Bikes on planes...

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by trucker39, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. trucker39

    trucker39 New Member

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    Hello folks...

    Does anyone know the procedure for bringing a bike on a plane? Does it have to be dismantled and boxed? Or can be be stored without resorting to this? Also, any idea how much this costs? Anyone with any expericnce of this, i'd appreciate your advice.
     
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  2. UncleFred

    UncleFred New Member

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    The best way is to get a hard bike case, you'll need to take off the wheels, pedals and handle bars, my case came with two wheel bags which fit inside with the bike.

    Charges depend on the airline. American have a set charge of $80, BA and Virgin allow bikes for free, others have different policy best thing to do is check the airlines website.

    Look on ebay for Bike Boxes or your local Bike store should be able to recommend one. Some people use the boxes that bikes are shipped in but remember baggage handlers won't give a crap about your bike so I prefer to pack it away in a hard case.
     
  3. trucker39

    trucker39 New Member

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    Thanks UncleFred. I know a lot of irish (for i am irish!) airlines are very golf clubs friendly, but know how to charge a premium! But i've never heard of bike friendly airlines. I shall investigate the box further however. Thanks again.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Defintely use a hard case, and if they ask you what it is, just say that it is exercise equipment. For some odd reason, they like to add cost if they know it is a bike.
     
  5. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Bikes on a plane! Someone call Samuel Jackson.
     
  6. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    As Fred says, hardcase for bikes is best : you can purchase these at any good bike shop.

    As for charges for putting a bike on the plane : Ryanair were excellent when I went to the Etape in 2004 and when I went to Sicily in 2006.

    For Sicily, we had to change at Stansted which meant 4 flights in all from here to Sicily : they charged me 25 quid per flight : so that was 100 quid return in total for my bike.
    Couple of things : they did insist on checking what type of pump was packed
    with my bike.
    Manual pump is fine for storage on the plane : any other type of pump could be problematic.
    Suggest you check with the airline first.

    One final note : our bikes arrived safely at each destination.
     
  7. mostoc

    mostoc New Member

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    This is an old thread, but anyone looking for info on flying with your bike on the airlines there is a good resource on http://www.airlinebagfees.com/bicycles/charts/. It lists prices of each airline and gives a good explanation. Hope this helps.
     
  8. RogueMerc

    RogueMerc New Member

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    Say one is going for a week to Los Angeles area. Is it worth it in those cases if say you invested a good amount of money in a bike, along with repairs, to now pay for some big expensive case, then pay lots of money each way to the plane, worry about what the TSA will do to your package.

    I am wondering if renting a bike locally is better.

    Can anyone comment?
     
  9. rvp12Bet

    rvp12Bet New Member

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    Rent a bike is better, I think so.
     
  10. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Have rented in this situation - no special ride just a week or so in a location and wanted to get out on a bike. Much easier than packing bike in case, wrestling with case/bike from airport to wherever and same in reverse when leaving. Hard cases don't fit in many cars, so transportation needs to have rack or be a truck/SUV/Van. Some airlines charge as extra bag if below weight limit and some just charge a bike rate. Depending on the agent at check in, you might get cheap extra bag fee in one direction and expensive oversize/bike fee in the other direction on the same airline.

    If you you're "picky" about what you ride and don't want a general rental beater, call ahead and locate a bike shop that "demos" bikes for evaluation - usually a try-before-buy stable of bikes that rent by day/week. Reserve something in advance if you can. Again,if you're picky, take your saddle, pedals, shoes. Some shops provide the following with a rental/demo and some don't: helmet, water bottle cage(s), water bottles, spare tubes, air chuck/pump/CO2. Water bottles are cheap, but the other stuff can add up to another $50+ (more including helmet) if you have to buy it CO2 carts not allowed on plane.

    No matter how good the demo bike, it always takes some time to dial things in. Take your bike's measurements before leaving and give them to the shop when you arrive so they can get you set up as close as possible. You're still going to spend $$ either way, but will save some hassle with a demo.
     
  11. mostoc

    mostoc New Member

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    If you're doing a big race, you bring your own bike. Buying cases and spending money to ship it is all a part of doing a destination event. To save some money, ask around in your local cycling club to borrow a case. Most are willing to lend for free, but I prefer to offer them a few bucks ($25) for their time and generosity.

    If you're just going for a joy ride, you can rent. Helen's Cycles in Santa Monica is an option. I think they charge $60 a day and it is a decent bike.
     
  12. RogueMerc

    RogueMerc New Member

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    Well, it looks like I will be landing in LAX and staying with a friend in West Hollywood. Not sure if I will do a race or not. If I do, it will probably be a 4/5 race and probably a crit, which I seem to have an easier time with than road races.

    Meaning I won't mind having something that is the equivalent of $1000 MSRP to buy as a rental. Maybe like a Specialized Allez or Cannondale CAAD 8 or 9. I will bring my own pedals, Garmin 305, frame pump, helmet, shoes and clothes, for sure. Definitely will get my seatpost to 6 o'clock pedal distance.
     
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