Airline Travel Configurations

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Lyndon, Mar 29, 2003.

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  1. Lyndon

    Lyndon Guest

    I am still in a fog about airline box packing. I am told that the Rans Rocket can be packed into one
    box, particularly the United Airlines bike box. I wonder about that, since Rans ships their 'bents
    with the seat in a separate box. I need it to be in one box, because my other "suitcase" is an Army
    duffel bag with my panniers, and my carry on luggage is the "backpack" bag (to be draped over the
    backseat) with essentials and bike helmet. The S&S coupled Rockets get prohibitively expensive,
    basically add $550 to $750 for them. And SatRday's don't appear to really be made for heavy loaded
    touring, more credit card touring. After following the Rocket used classifieds for the past two
    months, I have given up on those "deals", and plan to order a 2003 Rocket, with a seat upgrade
    (better, dense foam), fenders, quick release seat, X-eyed under carriage rack ($100 is a ridiculous
    price!) I had one fellow from Canada say that he just wraps his bent in several layers of bubble
    wrap and rolls it up to the airline counter. After touring Europe twice and Alaska once on my DF,
    I'm not ready to bet the farm that that would work with the airlines. Any suggestions would be
    helpful. Lyndon
     
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  2. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    You might be able to put the seat in the duffel. There should still be room for other stuff. That
    was a scenario I planned, but never used. If you are talking about what I think is called a "C" bag
    (or is it "sea"? I heard the expression from a Navy guy.) that only has an opening on one end, you
    might consider a civilian duffel with a full length zipper.

    JR
     
  3. Jun Nogami

    Jun Nogami Guest

    If it doesn't fit into the box, you might contact angletech who makes a rans seat that either folds
    or comes apart (I don't remember which)
     
  4. Lyndon

    Lyndon Guest

    Jun Nogami <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > If it doesn't fit into the box, you might contact angletech who makes a rans seat that either
    > folds or comes apart (I don't remember which)

    To John: Yes, it is the C-Bag, with an opening at an end. It has seemed the most durable and
    protective of all my bags. I guess I could contact a local tentmaker and see what they suggest.

    To Jun: I have corresponed with Kelvin at Angletech about exactly what you are talking about, and he
    thinks that the space savings is not quite worth it, and if I remember correctly, that he thought
    the seat could be wedged into the larger United Airlines box. Angeltech splits the base and the back
    apart and place a titanium hinge for folding purposes. It is an idea that I haven't ruled out.
     
  5. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    Lyndon wrote:

    > To John: Yes, it is the C-Bag, with an opening at an end. It has seemed the most durable and
    > protective of all my bags.

    Ths seat _may_ still go in, if you want to stick with that bag.

    I suppose the other thing to consider is that any luggage, checked or carry on, may be subject to
    hand inspection. With a C bag, you might have to pull everything out.

    John Riley
     
  6. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > I am still in a fog about airline box packing.

    I just flew from Heathrow to Copenhagen with my SWB recumbent (see
    http://hjem.get2net.dk/hjordt_specialcykler/pictures/bj-easy640x480.JPG for an idea of size). The
    bike was simply taken on board the plane in one piece - I didn't package it or even turn the
    handlebars - I just deflated the tyres. That was with SAS who are known for being relaxed about
    bikes, but I've also taken it with Go and Easyjet - once again without packing it in a box, although
    those times I did remove pedals, seat and turn handlebars. The seat was then simply sent through as
    an extra piece of luggage (although it can also fit in my flightbag together with the panniers). I
    incidentally also checked in a BOB Yak trailer with the bike with no problems - none of the airlines
    even charged me despite clearly having more than my 20kg allowance of luggage!!

    At some airports (Stansted) you may be charged a small handling fee.

    The only advice I would add is to ensure you have a rear derailleur guard installed (even if you put
    the bike in a box).

    Of course it could all be different in the USA...

    Mads
     
  7. Devon

    Devon Guest

    [email protected] (Lyndon) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Jun Nogami <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > > If it doesn't fit into the box, you might contact angletech who makes a rans seat that either
    > > folds or comes apart (I don't remember which)
    >
    > To John: Yes, it is the C-Bag, with an opening at an end. It has seemed the most durable and
    > protective of all my bags. I guess I could contact a local tentmaker and see what they suggest.
    >
    > To Jun: I have corresponed with Kelvin at Angletech about exactly what you are talking about, and
    > he thinks that the space savings is not quite worth it, and if I remember correctly, that he
    > thought the seat could be wedged into the larger United Airlines box. Angeltech splits the base
    > and the back apart and place a titanium hinge for folding purposes. It is an idea that I haven't
    > ruled out.

    I have often traveled with my Vision seat in a large (civilian) duffle. The duffle holds the seat
    plus LOTS of other stuff (tent, sleeping bag, all bike clothing, helmet, shoes, panniers, etc.
    Primary limiting factor for me is total bag weight rather than bag space. I wrap exposed ends of
    seat stays in foam so they don't puncture bag and pack things carefully around anything that might
    bend(seat stays) or break (helmet). My duffle is a cheapo from Wal-Mart so I generally wrap it with
    duct tape to reinforce zipper.

    DeVon 2002 Vision 54 (USS/Pantour)
     
  8. In article <[email protected]>, Lyndy46 @yahoo.com says...
    > I am still in a fog about airline box packing. I am told that the Rans Rocket can be packed into
    > one box, particularly the United Airlines bike box. I wonder about that, since Rans ships their
    > 'bents with the seat in a separate box. I need it to be in one box, because my other "suitcase" is
    > an Army duffel bag with my panniers, and my carry on luggage is the "backpack" bag (to be draped
    > over the backseat) with essentials and bike helmet. The S&S coupled Rockets get prohibitively
    > expensive, basically add $550 to $750 for them. And SatRday's don't appear to really be made for
    > heavy loaded touring, more credit card touring.

    > Any suggestions would be helpful.

    I've flown a RANS Stratus to Europe inside a BikePro Tandem case. I don't see why a Standard Race
    case or perhaps a BMX Race CAe would not work for your Rocket. (BTW, the seat fits along side and
    nests around the frame of the Stratus.)

    I once emailed Rod Kuehl (of this NG) instructions for packing a Rocket in a Crateworks
    Recumbent case. The instructions were successful even though I had never seen a Crateworks case
    or owned a Rocket.

    Keep in mind that any of these options will incur additional costs in excess baggage fees on
    domestic airlines of ~$100 per flight (each way). At the prices you quote, an S&S coupled rocket
    will pay for itself in about 4 US trips. A BikePro case will cost nearly as much and you will still
    have to pay airline fees each time you travel in the US.

    --
    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  9. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

    There's an outfit that makes pretty good, durable, inexpensive bike boxes. Darn, one of the
    columnists for my mag just wrote about it and I forgot the whole thing..

    I'll put up his column on flying bikes these days, as it's pretty informative.

    By monday, there will be a story with appropriate links at www.windycitysports.com

    Sj
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > There's an outfit that makes pretty good, durable, inexpensive bike boxes. Darn, one of the
    > columnists for my mag just wrote about it and I forgot the whole thing..
    >
    > I'll put up his column on flying bikes these days, as it's pretty informative.
    >
    > By monday, there will be a story with appropriate links at www.windycitysports.com

    I think you are refering to the Crateworks recumbent box that I mentioned.

    http://www.crateworks.com/

    --
    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  11. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    "Mads Hilberg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I am still in a fog about airline box packing.
    >
    > I just flew from Heathrow to Copenhagen with my SWB recumbent (see
    > http://hjem.get2net.dk/hjordt_specialcykler/pictures/bj-easy640x480.JPG for an idea of size). The
    > bike was simply taken on board the plane in one piece - I didn't package it or even turn the
    > handlebars - I just deflated the tyres. [..]

    If they tell you to deflate the tires, I suppose it is easier to just do it than arguing, but I
    don't see why it would be necessary. Cargo areas are pressurized, IIRC from a rather lengthy
    discussion about this in the past.

    JR
     
  12. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    John Riley wrote:
    >
    > If they tell you to deflate the tires, I suppose it is easier to just do it than arguing, but I
    > don't see why it would be necessary. Cargo areas are pressurized, IIRC from a rather lengthy
    > discussion about this in the past.

    If an inflated tire were taken from sea level to a vacuum, the gauge pressure [1] would only change
    by approximately 15 psi (1 bar). Unless the tire is grossly over-inflated, it should not blow off
    the rim. [2]

    I have been informed by an engineer for a major manufacturer of transport category aircraft that
    cargo areas are indeed pressurized.

    [1] Difference between internal and external pressure.
    [2] Most tires have a factor of safety of two for rim blow-off when the maximum recommended
    inflation pressure is set.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  13. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

    THAT's the one.
     
  14. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

  15. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Here's a decent article on packing your bike post 911.
    > http://www.windycitysports.com/story.cfm?story_id=4817&departmentid=65&publicationID=26
    >
    > I've brought bikes overseas before and had them trashed by the airline, so good luck, everyone.
    >

    For a number of years now, George Farnsworth has been tracking travel experiences and tips for
    cyclists. Here are the comments post 9-11 on his sight. While still not a pretty picture, it is far
    from the hyperbolic pronouncements of your "journalist".

    http://www.bikeaccess.net/Since9-11.cfm

    FYI It is clearly stated at check in, bags are not to be locked for TSA Screeneing. And that locks
    will be broken to examine the contents. Since there is no requirement that your bag will be checked,
    it is still quite acceptable to secure the clasp of the bag with an easily cut cable tie This will
    prevent the bag from being opened accidently and if you provide additional cable ties inside the
    luggage, the TSA inspector may resecure your bag if it is inspected.

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  16. Avgrin

    Avgrin Guest

    B"H I flew with a Swift trike from Melbourne, Australia to Houston, TX via Auckland, NZ, and Los
    Angeles by New Zealand Air and Continental Airlines. I just rolled the trike to the counter in
    Melbourne. The clerk asked me to deflate tires slightly and colleted the trike. Then I received it
    in LA, pumped the tires, rode it to Continental terminal, went to the counter, deflated tires, and
    deposited the trike. Total cost was ZERO.

    Victor Houston, Tx
     
  17. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

    > cyclists. Here are the comments post 9-11 on his sight. While still not a pretty picture, it is
    > far from the hyperbolic pronouncements of your "journalist".

    Are those finger quotes, Clet? By the way, he's a (finger quotes) columnist (finger quotes). We want
    his opinions. If you don't (finger quote) like (finger quote) them, I cordially invite you to write
    a letter to air your beef with his column.

    For the record, my own history of flying gear is closer to my columnist's. I've flown overseas many
    times with camera equipment for work, and with bicycles too (sometimes both).

    I've had hundreds of dollars worth of damage done to a well-packed bike. I've been through long
    discussions with security personel about why I didn't want them X-raying my film, and why I
    wanted it hand checked. I've had them flatly refuse to do it. I've had them ruin film in their
    'safe' machines.

    I've also had equipment stolen from unlocked luggage. Can't lock it? Can't insure it (some equipment
    is subject to a blanket exclusion). Can't get it on-board? Can't get a straight answer from the TSA
    about what exactly will happen to your gear when you get to the airport? I think my "journalist" has
    every right to get the issues out where our readers can think about them.

    Seth J.
     
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