United Increases its bike transport surcharge

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Bikerider7, Jan 23, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bikerider7

    Bikerider7 Guest

    Had a real sticker shock when I flew United last week on a domestic flight. They are now charging
    $80 to take a bike. That's one way so it is $160 round trip. The bike was packed in a standard
    Serfas bike box.

    Before last week's flight, the most I had ever had to pay was $50 (also on United).
     
    Tags:


  2. I'm told that if you pack a bike frame in one box, with the fork and wheels in another, you are
    transporting bicycle parts rather than a 'bicycle' and the containers are smaller, so you would not
    be charged extra. Does anyone out there have personal experience trying this (I would even go so far
    as to have my wife check one of the boxes separately from me)? Otherwise I would just FedEx my bike
    ($35 as I recall).

    Steve Juniper ([email protected])

    "Tests show that a frog will passively remain in a very slowly heated frying pan until killed.
    We are now conducting that experiment with ourselves on this planet with the Bush junta turning
    up the heat."
    S.Juniper

    "bikerider7" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Had a real sticker shock when I flew United last week on a domestic flight. They are now charging
    > $80 to take a bike. That's one way so it is $160 round trip. The bike was packed in a standard
    > Serfas bike box.
    >
    > Before last week's flight, the most I had ever had to pay was $50 (also on United).
     
  3. Nyrides

    Nyrides Guest

    Wouldn't you think they'd want to either freeze or completely eliminate stupid little rates like
    that to attract some business during these desperate times?

    I guess the theory is that the people who are going to keep flying are going to keep flying - and
    those who have been scared off won't get on a plane no matter HOW little it costs or how much they
    reduce surcharges such as the one that affects bicycles.

    My guess, though, is that those of us who think like cyclists have pretty much the same attitude
    about flying these days. Life is fragile. Life can end anytime. get out there and LIVE. I would
    think that many of the people who are still getting on planes to vacation in far away places are
    cyclists, at least at heart!

    Now, AMTRAK is a different story altogether. Why this crippled, suffering company that goes to all
    the places cyclists want to ride doesn't take the initiative to make it easier for us to cart our
    bikes on their trains absolutely perplexes me!
    --
    Low-Impact Rides in the NY/LI region www.geocities.com/NYRides "bikerider7"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Had a real sticker shock when I flew United last week on a domestic flight. They are now charging
    > $80 to take a bike. That's one way so it is $160 round trip. The bike was packed in a standard
    > Serfas bike box.
    >
    > Before last week's flight, the most I had ever had to pay was $50 (also on United).
     
  4. Cycling Joe wrote:

    > It's because you have old farts with no incentive to make a profit running Amtrak. They have no
    > reason to make it easier for anyone to ride their trains. Trains will only become popular again
    > when oil prices make it prohibitively expensive to fly or drive. Just think , we could be riding
    > on high speed electric trains with clean nuclear energy. Look at France. But then again the
    > Republican fat cats can't make money that way.
    >
    > >
    > >Now, AMTRAK is a different story altogether. Why this crippled, suffering company that goes to
    > >all the places cyclists want to ride doesn't take the initiative to make it easier for us to cart
    > >our bikes on their trains absolutely perplexes me

    Have you ever actually ridden on a cross country Amtrak train?

    I did last summer. What a joke (a sick joke). They'd have to replace the passenger cars to get me to
    ride again. Riding on an Amtrak train means riding in a surrealistic, sealed environment - eight
    feet off the ground - with seating like a bus - and car attendants like a wardens. Compare that to
    the casual environment on a European train, especially those with compartments, couchettes and
    windows you can OPEN!, ... and it's like 2 days of hell (Chicago to San Francisco). And schedules?
    Those are merely best guesses. My trip last summer started with the train arriving 5 ½ hours late
    the departure station. And by then, the beer / snack bar (my only possible salvation) was closed.

    I don't know, though. Maybe ... .... if I could casually roll up on my bike and secure it in a
    baggage car - I might reconsider (when compared to domestic airline charges). But that seems an
    impossibility.

    --
    **********************************************
    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.
    ***********************************************************
     
  5. Carol Cohen

    Carol Cohen Guest

    A cyclist I know is sending his bike (while he flies there) via this company:

    http://www.sportsexpress.com/

    Anybody want to check it out?

    C.C.

    > From: "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <[email protected]> Organization: Prodigy Internet
    > http://www.prodigy.com Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.rides Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 11:47:39 GMT Subject:
    > Re: United Increases its bike transport surcharge
    >
    > Alex Rodriguez wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >> It only takes a few trips at $160 per to justify getting an S&S coupled custom bike. Then you pay
    >> no more fees.
    >> -----------------
    >
    > One could also join IMBA or one of the other advocacy groups that have "Bikes Fly Free" programs.
    > The flights usually have to be booked via certain travel agencies, but the fares have been
    > competitive in my experience.
    >
    > Barry
     
  6. amh wrote:

    > "Steve Juniper" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> I'm told that if you pack a bike frame in one box, with the fork and wheels in another, you are
    >> transporting bicycle parts rather than a 'bicycle' and the containers are smaller, so you would
    >> not be charged extra. Does anyone out there have personal experience trying this (I would even go
    >> so far as to have my wife check one of the boxes separately from me)? Otherwise I would just
    >> FedEx my bike ($35 as I recall).
    >
    > Just wondering how you get FedEx to ship your bike for $35. I was quoted something around $85.
    >
    > Andy
    >

    UPS charges around $50 for ground shipping of a bicycle between Seattle and Denver (that price
    includes $10 for $3000 of insurance). FedEx for the same service including insurance is around $40.
    (Both assume your cycle is in a hardshell case.) If you can stand to be without your ride for a few
    days it might start to make sense to ship it rather than fly with it.

    -Bill Asher
     
  7. Cucycln

    Cucycln Guest

    Just did... $86+ to ship a bike from Boston to California...not much savings there. Except it is 119
    round trip. No outside US prices either! "Carol Cohen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:BA4475B1.433D1%[email protected]...
    > A cyclist I know is sending his bike (while he flies there) via this company:
    >
    > http://www.sportsexpress.com/
    >
    > Anybody want to check it out?
    >
    > C.C.
    >
    > > From: "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <[email protected]> Organization: Prodigy Internet
    > > http://www.prodigy.com Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.rides Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 11:47:39 GMT
    > > Subject: Re: United Increases its bike transport surcharge
    > >
    > > Alex Rodriguez wrote:
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> It only takes a few trips at $160 per to justify getting an S&S coupled custom bike. Then you
    > >> pay no more fees.
    > >> -----------------
    > >
    > > One could also join IMBA or one of the other advocacy groups that have "Bikes Fly Free"
    > > programs. The flights usually have to be booked via certain travel agencies, but the fares have
    > > been competitive in my experience.
    > >
    > > Barry
     
  8. John Moulder

    John Moulder Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, William Asher
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > UPS charges around $50 for ground shipping of a bicycle between Seattle and Denver (that price
    > includes $10 for $3000 of insurance). FedEx for the same service including insurance is around
    > $40. (Both assume your cycle is in a hardshell case.) If you can stand to be without your ride for
    > a few days it might start to make sense to ship it rather than fly with it.

    My experience with UPS has been good. But there are some limits:
    1) You need a case that meets their size restrictions.
    2) I have always used a commercial hard case, so I can't speak for how they would handle a
    cardborad box.
    3) You need someplace to ship it to (but I've shipped to hotels where I was staying the first
    night). I've heard of other people shipping to bike stores by advance arrangement (and a fee).
    4) If you use a hard shell case you need a place to store it. I have had hotels where I would be at
    the start and end store it for me.
    5) If you ae not stopping and ending in the same place, you may have a problem.

    To me, UPS solves problems other than money:
    6) Its a lot easier to get a bike to a UPS shop the day before I leave than take it to the
    airport with me.
    7) With UPS you can insure against loss and damage.
    8) If you ship it as baggage it may get opened by security, and I have little faith that these
    peple would know how to repack and reclose my case (its tricky and a tight fit).
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    >Had a real sticker shock when I flew United last week on a domestic flight. They are now charging
    >$80 to take a bike. That's one way so it is $160 round trip. The bike was packed in a standard
    >Serfas bike box.
    >
    >Before last week's flight, the most I had ever had to pay was $50 (also on United).

    It only takes a few trips at $160 per to justify getting an S&S coupled custom bike. Then you pay no
    more fees.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  10. Cycling Joe

    Cycling Joe Guest

    It's because you have old farts with no incentive to make a profit running Amtrak. They have no
    reason to make it easier for anyone to ride their trains. Trains will only become popular again when
    oil prices make it prohibitively expensive to fly or drive. Just think , we could be riding on high
    speed electric trains with clean nuclear energy. Look at France. But then again the Republican fat
    cats can't make money that way.

    >
    >Now, AMTRAK is a different story altogether. Why this crippled, suffering company that goes to all
    >the places cyclists want to ride doesn't take the initiative to make it easier for us to cart our
    >bikes on their trains absolutely perplexes me
    >
     
  11. Hank Barta

    Hank Barta Guest

    NYRides <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Now, AMTRAK is a different story altogether. Why this crippled, suffering company that goes to all
    > the places cyclists want to ride doesn't take the initiative to make it easier for us to cart our
    > bikes on their trains absolutely perplexes me!

    Two words: Government Agency.

    --
    Hank Barta White Oak Software Inc. [email protected] Predictable Systems by Design.(tm) Beautiful
    Sunny Winfield, Illinois
     
  12. For Christmas break this year, I flew from Denver to San Diego and took Amtrak back.

    I paid United $60 for my bike ($10 for box + $50 transport fee). This was because my flight was
    originally Frontier. Frontier didn't have bike boxes and sent me to United. United sold me a box and
    then asked if I would fly with them. I agreed and they charged me the same transport fee ($50) as
    Frontier currently charges.

    >Now, AMTRAK is a different story altogether.

    Despite comments posted, my train trip back was enjoyable. It consisted of four train segments
    pasted together: -- San Diego to LA. Sold me a box + transport for $15. -- LA to San Jose. Bicycle
    was transferred automatically. San Jose station stored the bike for me automatically. -- San Jose to
    Emeryville. Conductor told me the bike should be unboxed on this commuter train. The train was
    lightly loaded and I argued silliness of unboxing only to box into another Amtrak train on next
    segment. They let me go. -- Emeryville to Denver. Checked bike in, paid $5 for boxed bike. Bicycle
    arrived fine in Denver. It took me three days to ride the trains from San Diego to Denver. Often I
    don't have this time to spare for train travel, but this particular trip was enjoyable.

    --mev, Mike Vermeulen

    p.s. This trip was for a 6 day, 400 mile bicycle trip with AYH San Diego (their 46th Annual
    Christmas Ride). It was a fun ride. My trip report: http://www.mvermeulen.com/sandiego/
     
  13. Alex Rodriguez wrote:
    >
    >
    > It only takes a few trips at $160 per to justify getting an S&S coupled custom bike. Then you pay
    > no more fees.
    > -----------------

    One could also join IMBA or one of the other advocacy groups that have "Bikes Fly Free" programs.
    The flights usually have to be booked via certain travel agencies, but the fares have been
    competitive in my experience.

    Barry
     
  14. Amh

    Amh Guest

    "Steve Juniper" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm told that if you pack a bike frame in one box, with the fork and wheels in another, you are
    > transporting bicycle parts rather than a 'bicycle' and the containers are smaller, so you would
    > not be charged extra. Does anyone out there have personal experience trying this (I would even go
    > so far as to have my wife check one of the boxes separately from me)? Otherwise I would just FedEx
    > my bike ($35 as I recall).

    Just wondering how you get FedEx to ship your bike for $35. I was quoted something around $85.

    Andy
     
  15. Kester

    Kester Guest

    On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 01:37:19 +0000, Hank Barta wrote:

    > NYRides <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Now, AMTRAK is a different story altogether. Why this crippled, suffering company that goes to
    >> all the places cyclists want to ride doesn't take the initiative to make it easier for us to cart
    >> our bikes on their trains absolutely perplexes me!
    >
    > Two words: Government Agency.

    Funny, here in the UK the trains used to cart bikes around when it was a government agency - now it
    is run by companies getting you bike on a train is an absolute pain - in many cases impossible.

    --
    Cheers, Kester
     
  16. I also have had enjoyable trips on Amtrak. I have gone from Cleveland to the west coast and back
    twice. Both trips were relaxing and enjoyable to me, with fabulous scenery through the rockies.

    The first time, we got into Chicago late for our connection and had to wait till the next day to
    continue home. Amtrak put us up in a nice hotel for the night, and gave us money for food. My son
    and I had a blast riding the public transportation around and exploring the city. On our second
    trip, we hoped to be delayed in Chicago again, but it didn't happen.

    Last year, I took my Bike Friday in its suitcase on Amtrak from Cleveland to Buffalo, then rode my
    bike home. The Bike Friday was perfect for the trip. They didn't even know I had a bicycle with me,
    till I got off the train and started unpacking it on the platform. You can read about my trip here:

    http://cycle-n-sleep.co.uk/cycling%20stories/ohio/page1.htm

    I like Amtrak. You have to realize that train travel will never be like flying. Trains do get
    delayed, and there is no way to make up the time. If you go into your trip realizing this, it will
    be much more relaxing for you. If you are too impatient or in a hurry to be flexible, you should
    fly. Myself - I prefer the train.

    Sharon Bouchonville
     
  17. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

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

    > Just wondering how you get FedEx to ship your bike for $35. I was quoted something around $85.

    I've shipped a bike from coast to coast via Fedex *Ground* for $25.

    The only catch is that you have to bring the bike to the Fedex depot. That's where you save over UPS
    -- you're not paying the retail markup from the pak-n-mail place.

    A friendly bike shop might ship your bike really cheaply too. East Coasters here in Blacksburg, VA
    has shipped my bike a couple of times for way cheap -- less than half of what a shop in CA would
    charge. It's definately worth asking your local shop about.

    Matt O.
     
  18. On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 07:35:13 +0000 in rec.bicycles.rides, Kester
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Funny, here in the UK the trains used to cart bikes around when it was a government agency - now
    > it is run by companies getting you bike on a train is an absolute pain - in many cases impossible.
    >
    I never could understand why *anyone* wanted to privatize the British Rail I rode in the late 70s
    and early 80s --- it seemed to work very well, and I found the prices reasonable.

    I've heard from friends travelling over there in the past decade that it's all gone to hell since
    privatization. Too bad, those Intercity 125's were nice trains.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...