Bikes on planes and trains

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Emerald Fox, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Emerald Fox

    Emerald Fox New Member

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    Hullo, Greetings from Darkest Scandinavia (Finland)! Planning a bike trip across northern England for Summer and wonder if anyone would like to throw in some advice about putting bikes on planes - just where do you get boxes/bags for bikes, or how else do you wrap them so that the baggage-handler gorillas don't mangle them too much? And at the other end, on coming home, one needs again packing material...?! Which airlines are nice, which airlines are nasty? Has anyone ever put a bike on Ryanair? How is it with train companies in England these days, relatively simple or dastardly difficult to get bikes on trains? We'll have 3 bikes, travelling Finland to England.
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about Europe, but in the US, the best way to transport a bike is to ship it ahead using a shipping company like Federal Express or DHL. The airlines usually charge outrageous prices if bikes are checked as luggage and there usually is no way to track them if they are lost. With DHL or Federal Express, there is tracking and you can insure the items shipped. The only downside is that there has to be someone at the destination to receive the package. As far as packaging the bikes, I would consult my local bike shop. Yours probably ships and receives hundreds of them every year.
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I fly with my bike and have zero problems. FWIW, for the frequency it's done, the prices for flying with a bike are reasonable. The last time I flew, I paid $50 each way on Southwest Airlines. With the right, bike container, you might not even get charged. I had been flying with a Sci-con Aero Comfort Plus which offered great protection. Unfortunately, it looked like a bike bag. Also good is the Sci-Con Aerotech Evolution, a hard case. It seems better thought out than the average hard case.

    The best option might be the Sci-con Atlas. It doesn't look like a big bag (just looks like a piece o' luggage) and offers great protection.

    I don't consider shipping ahead to be a viable option, given the frequency with which I've experienced errant shipments and damaged containers (with pretty much all the main shipping companies.). Right now, a wheel I sold to a guy in Las Vegas, is in Seacaucus, New Jersey. I had no idea that Seacaucus was between Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas. :rolleyes:
     
  4. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    You might want to post this in the regional section to get region specific information. But here are some websites on how to pack a bike:
    http://maxp.net/bike/packing.php
    http://www.ehow.com/how_1627_pack-bike-ship.html
    http://webfoot.com/travel/tips/pack.bike.php
    You can find more on google.

    Also I found a website that has links specific to many airlines. So, you might want to see if there are any articles related to whatever airline you are going to be traveling in:
    http://www.bikeaccess.net/bikeaccess/bikeboxs_db.cfm

    Edited to add: see if the trains tab in the last website has any info on trains and bike travel in England.
     
  5. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Tell us more about that model. I've been thinking of it but is still torn over concern for a CF frame. Are you comfortable enough to use it to transport CF? Or were you transporting alloy/Ti frames?
     
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