thank you for your response to my e-mail.

    I did check with International reservations and to carry a bicycle = international there is first a
    fee of $80.00 just to check the bicycle. = Then because the bicycle does not fall within your free
    baggage = allowance you would also pay the excess baggage fee to travel from San = Francisco to
    Paris. That fee is $110.00. You would be charged a total = of $190.00 each direction to travel with
    the bicycle at this time. Your = ticket allows you to check 2 free bags (suitcases only) and 1 carry
    on. = You may then check excess pieces. The bicycle is an excess piece of = baggage. Not all excess
    pieces are changed the additional $80.00 = service fee that bicycles are charged. =20

    Thank you for considering Continental Airlines in your upcoming travel = plans for your
    bicycle club.

    Sincerely,

    Judy Kay Brown Customer Care Manager
    ----------
    From Northwest:

    Dear Steve Juniper,

    Thank you for contacting NWA Luggage Service Online. In your letter,=20 you requested information
    regarding acceptance of checked bicycles.=20 Allow me to provide you with the guidelines Northwest
    Airlines uses for=20 bicycles.

    NWA/KLM/CO accepts non-motorized single seat bicycle/tricycle as checked luggage for a fee.
    Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed or wrapped with protective packing material.
    Bikes should be placed in=20 a bike box. When packed in other than a bike box, a Limited
    Liability=20 Release form must be signed.

    Domestic Bike Charges: One way transportation fee per bike - up to 100 lbs.
    U.S./Canada/Mexico/Caribbean=20 1 - 6 BIKES $80.00 USD/115.00 CAD EACH 7 OR MORE BIKES $180.00
    USD/261.00 CAD EACH **Bikes over 100 lbs. must be sent shipped as cargo via a freight=20 forwarder
    or FedEx, UPS or the United States Postal Service.

    Bike Box Charges: $20.00 USD plus tax at NWA Airports $19.00 EUR plus tax at KLM Airports Bike
    box Dimensions: 69 x 40 x 9 inches (175 X 85.5 X 21.5 centimeters) Bicycle boxes can be purchased
    at NWA/KLM ticket counters and are=20 available in limited quantities on a first-come,
    first-served basis.

    Bicycle boxes - passengers own: KLM/NWA accepts hard-shell bicycle cases. Standard bike size case=20
    requires applicable domestic/ international transportation charge.

    International Bike Charges: Included in free allowance - no charge.

    Passengers should NOT pack medications, car keys, tickets, passports and other legal documentation,
    valuable items such as jewelry, irreplaceable items or cameras in checked luggage. For a complete
    listing of items=20 excluded from liability, please refer to the full text of the Northwest=20
    Airlines Contract of Carriage, which can be viewed at any Northwest=20 airport counter or ticket
    office or it may be obtained online or by=20 writing to:

    Northwest Airlines, Inc. Department C6590 5101 Northwest Drive St. Paul, MN 55111-3034
    ----------
    Steve Juniper

    "...Most of the European conservative parties are to the left of = the Democrats in
    this country."

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    6.00.2800.1126" name=3DGENERATOR> <STYLE></STYLE> </HEAD> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
    <DIV> There seem to be varying opinions and = experiences about=20 airline
    policies regarding taking bicycles with you so I am trying to = get the=20 policies directly
    from the airlines, in e-writing. So far, it has not = been easy,=20 but I have gotten
    policies from Continental and Northwest (Continental = clearly=20 to be avoided for
    international travel, with Northwest clearly stating = that=20 bikes travel free).</DIV>
    <DV> If I am traveling abroad, I will print and take = copies=20 of the
    policies with me to checkin so that if I am told otherwise I will = have=20 something to show
    them.</DIV>
    <DVI> I will paste copies of their policies below, = exactly as=20 received.
    When I get others I'll post them as well. </DIV>
    <DVII> </DIV>
    <DVIII>From Continental:</DIV>
    <DIX>----------</DIV>
    <DX>Dear Mr. Juniper:<BR><BR>Thank you for your response to my = e-mail.<BR><BR>I=20 did check
    with International reservations and to carry a bicycle = international=20 there is first a
    fee of $80.00 just to check the bicycle. Then = because the=20 bicycle does not fall
    within your free baggage allowance you would also = pay the=20 excess baggage fee to travel
    from San Francisco to Paris. That fee = is=20 $110.00. You would be charged a
    total of $190.00 each direction to = travel=20 with the bicycle at this time. Your
    ticket allows you to check 2 = free bags=20 (suitcases only) and 1 carry on. You may
    then check excess = pieces. =20 The bicycle is an excess piece of baggage. Not all
    excess pieces = are=20 changed the additional $80.00 service fee that bicycles are =
    charged. =20 <BR><BR>Thank you for considering Continental Airlines in your upcoming =
    travel=20 plans for your bicycle club.<BR><BR>Sincerely,<BR><BR>Judy Kay =
    Brown<BR>Customer=20 Care Manager</DIV>
    <DXI>----------</DIV>
    <DXII>From Northwest:<BR></DIV>
    <DXIII>Dear Steve Juniper,<BR><BR>Thank you for contacting NWA Luggage = Service=20 Online. In
    your letter, <BR>you requested information regarding = acceptance=20 of checked bicycles.
    <BR>Allow me to provide you with the guidelines = Northwest=20 Airlines uses for
    <BR>bicycles.<BR><BR>NWA/KLM/CO accepts non-motorized = single=20 seat bicycle/tricycle as
    checked<BR>luggage for a fee. Handlebars = must be=20 fixed sideways and pedals
    removed<BR>or wrapped with protective packing=20 material. Bikes should be placed in
    <BR>a bike box. When = packed in=20 other than a bike box, a Limited Liability
    <BR>Release form must be=20 signed.<BR><BR>Domestic Bike Charges:<BR>One way transportation
    fee per = bike -=20 up to 100 lbs.<BR>U.S./Canada/Mexico/Caribbean <BR>1 - 6 BIKES $80.00 =
    USD/115.00=20 CAD EACH<BR>7 OR MORE BIKES $180.00 USD/261.00 CAD EACH<BR>**Bikes over = 100
    lbs.=20 must be sent shipped as cargo via a freight <BR>forwarder or FedEx, UPS = or the=20
    United States Postal Service.<BR><BR>Bike Box Charges:<BR>$20.00 USD = plus tax at=20 NWA
    Airports<BR>$19.00 EUR plus tax at KLM Airports<BR>Bike box = Dimensions: 69 x=20 40 x 9
    inches (175 X 85.5 X 21.5 centimeters)<BR>Bicycle boxes can be = purchased=20 at NWA/KLM
    ticket counters and are <BR>available in limited quantities = on a=20 first-come,
    first-served basis.<BR><BR>Bicycle boxes - passengers=20 own:<BR>KLM/NWA accepts hard-shell
    bicycle cases. Standard bike size = case=20 <BR>requires applicable domestic/ international
    transportation=20 charge.<BR><BR>International Bike Charges:<BR>Included in free allowance =
    - no=20 charge.<BR><BR>Passengers should NOT pack medications, car keys, = tickets,=20 passports
    and<BR>other legal documentation, valuable items such as = jewelry,=20 irreplaceable<BR>items or
    cameras in checked luggage. For a complete = listing of=20 items <BR>excluded from liability,
    please refer to the full text of the=20 Northwest <BR>Airlines Contract of Carriage, which can be
    viewed at any=20 Northwest <BR>airport counter or ticket office or it may be obtained = online
    or=20 by <BR>writing to:<BR><BR>Northwest Airlines, Inc.<BR>Department = C6590<BR>5101=20
    Northwest Drive<BR>St. Paul, MN 55111-3034<BR>----------<BR>Steve = Juniper</DIV>
    <DIV> </DIV>
    <DV> "...Most of the European conservative = parties are=20 to the left
    of the Democrats in this country."</DIV>
    <DVI> </DIV>
    <DVII> </DIV></BODY></HTML>

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    Tags:


  2. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Steve wrote: ...
    > Continental:... International reservations ...a fee of $80.00 ...excess baggage fee ...$110.00.
    > You would be charged a total of $190.00 each direction to travel with the bicycle at this time.
    ...
    > Northwest:
    ...
    > Domestic Bike Charges: One way transportation fee per bike - up to 100 lbs.
    > U.S./Canada/Mexico/Caribbean 1 - 6 BIKES $80.00 USD/115.00 CAD EACH 7 OR MORE BIKES $180.00
    > USD/261.00 CAD EACH
    ...
    > Bike Box Charges: $20.00 USD plus tax at NWA Airports
    ...

    thus making folding and "coupled" bikes look better and better!

    --Karen M.
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Guest

    > Steve Juniper wrote: I will paste copies of their policies below, exactly as received. When I get
    > others I'll post them as well.
    >
    > From Continental:
    > ----------
    > Dear Mr. Juniper:
    >
    > Thank you for your response to my e-mail.
    >
    > I did check with International reservations and to carry a bicycle international there is first a
    > fee of $80.00 just to check the bicycle. Then because the bicycle does not fall within your free
    > baggage allowance you would also pay the excess baggage fee to travel from San Francisco to Paris.
    > That fee is $110.00. You would be charged a total of $190.00 each direction to travel with the
    > bicycle at this time. Your ticket allows you to check 2 free bags (suitcases only) and 1 carry on.
    > You may then check excess pieces. The bicycle is an excess piece of baggage. Not all excess pieces
    > are changed the additional $80.00 service fee that bicycles are charged.
    > ----------

    You didn't say what your question was, though. Are you travelling with 1 checked bag plus the bike
    or 2 checked bags plus the bike?

    I just got off the phone with Continental regarding an upcoming flight I have from Paris to Houston.
    Not a written resonse, but the agent checked with 2 different supervisors. She said since I'm
    traveling with 1 checked bag and 1 bike then I just get the $80 charge for bikes (each way). If you
    have 2 checked bags and 1 bike then you get the $80 charge plus the charge for excess baggage.

    She also said that the section in their instructions was somewhat confusing and that the final word
    on whether I would get charged the $80 would rest with the ticket clerk at the check-in; the charge
    would not be more than $80 each way, though, since I will only have one suitcase with the bike.

    Total flight cost is my concern, though. I made my reservations a couple of months ago for an August
    flight. My ticket was $415 and the next lowest fare I could find was $650. Continental still works
    out as cheaper even with the charge since my total fare will be $415 + 160 = $575.

    Mark

    --
    "We used to say that Frisbee is really a religion -- 'Frisbyterians,' we'd call ourselves. When we
    die, we don't go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there." -- "Steady" Ed Headrick
     
  4. One reference : http://www.continental.com/travel/policies/baggage/sports.asp

    Twice I've flown international (Sept 2001, Feb 2002) in the last few years and twice I'vehad agents
    try to charge me the bike fee. Both times I knew the policy and objected. In both cases consulting
    the written policy, with my assistance, got the fee waived -- bicycles packed in a hard case (as
    opposed to cardboard box), within the baggage limit, weren't charged, except for travel between the
    US, the Carribean, and/or Canada.

    If that's changed since Feb 2002, I wouldn't know about it.

    Dan

    Mark wrote:
    > I just got off the phone with Continental regarding an upcoming flight I have from Paris to
    > Houston. Not a written resonse, but the agent checked with 2 different supervisors. She said since
    > I'm traveling with 1 checked bag and 1 bike then I just get the $80 charge for bikes (each way).
    > If you have 2 checked bags and 1 bike then you get the $80 charge plus the charge for excess
    > baggage.
     
  5. Both the site you cited and my post indicated a $80 bike charge for domestic flights. If you talked
    them out of it, more power to you! Here is the question I ask them:

    "I am told that there is no extra charge for boxed bicycles when traveling from the US to a foreign
    country provided that the boxed bicycle is carried as one of no more than two pieces of checked
    luggage. Is this still correct?"
    --

    Steve

    Steve Juniper - [email protected] - Berkeley, California "It's nicer now that our children have
    reached our age."

    "Daniel Connelly" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... One
    reference : http://www.continental.com/travel/policies/baggage/sports.asp

    Twice I've flown international (Sept 2001, Feb 2002) in the last few years and twice I'vehad agents
    try to charge me the bike fee. Both times I knew the policy and objected. In both cases consulting
    the written policy, with my assistance, got the fee waived -- bicycles packed in a hard case (as
    opposed to cardboard box), within the baggage limit, weren't charged, except for travel between the
    US, the Carribean, and/or Canada.

    If that's changed since Feb 2002, I wouldn't know about it.

    Dan

    Mark wrote:
    > I just got off the phone with Continental regarding an upcoming flight I have from Paris to
    > Houston. Not a written resonse, but the agent checked with 2 different supervisors. She said since
    > I'm traveling with 1 checked bag and 1 bike then I just get the $80 charge for bikes (each way).
    > If you have 2 checked bags and 1 bike then you get the $80 charge plus the charge for excess
    > baggage.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Daniel Connelly wrote:
    >
    >
    > If that's changed since Feb 2002, I wouldn't know about it.
    >
    > Dan

    I was told that the policy changed in September, 2002. Lots of fee changes around that time,
    as I recall.

    Mark
     
  7. I reviewed American Airlines and United. It appears in both cases the bike fee has been replaced
    with a reduction in the oversized baggage fee to 62 inches (115 inches absolute max). My Trico
    Ironcase is around 80 inches or so. One may be able to manage by packing frame and wheels
    separately, and using that as two checked bags.

    Dan

    Mark wrote:
    > Daniel Connelly wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>If that's changed since Feb 2002, I wouldn't know about it.
    >>
    >>Dan
    >
    >
    > I was told that the policy changed in September, 2002. Lots of fee changes around that time, as
    > I recall.
    >
    > Mark
     
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    Below is the question as I asked United Airlines about bikes as checked = luggage. Although their
    response (below) was a bit peculiar, it get the = point across.
    =20
    Last year there was no extra charge for our boxed bicycles when = traveling from the US to a foreign
    country provided that they were carried as one of no more than two pieces of checked luggage. Is
    this still correct?

    My response from Allie Menzel, United Customer Relations said that there = have not been any changes
    made to their baggage policies. =20

    Steve

    Steve Juniper - [email protected] - Berkeley, California "When it comes to giving, some people
    will stop at nothing."

    ------=_NextPart_000_0011_01C2CE2B.A5224F80 Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
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    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <HTML><HEAD> <META
    http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; = charset=3Diso-8859-1"> <META content=3D"MSHTML
    6.00.2800.1126" name=3DGENERATOR> <STYLE></STYLE> </HEAD> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
    <DIV>Below is the question as I asked United Airlines about bikes as = checked=20 luggage.
    Although their response (below) was a bit peculiar, it get = the=20 point across.</DIV>
    <DV> </DIV>
    <DVI>Last year there was no extra charge for our boxed bicycles when=20 traveling<BR>from the US
    to a foreign country provided that they were = carried as=20 one<BR>of no more than two
    pieces of checked luggage. Is this still=20 correct?<BR><BR>My response from Allie Menzel,
    United Customer Relations = said=20 that there have not been any changes made
    to their baggage=20 policies. </DIV>
    <DVII><BR>Steve</DIV>
    <DVIII> </DIV>
    <DIX>Steve Juniper - <A=20 href=3D"mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</A> - =
    Berkeley,=20 California<BR> "When it comes to giving, some =
    people=20 will stop at nothing."<BR><BR></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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    Here is Delta's policy regarding bikes as luggage (underlining and bold = facy added):

    Bicycles Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats for carriage = are accepted as
    checked baggage, with certain limitations.

    Domestic Any bicycle presented in a box with overall dimensions not exceeding 62" = and checked in
    lieu of one bag is accepted. Bicycles exceeding 62" are = subject to charge. A $80 fee applies to
    each checked bicycle up to six, = and $180 for each bicycle seven and above.

    International Bicycles are not considered as part of the baggage allowance and require = a fee. A
    $90 fee applies to each checked bicycle for passengers = traveling on a Delta ticket, including
    codeshare flights. This fee may = vary per carrier or destination.

    Any bicycle presented for carriage must be packaged in one of the = following ways:=20
    a.. handlebars fixed sideways and pedals removed and enclosed in a = cardboard container=20
    b.. pedals and handlebars encased in plastic, Styrofoam, or other = similar material=20 Delta bike
    boxes measure 69" x 39" x 9" and are available at most Delta = airport locations.

    ------=_NextPart_000_0011_01C2CE2D.A36439E0 Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
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    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <HTML><HEAD> <META
    http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; = charset=3Diso-8859-1"> <META content=3D"MSHTML
    6.00.2800.1126" name=3DGENERATOR> <STYLE></STYLE> </HEAD> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
    <DIV>Here is Delta's policy regarding bikes as luggage (underlining and = bold=20 facy added):</DIV>
    <DV> </DIV>
    <DVI><A name=3DBicycles><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#003399=20
    size=3D3><B>Bicycles</B></FONT></A><BR><FONT face=3DArial = size=3D2>Non-motorized=20 touring
    or racing bicycles with single seats for carriage are accepted = as=20 checked baggage, with
    certain limitations.<BR><BR><FONT=20 color=3D#003399><B>Domestic</B></FONT><BR>Any bicycle
    presented in a box = with=20 overall dimensions not exceeding 62" and checked in lieu of one
    bag is = accepted.=20 Bicycles exceeding 62" are subject to charge. A $80 fee applies to each =
    checked=20 bicycle up to six, and $180 for each bicycle seven and = above.<BR><BR><FONT=20
    color=3D#003399><B>International</B></FONT><BR>Bicycles are <B>not</B> = considered=20 as part
    of the baggage allowance and require a fee. A $90 fee applies to = each=20 checked bicycle for
    passengers traveling on a Delta ticket, including = codeshare=20 flights. <FONT
    size=3D3><U>This fee may vary per carrier or=20 destination.<BR></U></FONT><BR>Any bicycle
    presented for carriage must = be=20 packaged in one of the following ways: </FONT> <UL>
    <DVII><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>handlebars fixed sideways and pedals = removed and=20 enclosed
    in a cardboard container </FONT>
    <DVIII><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>pedals and handlebars encased in = plastic,=20 Styrofoam, or
    other similar material </FONT></LI></UL><FONT = face=3DArial=20 size=3D2>Delta bike boxes
    measure 69" x 39" x 9" and are available at = most Delta=20 airport
    locations.<BR><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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  10. J. Zwiebel

    J. Zwiebel Guest

    That's why I now have a Bike Friday (Pocket Rocket Pro), which goes on board as regular baggage.

    I flew my full-size bike last summer to Europe on Air France and was not charged extra.

    JAZ

    "Steve Juniper" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:a4%%[email protected]...
    There seem to be varying opinions and experiences about airline policies regarding taking bicycles
    with you so I am trying to get the policies directly from the airlines, in e-writing. So far, it has
    not been easy, but I have gotten policies from Continental and Northwest (Continental clearly to be
    avoided for international travel, with Northwest clearly stating that bikes travel free). If I am
    traveling abroad, I will print and take copies of the policies with me to checkin so that if I am
    told otherwise I will have something to show them. I will paste copies of their policies below,
    exactly as received. When I get others I'll post them as well.

    From Continental:
    ----------
    Dear Mr. Juniper:

    Thank you for your response to my e-mail.

    I did check with International reservations and to carry a bicycle international there is first a
    fee of $80.00 just to check the bicycle. Then because the bicycle does not fall within your free
    baggage allowance you would also pay the excess baggage fee to travel from San Francisco to Paris.
    That fee is $110.00. You would be charged a total of $190.00 each direction to travel with the
    bicycle at this time. Your ticket allows you to check 2 free bags (suitcases only) and 1 carry on.
    You may then check excess pieces. The bicycle is an excess piece of baggage. Not all excess pieces
    are changed the additional $80.00 service fee that bicycles are charged.

    Thank you for considering Continental Airlines in your upcoming travel plans for your bicycle club.

    Sincerely,

    Judy Kay Brown Customer Care Manager
    ----------
    From Northwest:

    Dear Steve Juniper,

    Thank you for contacting NWA Luggage Service Online. In your letter, you requested information
    regarding acceptance of checked bicycles. Allow me to provide you with the guidelines Northwest
    Airlines uses for bicycles.

    NWA/KLM/CO accepts non-motorized single seat bicycle/tricycle as checked luggage for a fee.
    Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed or wrapped with protective packing material.
    Bikes should be placed in a bike box. When packed in other than a bike box, a Limited Liability
    Release form must be signed.

    Domestic Bike Charges: One way transportation fee per bike - up to 100 lbs.
    U.S./Canada/Mexico/Caribbean 1 - 6 BIKES $80.00 USD/115.00 CAD EACH 7 OR MORE BIKES $180.00
    USD/261.00 CAD EACH **Bikes over 100 lbs. must be sent shipped as cargo via a freight forwarder or
    FedEx, UPS or the United States Postal Service.

    Bike Box Charges: $20.00 USD plus tax at NWA Airports $19.00 EUR plus tax at KLM Airports Bike box
    Dimensions: 69 x 40 x 9 inches (175 X 85.5 X 21.5 centimeters) Bicycle boxes can be purchased at
    NWA/KLM ticket counters and are available in limited quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Bicycle boxes - passengers own: KLM/NWA accepts hard-shell bicycle cases. Standard bike size case
    requires applicable domestic/ international transportation charge.

    International Bike Charges: Included in free allowance - no charge.

    Passengers should NOT pack medications, car keys, tickets, passports and other legal documentation,
    valuable items such as jewelry, irreplaceable items or cameras in checked luggage. For a complete
    listing of items excluded from liability, please refer to the full text of the Northwest Airlines
    Contract of Carriage, which can be viewed at any Northwest airport counter or ticket office or it
    may be obtained online or by writing to:

    Northwest Airlines, Inc. Department C6590 5101 Northwest Drive St. Paul, MN 55111-3034
    ----------
    Steve Juniper

    "...Most of the European conservative parties are to the left of the Democrats in this
    country."
     
  11. Ronde Chimp

    Ronde Chimp Guest

    Anybody have any experience with America West and bike cases? I have a Trice box and hope to travel
    with it soon.

    Thanks.
     
  12. George

    George Guest

    For some time I've been collecting information on user experiences taking bikes on planes, trains,
    buses, boats, etc. There's lots of stuff on rentals, folding bikes, boxing, airlines, and railroads
    around the world and how to ride in/out of about 120 airports.

    See it at http://www.BikeAccess.net
     
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