Northern California - United Air @ SFO (Oakland): Hits Rider $100 for Folding Bike in Std Suitcase :(
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If you travel that way, give them a piece of your mind
04-02-12, 09:53 PM
I made a mistake of declaring cookies one time I was coming back from Germany. Got pulled out, all my luggage searched. After everything that I carefully packed was scattered on the table they told me to pack everything up and be on my way. The cookies that were in a bag I was holding were never even looked at. I don't declare anything anymore. :lol:
04-02-12, 10:33 PM
You have to realize that you are dealing with UA and the Star Alliance.
See the thread - Airline "Excess Baggage" Charges dated 10/10/08
04-02-12, 11:03 PM
It would have been helpful for the original article to specify the actual dimensions of the suitcase. It looks rather large and it's not clear if it was within the 62" L + W + H airline rule or not.
My bike fits into a regular Carlton suitcase which looks like lots of other suitcases and I've never had anyone ask me what was inside.
04-03-12, 06:04 AM
'If the bicycle(s) are packed in a container that is less than 50 pounds (23kg) and 62 (157 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), there is no bicycle service charge, but, if applicable, the first or second bag fee applies."
This is from their site. When traveling I will sometime print this out to bring. But I still will not fly UA, though.
04-04-12, 12:40 AM
"Unfortunately, I answered honestly when I was asked what was in the suitcase. Once the word "bike" was mentioned, I was kicked out of the normal luggage line and placed with the Australian surfer checking in his surfboard. He got stung for $100. I paid $125 because the ticketing staff suddenly realized that they hadn't been charging the "normal luggage fee" on top of the oversized luggage fee."
That's where the guy went wrong. If he had simply said, sports equipment or something as equally innocuous, then the check in agent wouldn't have hit him with the bike fee.
04-04-12, 10:01 PM
I think this is a case of a ticket agent misinterpreting the rules.
Last November there was a thread on Flyertalk about changes to UA's published rules that did say bikes, regardless of how they were packed, were to be charged. Within a few days a UA rep replied in the thread that the changes were made in error and would be fixed, and I believe that was done.
See post/thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/17501295-post48.html
I have an S&S bike that I travel frequently with. I'll occasionally be asked what is in the case because it is covered in FRAGILE stickers, and I'll respond "bike parts." They'll sometimes then ask if it is a bike and I'll ask what difference does it make as the case is not oversized and they'll agree.
I wouldn't miss a flight over having to pay, but I'd definitely follow-up for a refund, if it ever happens in the future.
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