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Old 09-22-09, 07:39 AM   #1
Scout
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Brompton air travel, hardcase is 63", regs are 62", anyone have solution?

Hey y'all. After getting a Dahon and the dahon airporter, then having luggage rules get more and more strict in the ensuing years, I wanna make sure my next option is bulletproof to travel with. So I'm dismayed to see outside dimensions of Brompton case are 63" but airlines have 62" max. Suggestions?

I know from my own experience most airlines don't measure but fanatically weigh. They'd most often let my airporter thru even tho it was near 10" over, but when they decided to be fanatical, the extra fee was so high ($175 on my frequent flier line) that it really put a damper on me flying with it, cause you'd never know if some rule-boy on the return leg would gouge you.

So, ideas? I really love flying with my bike, and travel buckets for work. (i.e. 8 states in next 3 weeks)

(and no, with how short my trips are, a bike that needs assembly each time has not proven to be practical)

Big thanks!

Scout
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Old 09-22-09, 08:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Hey y'all. After getting a Dahon and the dahon airporter, then having luggage rules get more and more strict in the ensuing years, I wanna make sure my next option is bulletproof to travel with. So I'm dismayed to see outside dimensions of Brompton case are 63" but airlines have 62" max. Suggestions?

I know from my own experience most airlines don't measure but fanatically weigh. They'd most often let my airporter thru even tho it was near 10" over, but when they decided to be fanatical, the extra fee was so high ($175 on my frequent flier line) that it really put a damper on me flying with it, cause you'd never know if some rule-boy on the return leg would gouge you.

So, ideas? I really love flying with my bike, and travel buckets for work. (i.e. 8 states in next 3 weeks)

(and no, with how short my trips are, a bike that needs assembly each time has not proven to be practical)

Big thanks!

Scout
ignore the 1" difference.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:08 AM   #3
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ignore the 1" difference.
+1. I mean I am agreeing, not adding an inch. Unless you are really unlucky, you will just sail through.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:11 AM   #4
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I share your concerns, but have also had the experience that they are far more concerned about weight than the exact L+H+W measurement. My suitcase is designed for the 62" rule, but someone could certainly argue that it goes a bit over - fortunately that hasn't happened yet and I think it's relatively unlikely since it is just a standard suitcase and doesn't look like a bike case. But I'm also concerned that the 62" 'standard' might be going away. One of the airlines that I use, AirTran, publishes their rules with a 61" maximum.

So far I haven't heard of anyone getting charged for any of the cases that are right around the 62" normal limit - let's hope that remains the case.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:49 AM   #5
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Could it be that the problem with the Airporter is that not only is it 11" too big, but it says "DAHON" on the side of it, clear as day?

I have avoided that particular bag because I'm thinking that if the ticket agent has any clue what Dahon is, they can get you for bike even if they didn't notice that the bag is oversize. Either way, $200 on my airline.
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Old 09-22-09, 09:20 AM   #6
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new suitcase?

My solution: Delsey Axiom Suiter:

http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...o-airline.html
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Old 09-29-09, 06:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Hey y'all. After getting a Dahon and the dahon airporter, then having luggage rules get more and more strict in the ensuing years, I wanna make sure my next option is bulletproof to travel with. So I'm dismayed to see outside dimensions of Brompton case are 63" but airlines have 62" max...
Hi Scout. Out of interest, what are the LWH airline limits? Is that figure for USA domestic flights only or does that apply for international flights as well?

Thanks!
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Old 09-30-09, 09:49 PM   #8
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This idea is elaborate (and might not work) but would be funny as hell if it did:
Make your own tape measure! Scan a cloth tailors-measuring tape, enlarge the tape slightly
.05 % or so..on the scaner, print it onto fabric simmilar to those cloth tapes.
If they say they "need to measure it" HAND them your tape quickly before they
have time to ask their co-worker at the other counter who is too busy.. etc etc
My bike in a box has been measured and had to pay a lot. No fun. This might work... Hmmm...
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Old 09-30-09, 11:23 PM   #9
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I saw somewhere, forgot where, a picture of a naked brompton (not in a bag) in the overhead luggage compartment.

if it fits the compartment, what's the fuss then??
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Old 10-09-09, 01:12 AM   #10
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i flew with a mu p24 in samsonite flite 31 inch suitcase. no problem, no questions, and, although it is technically an inch or so larger than regulation, is still much smaller than the dahon bag. plus its a hard shell suitcase with rollers and can be had for WAY less than the dahon suitcase.
you must remove BOTH wheels to get the dahon in there but otherwise it'll fit just fine. i was also able to fit in the rear touring rack with no problems.
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Old 10-11-09, 08:24 PM   #11
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Try and make sure you are well under the allowed weight. A few KG/lbs under should mean less chance of being measured. Most bikes and suitcases are going to be close to the limit just careful what you add.
Not saying it doesn't happen but I've never seen a bag measured in the US. Here in Australia it is weight which is more of a concern.
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Old 10-17-09, 02:11 PM   #12
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Airlines Bicycle Surcharge

It seems the original reason for bike charges has been lost. With
airlines in and out of bankruptcy and going after their employees
wages in the form of tax cuts or layoffs, the moral has been very low.
The result is a high turn over rate with little training of the
replacements. While they are most likely trained on the everyday
items, it's the more obscure stuff, like bike charges that has fallen
to the wayside. They know enough to to realize there is an extra
charge for a bicycle. Where the dots are failing to get connected is
the difference between a folding bicycle and a full sized bicycle. The
ticket agent just does not realize there is a difference. Try to
realize this and be polite when arguing with them.

The original reason for charging extra for a regular sized bicycle was
the large box had to have special handling. It could not be moved on
the conveyor system and to be hand carried. If you see them place your
suitcase on the conveyor behind them, then you should not be charged
... Period.

You can use the above statement to try and reason with the manager on
duty. Ask them if they plan to use the conveyor or hand carry your
suitcase. But in all honesty, you still may not have any luck.
The best course of action is not to even mention the word bicycle
unless absolutely pressed on the issue.
Bike Friday, along with a whole caboodle of other companies are in the
business of making TRAVEL bicycles. It would seem that they would
organize and take a stance on this issue. After all, if I were in the
business of making suitcases and I found out my suitcases were
"unreasonably" being charged, or rejected... I would be all over the
airlines in the form of a letter campaign, calls to my senators and
representatives. The folding bike industry needs to get proactive,
their business depends on it.. After all, wasn't there something a
year ago about Amtrak?
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Old 10-19-09, 04:52 AM   #13
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If the OP is saying that the new Brompton hardcase is 63" then that is a blow to us in europe, and bit of a mistake by Brompton. Here in the UK, desperate for revenue, many airlines are seeking to charge you extra any way they can, and the weeked travel press had a story about one airline measuring all checked bags as a matter of course. So, coming your way soon if not with you now....
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Old 10-19-09, 08:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedi k wardhana View Post
I saw somewhere, forgot where, a picture of a naked brompton (not in a bag) in the overhead luggage compartment.

if it fits the compartment, what's the fuss then??
I don't think that TSA will let you bring a bike as carry-on luggage.
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Old 10-19-09, 08:34 AM   #15
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If the OP is saying that the new Brompton hardcase is 63" then that is a blow to us in europe, and bit of a mistake by Brompton. Here in the UK, desperate for revenue, many airlines are seeking to charge you extra any way they can, and the weeked travel press had a story about one airline measuring all checked bags as a matter of course. So, coming your way soon if not with you now....
I think that there is enough error in measuring the suitcase by airline personell that no one will differentiate between 62" and 63".

I've never traveled in Europse, but is it really the case that airline employees have time to check every suitcase that might be over 62"?
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Old 10-19-09, 08:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
new suitcase?

My solution: Delsey Axiom Suiter:

http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...o-airline.html
Thanks for your blog on this. I just ordered one for my newly acquired M6L.
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Old 10-19-09, 09:28 AM   #17
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I just ordered one for my newly acquired M6L.
?!?!?!
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Old 10-19-09, 10:42 AM   #18
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?!?!?!
I know, it's the dreaded N+1 disease.....
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Old 10-19-09, 12:34 PM   #19
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I know, it's the dreaded N+1 disease.....
Hmmmmm ... are we not approaching n = /infinity
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Old 10-19-09, 12:50 PM   #20
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There's a new official Brompton hard case coming out next year, called the Pod. It's specifically designed for air travel, I think I read it was 61", but I'm having trouble finding that link now. Brompton's new stuff is usually available on 1st January, so not too long to wait.
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Old 10-19-09, 02:24 PM   #21
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new suitcase?

My solution: Delsey Axiom Suiter:

http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...o-airline.html
I bought this suitcase recently based on this post, and my new Brompton M6R doesn't fit in it.
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Old 10-19-09, 02:41 PM   #22
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I bought this suitcase recently based on this post, and my new Brompton M6R doesn't fit in it.
mabye cuz of ur brompton has a rack? did u also remember to remove the saddle like u supposed to based on the instructions?

Last edited by vincentnyc; 10-19-09 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 10-19-09, 02:51 PM   #23
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i jusst looked up the prices for bromptons...they aren't as expensive as i thought!
1200 should get you a very nice commuter bike!
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Old 04-20-11, 10:41 PM   #24
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Brompton M3L and M6R in Delsey Axiom & Samsonite

I've used the Delsey solution that another poster mentioned. My M3L has a rack, and I removed a couple wheels off the rack to ease the bike's fit--a minor matter to get the bike to the left coast of U.S. Followed all the other suggestions regarding packing into the Delsey, and it worked perfectly. I agree that the Delsey does not appear to be sturdily built, but it hasn't failed so far. In addition to the bike, an helmet and a Brompton pannier fit, as well as some bike shoes and clothes to add padding and avoid much additional weight.

By chance, I inherited a soft-sided Samsonite from work, and it has been even better for my M3L. It zips closed after some maneuvering, and it does so without removing any of the carrier wheels, so I use the Samsonite and my husband uses the Axiom for his M6R (no rack). The Samsonite requires careful packing so that the bulgy parts of the frame are cushioned within the soft-walled suitcase. But after buying the Delsey strictly for my M3L, I have more confidence in the longevity of the Samsonite.

Last edited by helenhelen; 04-20-11 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-21-11, 07:27 PM   #25
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There is no need for a case when traveling with a Brompton. Simply use the front luggage as a carry on bag, put the bike on the x-ray along with the baggage, and gate-check the Brompton like a stroller or wheelchair.

I have extensive experience with this, detailed here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/684621-Flying-with-my-Brompton-gate-checking-experience

It is, by far, the easiest and most hassle-free way to fly with a bike.
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