Bicycles on airplanes to Europe- Do you have to pay for shipping.

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Glen Beer, Jan 29, 2003.

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  1. Glen Beer

    Glen Beer Guest

    My family is going to cycle the Netherlands this summer. We're flying on United airlines. My
    Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free and
    not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle transport?

    My thoughts are that I could find the cases used, anf for about the same $600 the bicycles would
    arrive in better condition and I'd have the cases to re-use again.

    I've heard that sometimes the airlines don't make you pay for shipping bicycles, but I don't think I
    can count on that.
     
    Tags:


  2. Glen Beer wrote:

    > My family is going to cycle the Netherlands this summer. We're flying on United airlines.

    Look here: http://www.ibike.org/bagregs.htm

    Being a U$A based carrier, my bet is that they will charge you.

    Most European based airlines don't charge.

    > My Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free
    > and not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle transport?

    Probably not with United. But why don't you ask them (even after you read "the chart" - above)?
    Then, .... if it is still a possibility, .... rebook with a better airline

    > My thoughts are that I could find the cases used, anf for about the same $600 the bicycles would
    > arrive in better condition and I'd have the cases to re-use again.

    I've never had a problem when using a free, ordinary cardboard bicycle box (double walled on the
    sides). You can probably find replacements in the Netherlands (or, better yet, spend your first
    night at a hotel or B&B and ask if they will store them until you return and spend another night
    there before you leave - packing them back up).

    > I've heard that sometimes the airlines don't make you pay for shipping bicycles, but I don't think
    > I can count on that.

    Correcto mundo. It used to be domestic - you pay; international - fly free. But it is no longer
    that simple.

    Here's another VERY fine resource: http://www.BikeAccess.net/default.cfm
     
  3. I know of no carrier that charges extra for bicycles on international flights. Be wary of getting
    advice from people whose information is based on rumor rather than on actual, first hand, pesonal
    experience. In August I flew to France on United, as did my son and a friend. Two of the bikes were
    packed into cardboard bike boxes, while the third was in a commercial plastic hard case. None were
    charged extra. We each had only one additional piece of checked luggage - if you have more than two,
    including the bikes, there would probably be extra charges.
    --
    Steve Juniper ([email protected])

    "The people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders... All you have to do is tell
    them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the
    country to danger. It works the same in any country." Hermann Goering before being sentenced to
    death at Nuremberg.

    "Glen Beer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... My family is going to cycle the Netherlands
    this summer. We're flying on United airlines. My Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle
    cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free and not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total)
    for bicycle transport?

    My thoughts are that I could find the cases used, anf for about the same $600 the bicycles would
    arrive in better condition and I'd have the cases to re-use again.

    I've heard that sometimes the airlines don't make you pay for shipping bicycles, but I don't think I
    can count on that.
     
  4. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Glen Beer writes:

    > My family is going to cycle the Netherlands this summer. We're flying on United airlines. My
    > Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free and
    > not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle transport?

    I have transported my bicycle to Europe for many years and for international travel, a bicycle or
    pair of skis go as the second piece of allowed baggage. Some airlines do not even require the
    bicycle to be packaged, but only that the bars are turned sideways and the pedals either taken off
    or screwed into the back side of the cranks.

    http://www.ual.com/page/article/0,1360,1034,00.html

    This page is not clear to me to what dimensions of a bicycle their limitations refer. I have
    traveled with most of the international airlines from SF to Europe over the years, and although
    there have been discussions at the baggage counter, I have always been able to check one suitcase
    and one bicycle with no extra charge.

    I think UA will answer these questions if you either write to them or call.

    http://www.ual.com/page/middlepage/0,1454,1277,00.html?navSource=QuickLinks

    http://www-math.science.unitn.it/Bike/Countries/Europe/Tour_Reports/Tour_of_the_Alps/

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  5. Www.Raph.Nl

    Www.Raph.Nl Guest

    "Glen Beer" <[email protected]> schreef in bericht
    news:[email protected]...
    > My family is going to cycle the Netherlands this summer. We're
    flying
    > on United airlines. My Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I
    check
    > them as "luggage" for free and not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle
    > transport?
    >
    > My thoughts are that I could find the cases used, anf for about the same $600 the bicycles would
    > arrive in better condition and I'd have the cases to re-use again.
    >
    > I've heard that sometimes the airlines don't make you pay for
    shipping
    > bicycles, but I don't think I can count on that.

    Hello Glen,

    For "Travel with Bicycles", visit http://www.bikeaccess.net/, an excellent site by George
    Farnsworth. And for all other info on cycling in Europe, visit http://www.raph.nl You'll find over
    250 links on cycling in Europe alone.

    CU!

    Raph www.raph.nl
     
  6. Per LöWdin

    Per LöWdin Guest

    > My Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free
    > and not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle transport?

    Depends how much other luggage you have. On intercontinental flights you are usually allowed two
    major pieces. We never had to pay on crossing the Atlantic. When we fly we get cardboard boxes from
    any bike shop. They have lots as all bikes are delivered in such are generally just pleased to get
    rid of them. Flying home it is generally easy to find new boxes if you can´t store them.

    Per http://user.tninet.se/~ipg289h/fu99/MTB.html
     
  7. Steve Juniper wrote:

    > I know of no carrier that charges extra for bicycles on international flights. Be wary of
    > getting advice from people whose information is based on rumor

    "Be wary of advice from those that feel the need to disparage others."

    Double check your information there, Steve. I KNOW that some international carriers charge for
    bicycles. I've had MANY board discussions on this very topic and been told of several first hand
    experiences with international carriers that do.

    > rather than on actual, first hand, pesonal experience.

    You have actual, first hand personal experience on all international carriers? Wow.

    > In August I flew to France on United, as did my son and a friend.

    Oh, anecdotal. I see. One peg above rumor. Thanks for sharing your ONE experience.

    Talking to United would be the best approach. These things can change from month to month (day to
    day, even).

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO CycleTourist at http://www.CycleTourist.com attbi.com Tolerance is
    recognizing that other people have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on
    that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  8. Jim Quinn

    Jim Quinn Guest

    I was charged when I flew Air France to Italy. Not on the way back but I was charged on the
    way up there.

    "Steve Juniper" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I know of no carrier that charges extra for bicycles on international
    > flights. Be wary of getting advice from people whose information is based
    on
    > rumor rather than on actual, first hand, pesonal experience. In August I flew to France on United,
    > as did my son and a friend. Two
    of
    > the bikes were packed into cardboard bike boxes, while the third was in a commercial plastic hard
    > case. None were charged extra. We each had only
    one
    > additional piece of checked luggage - if you have more than two, including the bikes, there would
    > probably be extra charges.
    > --
    > Steve Juniper ([email protected])
    >
    > "The people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders...
    All
    > you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of
    > patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Hermann Goering
    > before being sentenced to death at Nuremberg.
    >
    > "Glen Beer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]... My family is going to cycle the
    > Netherlands this summer. We're flying on United airlines. My Question is this: If I buy 4 hard
    > shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free and not have to pay $75 each, each way
    > ($600 total) for bicycle transport?
    >
    > My thoughts are that I could find the cases used, anf for about the same $600 the bicycles would
    > arrive in better condition and I'd have the cases to re-use again.
    >
    > I've heard that sometimes the airlines don't make you pay for shipping bicycles, but I don't think
    > I can count on that.
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Guest

    >Talking to United would be the best approach. These things can change from month to month (day to
    >day, even).

    I am a frequent flier on United (over 50K miles per year for each of the last 8 years). They just
    sent out an e-mail which details changes to policy, including overweight baggage:

    "Planning to check a heavy bag? United has eliminated the current $80 fee for overweight checked
    baggage on domestic flights and replaced it with a new fee of $25 per checked baggage item weighing
    50 pounds or more."

    I don't know how this applies to bikes, but I do know that they used to apply the $80 fee to
    bikes in boxes.

    Agree, the best approach would be to talk to United. FWIW, United and American tend to have more
    generous baggage allowances than do most foreign carriers - but check.
     
  10. Glen,

    I just got off the phone with Delta regarding my trip to Europe. Their policy is that if you can fit
    the bike in a box with overall dimensions that are 62" or less then your bike is just another piece
    of checked luggage. After that it's a bit of a crap shoot as to what you pay.

    You should also check with the airlines to make sure that the plane itself can handle the
    luggage/bike. I'm taking a commuter for 2 of my legs and they allow 1 bike per plane which I can
    reserve in advance (once I measure my bike box).

    --
    George S. Hugh 273 Hudson Hall Annex Duke University
    (919)660-5167 [email protected]

    "Glen Beer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My family is going to cycle the Netherlands this summer. We're flying on United airlines. My
    > Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free and
    > not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle transport?
    >
    > My thoughts are that I could find the cases used, anf for about the same $600 the bicycles would
    > arrive in better condition and I'd have the cases to re-use again.
    >
    > I've heard that sometimes the airlines don't make you pay for shipping bicycles, but I don't think
    > I can count on that.
     
  11. Steve Wood

    Steve Wood Guest

    In September 2002, we flew to Frankfurt on Continental. Our checked luggage consisted of a
    Crateworks box and large duffel bag (the two pieces contained our tandem recumbent trike and
    panniers). Despite having less than the allowable luggage amount, we were charged $80 each way for
    the bike box. Even though we had less in both bag count and weight, because we had a bike, the
    charge was assessed. In 2000, we returned from Paris via Frankfurt (Air France, then American) with
    a load of luggage that included an oversize, 45kg box containing a recumbent trike. The box was
    accepted by both airlines with no charge.

    Steve www.jstevenwood.com

    "Per L wdin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > My Question is this: If I buy 4 hard shell bicycle cases, can I check them as "luggage" for free
    > > and not have to pay $75 each, each way ($600 total) for bicycle transport?
    >
    > Depends how much other luggage you have. On intercontinental flights you are usually allowed two
    > major pieces. We never had to pay on crossing the Atlantic. When we fly we get cardboard boxes
    > from any bike shop. They have lots as all bikes are delivered in such are generally just pleased
    > to get rid of them. Flying home it is generally easy to find new boxes if you can´t store them.
    >
    > Per http://user.tninet.se/~ipg289h/fu99/MTB.html
     
  12. On Thu, 30 Jan 2003 10:10:56 +0000, George S. Hugh wrote:

    > Glen,
    >
    > I just got off the phone with Delta regarding my trip to Europe. Their policy is that if you can
    > fit the bike in a box with overall dimensions that are 62" or less then your bike is just another
    > piece of checked luggage. After that it's a bit of a crap shoot as to what you pay.
    >
    > You should also check with the airlines to make sure that the plane itself can handle the
    > luggage/bike. I'm taking a commuter for 2 of my legs and they allow 1 bike per plane which I can
    > reserve in advance (once I measure my bike box).
    >

    Don't bother measuring. 62" is the size of a small suitcase. It is smaller than the typical suitcase
    people use. There is no way you're going to get a bicycle wheel on within that limit, let alone an
    entire bike.

    You have to add L + W + D to get that 62"; my backpack just fits under that limit when boxed.

    -Dondo
     
  13. Jay

    Jay Guest

    > Don't bother measuring. 62" is the size of a small suitcase. It is smaller than the typical
    > suitcase people use. There is no way you're going to get a bicycle wheel on within that limit, let
    > alone an entire bike.
    >
    > You have to add L + W + D to get that 62"; my backpack just fits under that limit when boxed.

    I easily got a demountable recumbent trike in both size and weight restrictions.
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    >In September 2002, we flew to Frankfurt on Continental. Our checked luggage consisted of a
    >Crateworks box and large duffel bag (the two pieces contained our tandem recumbent trike and
    >panniers). Despite having less than the allowable luggage amount, we were charged $80 each way for
    >the bike box. Even though we had less in both bag count and weight, because we had a bike, the
    >charge was assessed. In 2000, we returned from Paris via Frankfurt (Air France, then American) with
    >a load of luggage that included an oversize, 45kg box containing a recumbent trike. The box was
    >accepted by both airlines with no charge.

    That means you should give you airline travel business to air france and not to continental.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  15. Per LöWdin

    Per LöWdin Guest

    > That means you should give you airline travel business to air france and not to continental.
    > -----------------
    > Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)

    Yes, we never paid across the Atlantic flying with AA or SAS. SAS had us pay to Delhi, fixed price
    100$. Same for the return flight. To SEA we flown back and forth with Thai International and Swiss,
    neither made us pay, though the last time flying out of Bangkok it was a close call. A cherful Thai
    in the check in somehow managed to get us through without dues.

    Nowadays, it is the first thing we ask when we shop for tickets.

    Per http://user.tninet.se/~ipg289h/fu99/MTB.html
     
  16. The difference here is probably 2000 v 2002 rather than the particular airline. Airlines USED TO not
    charge extra for bikes in international flights, but some or many or all now do charge.

    I thought I'd attempt to get, in ewriting, different airline policies for bikes on international
    flights. Five days ago I emailed 'cusomer service' for Continental, United, and American Airlines,
    asking them about their policy. So far, just automatic non-responses ("Your request will be given
    prompt attention") from United and American. Continental gave me a non-response response telling me
    that they charge $80 for bikes on domestic flights.

    Why don't we all email different airlines and see if we can't get some real responses. In addition
    having the information, they may realize that if bike travelers have a choice they will lean toward
    airlines with the better policy.
    --
    Steve Juniper

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

    "Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... In article
    <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    >In September 2002, we flew to Frankfurt on Continental. Our checked luggage consisted of a
    >Crateworks box and large duffel bag (the two pieces contained our tandem recumbent trike and
    >panniers). Despite having less than the allowable luggage amount, we were charged $80 each way for
    >the bike box. Even though we had less in both bag count and weight, because we had a bike, the
    >charge was assessed. In 2000, we returned from Paris via Frankfurt (Air France, then American) with
    >a load of luggage that included an oversize, 45kg box containing a recumbent trike. The box was
    >accepted by both airlines with no charge.

    That means you should give you airline travel business to air france and not to continental.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
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