Taking a bike from Canada to US

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Nate, Apr 30, 2003.

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  1. Nate

    Nate Guest

    Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be charged
    US$80 one way!

    Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?
     
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  2. Chris Es

    Chris Es Guest

    Maybe try another airline...or pack your bike in a box and don't tell them what's in the box. Some
    airlines will not charge for an extra piece of baggage or package to a certain size. If the package
    is oversize they could charge a small fee. But not $80. Some airlines have a thing against bikes. Or
    tell them it's golf clubs. They don't charge for golf clubs. Can a packed bike look like packed golf
    clubs? Good luck...hope you save a buck, Chris On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700, [email protected]
    (nate) wrote:

    >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    >charged US$80 one way!
    >
    >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?
     
  3. Glen McLean

    Glen McLean Guest

    On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700, [email protected] (nate) wrote:

    >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    >charged US$80 one way!
    >
    >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?

    In the past I have taken a touring bike on Air Canada flights, overseas to UK, and it has never cost
    me a cent extra. Have done it using both a padded cycling bag, and a cardboard box (obtained from
    the airline, for the purpose).

    Boxed/bagged bike counted as ONE of my TWO allowed pieces of checked baggage, and I could pretty
    much pack as much as I wanted, panniers, camping gear, etc.) into the bag/box. As long as I was
    under the weight limit - no problem. Rules may have changed over the years, and may be different for
    different destinations (continents).

    Take off the wheels, turn handlebars, remove pedals - all that was required.

    But, it was a number of years ago (10-15). As an indication, I was asked if I wouldn't mind
    carrying it back to the cargo area myself as it was a bit heavy and bulky for the nice young ladies
    at check-in.

    - Glen McLean Ottawa (Remove the ".NIT.invalid" from the end of my address)
     
  4. Jay

    Jay Guest

    >nate at [email protected] wrote on 4/30/03 6:24 PM: Hi I am planning to bring a bike from
    >Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the best way to do it. I was planning to
    >bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be charged US$80 one way! Anyone have any good
    >shipping suggestions, etc?

    I got a demountable trike that can fit in a suitcase. As one of my check-in luggage allowances- I
    have no surcharges.

    Don't forget to register your bike with customs first before you send it. They give you a
    registration card so you are not considered to have bought it in the US and get the 16% duty and
    15% taxes.
     
  5. 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

    nate wrote:
    > Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    > best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    > charged US$80 one way!
    >
    > Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?
     
  6. Raymo853

    Raymo853 Guest

    Lying to the airline folks can get you in trouble, a lot of trouble.

    "Chris eS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Maybe try another airline...or pack your bike in a box and don't tell them what's in the box. Some
    > airlines will not charge for an extra piece of baggage or package to a certain size. If the
    > package is oversize they could charge a small fee. But not $80. Some airlines have a thing against
    > bikes. Or tell them it's golf clubs. They don't charge for golf clubs. Can a packed bike look like
    > packed golf clubs? Good luck...hope you save a buck, Chris On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700,
    > [email protected] (nate) wrote:
    >
    > >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    > >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    > >charged US$80 one way!
    > >
    > >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?
     
  7. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    > On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700, [email protected] (nate)
    wrote:
    >
    > >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to
    San Francisco
    > >and I'm wondering what's the best way to do it. I was
    planning to
    > >bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    charged US$80
    > >one way!
    > >
    > >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?

    "Chris eS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Maybe try another airline...or pack your bike in a box and
    don't tell
    > them what's in the box. Some airlines will not charge for
    an extra
    > piece of baggage or package to a certain size. If the
    package is
    > oversize they could charge a small fee. But not $80. Some
    airlines
    > have a thing against bikes. Or tell them it's golf clubs.
    They don't
    > charge for golf clubs. Can a packed bike look like packed
    golf clubs?
    > Good luck...hope you save a buck,

    All of 'em are jacking up their BS fees in these tough times. Shop ruthlessly -- find out what the
    fees are ahead of time, and figure that into your total cost. Better than the golf club excuse --
    tell 'em it's a trade show display, which are often packaged in boxes the same size and shape as
    bike boxes. A bike box is obviously not golf clubs, and I'm not sure that excuse works anyway.
    Golfers might be seen as affluent vacationers, easily shaken down for 50-100 bucks, but airlines
    will do anything to suck up to business travellers -- that's where they make their money.

    In any case, haggle like a gypsy -- the worst thing that could happen is that they say no.
    Anything's worth a try. This works for hotels, rental cars, etc. Deals are there for the taking, but
    only if you ask. Pretend you're buying sandals from a Tijuana street vendor.

    FWIW, America West has always had very lenient baggage policies.

    There used to be a deal with the Leage of American Bicyclists where if you were a member, you could
    fly your bike for free if you booked the flight through LAB's travel agency. You could find the
    flight on the web and just book it through them. I don't know if this is still going on, but it's
    worth checking out.

    Other than that, I'd suggest shipping Fedex ground (definately cheaper than UPS for bikes). However,
    there might be hassles or extra BS fees for crossing the US/Canada border. FWIW, UPS is particularly
    bad about these fees.

    Personally, I'm sick of travelling without my bike. I think of all the missed opportunities... I
    bring it when I can but it's a hassle, and/or expensive. I'll probably invest in a folder of
    some sort.

    Matt O.
     
  8. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Glen McLean" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > In the past I have taken a touring bike on Air Canada
    flights,
    > overseas to UK, and it has never cost me a cent extra.
    Have done it
    > using both a padded cycling bag, and a cardboard box
    (obtained from
    > the airline, for the purpose).

    British Air has lenient baggage policies too.

    Americans tend to look up US airlines first, when in fact foreign arlines may offer better deals
    because their whole marketing approach is different.

    Matt O.
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, nathant[email protected] (nate) wrote:

    > Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    > best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    > charged US$80 one way!
    >
    > Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?

    UPS or FedEx though you may have to drive your bike to Blaine/Bellingham to ship it (might/will have
    to pay more to ship it from Canada).
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>,
    Glen McLean <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700, [email protected] (nate) wrote:
    >
    > >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    > >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    > >charged US$80 one way!
    > >
    > >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?
    >
    > In the past I have taken a touring bike on Air Canada flights, overseas to UK, and it has never
    > cost me a cent extra. Have done it using both a padded cycling bag, and a cardboard box (obtained
    > from the airline, for the purpose).

    While it is stll free outside N. America, AC now wants CAd 65 for flights within Canada, and CAD
    65/USD 50 for flights to/from the U.S.

    http://www.aircanada.ca/services/luggage/
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>, "Matt O'Toole"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Glen McLean" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > In the past I have taken a touring bike on Air Canada
    > flights,
    > > overseas to UK, and it has never cost me a cent extra.
    > Have done it
    > > using both a padded cycling bag, and a cardboard box
    > (obtained from
    > > the airline, for the purpose).
    >
    > British Air has lenient baggage policies too.

    Except you can't fly them YVR-SFO.
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>, "Matt O'Toole"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > All of 'em are jacking up their BS fees in these tough times. Shop ruthlessly -- find out what the
    > fees are ahead of time, and figure that into your total cost. Better than the golf club excuse --
    > tell 'em it's a trade show display,

    Exercise equipment is a better one. It's not untrue.

    Bear in mind that luggage allowances within N. America for more than a few U.S. airlines is now 50
    lbs per peice, not 70.
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    >Lying to the airline folks can get you in trouble, a lot of trouble.

    Just say it is exercise equipment.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  14. Pete Hickey

    Pete Hickey Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, nate <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    >charged US$80 one way!

    Ride it all the way. Not only will you save the $80 for the bike, but you'll save your air fare as
    well. Cycling through customs can be an interesting experience. They don'T know how to handle it,
    and their reaction can range from amusement to confusion, where they keep you a long time, because
    they don'T know what to do.

    -Pete

    --
    --
    LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Did you know that 90% of North Americans cannot taste the difference between
    fried dog and fried cat?
     
  15. Take Amtrak? www.amtrak.com On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700, [email protected] (nate) wrote:

    >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    >charged US$80 one way!
    >
    >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?

    --
    Nobody but a fool goes into a federal counterrorism operation without duct tape - Richard Preston,
    THE COBRA EVENT.
     
  16. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    "John Bartley K7AAY (ex-KGH2126)" wrote:

    > Take Amtrak? www.amtrak.com On 30 Apr 2003 15:24:22 -0700, [email protected] (nate) wrote:
    >
    > >Hi I am planning to bring a bike from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco and I'm wondering what's the
    > >best way to do it. I was planning to bring it on the plane with me but they said it would be
    > >charged US$80 one way!
    > >
    > >Anyone have any good shipping suggestions, etc?
    >
    > --
    > Nobody but a fool goes into a federal counterrorism operation without duct tape - Richard Preston,
    > THE COBRA EVENT.

    I've done it a couple of times. Actually both times it was taking a bike from California to
    Vancouver. Once on Alaska Air, one time on Phillipines Air. Both times I called around, found a
    bike shop to give me a bike box. (they are glad to be rid of cardboard). Then I called the
    airline's customer service. Got a bum steer from Phillipine's, as the person on the phone said it
    was no charge as long as it was packed in a proper bike box. At the airport (about the second
    flying day after the
    9/11 disaster) they wanted - I think - $80 USD for the bike box. I refused to pay. Told my telephone
    story, and refused to pay. Finally the very calm and patient clerk found her supervisor. Again we
    discussed my phone calls, and (advice notice: get the name!) i could not name the person who
    assured my bike would fly free. I stood my ground as long as possible, stayed polite, friendly,
    and inflexible. Finally (they had already taken by bike at this point) we compromised on half the
    usual cost.

    The Alaska story is better. I arrived at the check in (April, 2002) a "little bit" late. They
    checked my bags, slapped stickers on my 'oversize' bike box, and people started grabbing stuff and
    moving it to the plane. No charge for the bike - I'm pretty sure it was an error caused by my
    lateness and everyone in a hurry. When I got to Vancouver, my ride was not able to pick me up. I
    checked bike and some luggage ($5.00 a day) in the downstairs baggage check. Returned the next
    evening, with panniers and bungees, picked up box & bags, paid the handsome $5 spot. Used the free
    smartcarts system to carry baggage to a big construction dumpster outside the terminal. Reassembled
    bike, filled panniers, & made use of bungees, cruised on home.

    The Vancouver area is a beautiful place to be. Springtime can be very wet, but when the sun breaks
    thru, it may not be paradise, but you can see it from here. ;-} Thanks for listening, Bernie
    PS: suggestions? Make lots of phone calls first. Take names. Be firm. Lots of luck! B
     
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