General Cycling Discussion - Flying with your bike
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Has anyone here ever flown with your bike? Did you have to pay extra? Did you have any bad experiences doing this? Did you buy one of those $275 cases or can you rent one?
I will be going to Hawaii and Kuaui for a few weeks and wanted to take my bike with me. I know you can rent bikes there but for me I am picky and I want my own. I hope I dont offend anyone here but I dont want to ride a huffy with suntour if you know what I mean.
06-14-01, 05:50 PM
Check with your airline ahead of time. But, you can generally expect a $75 charge each way. They may not cover damage or loss. A bad deal. Fed Ex or UPS may be a better deal, it will be insured and delivered to your hotel. I know some folks use Danzas (freight company) for their tandems, they may give you a better rate to Hawaii. I've sent mine through work as we get good UPS rates.
Every time I've shipped mine, I've done it with a card board box from the LBS. Had them pack it once, and show me how to do it. No problems. I've seen shops rent the cases but they were spendy.
Extra - if you have to put it on the plane, you may be able to check with the sky caps, they may take care of it for a $20 tip and avoid the $75. I've played that game once with skis.
06-15-01, 06:41 AM
Ive flown several times with mine. A £25 charge, and I try to keep it looking like a bike, with some bubble wrap or pipe insulation foam for protection. I usually cycle to/from the airport, so a solid bike box wont work.
Smaller airports generally handle bikes better then major international ones.
75 each way blows my mind. WOW!! that's alot for something like that.
06-15-01, 03:24 PM
Golf clubs fly for free, why don't bikes? One of the LBS shop guys purchased a really nice bike box, i think he payed $250 for it... Anyhow, he painted a HUGE handicapped wheelchair in blue on the sides. He has never been charged for the bike when flying, or has he ever been questioned if it was a wheelchair, or a bike in the box....
Its been a while, but I've never had to pay to fly with a bike (Air Canada/Quantas). I agree about the small airports bit. Don't use cardboard if you can avoid it... a friend's bike arrived with footprints on it. If you can talk to the people at special services, quite often they will let your bike go unboxed. Some bagage handlers apparently prefer it that way.
Another tip: If you are crossing any borders, you can save time by washing your bike before you leave home. Customs people are quite concerned with things like hoof and mouth disease being carried by the dirt on your bike. I spent an extra half hour at Cairns Airport learning this the hard way.
Try this link for lots of helpful info: Travel with Bicycles (http://www.bikeaccess.net/Default.cfm)
The skycap idea above might work, a friend was successful with it, but I arrived at the airport a little later and tried it, but had to pay the $50. Also, some groups like IMBA and LAW have a bikes fly free program w/ membership. I tried this also, but you have to make reservations thru their travel agent and they couldn't get me a ticket for nearly the price I got online. It was still cheaper to pay $50 each way.
Good luck, the whole thing is a huge rip off.
06-18-01, 12:13 PM
The last time I flew with my bike I hit the ground before it did...OUCH!!! I have to stop doing that.
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