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Old 08-23-12, 02:09 PM   #1
DoubleDiamonDog
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Fitting a Brompton Through Airport Scanner

I have seen pictures of Bromptons going through airport scanners. The “Path Less Pedaled” couple, who have racks on their bikes, chose the telescoping seat post (even though they are short) so that they could easily remove the saddle and the bike would fit through the scanner.

Would a Brompton with rack and in-line skate wheels fit through a scanner without removing the saddle?
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Old 08-23-12, 02:17 PM   #2
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Depends on the case. I find that for me, I have to remove the saddle to pack my Brompton into the B&W hard case, and yes, mine has the rack and EZ wheels. The back rack adds that little bit of extra bulk. My wife's Brompton does not have the rack so I can usually pack her's without removing the saddle. If you have a softer case, you can probably get away with not removing the saddle. Removing and re-attaching the saddle is a bit of a pain, but no more than 2 minutes worth of work before and after your trip. In the attached picture, my saddle usually goes underneath the seat tube, tucked partly into my helmet void (you probably can't make it out - I put it in a plastic bag to prevent scuffs).

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File Type: jpg Packed BW Case Small.jpg (99.1 KB, 34 views)
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Old 08-23-12, 06:45 PM   #3
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how big is the passage thru the scanner?, isn't laying down good enough?

I can see packing the B17 separately, to keep it from getting cut up..

penta clip is one bolt so easy to remove clip and saddle.
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Old 08-23-12, 06:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, I was thinking that it would fit, w/o cover and with saddle and rack through the scanner so I was surprised that the "Path Less Peddled" couple opted for the telescoping post.

After proceeding through the scanner and arriving at the gate, the bike would go into a transparent bag or the brompton saddle cover and be gate checked.

Asking for trouble?
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Old 08-23-12, 07:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
Would a Brompton with rack and in-line skate wheels fit through a scanner without removing the saddle?
You put the Brompton with the rack facing forward on the belt. You need to reorient the saddle to decrease the outline enough. You then have the wiggle room of about 3/4" for the Brompton to get through the scanner passages. Slightly larger wheels than eazy wheels will eat slightly into that wiggle room but you should be OK.
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Old 08-23-12, 09:26 PM   #6
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After proceeding through the scanner and arriving at the gate, the bike would go into a transparent bag or the brompton saddle cover and be gate checked. Asking for trouble?
Ah... sorry... so you were planning to gate check them? Hmmm.... I've never done that. I've just assumed that the airline would refuse. So, my bike has always gone through the regular luggage scanner, not the passenger scanner.

My feeling on "asking for trouble" is it depends on the airline and the current mood of the employees. Most airlines have pretty clear policies on bikes, and no matter how you slice it, once they see two wheels, a saddle (hey, maybe that's why take the saddle off!), and handles, they might think "bike! Extra charge!".
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Old 08-24-12, 05:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
Asking for trouble?
As written in that other thread where someone has had success with domestic US flights with Southwest between what I think were two specific airports,

the question you have to ask yourself is "what if".

If they say no, or if that machine isn't big enough since afterall carryon dimensions are smaller than the bromptons folded size (1), or if you do get through security and they see you've got something that could have made money for them, what do you do? Even those that confess to checking a bicycle in checked luggage meeting weight/dimensions are being surcharged.

Here's what will/could happen : maybe enough time has elapsed where luggage checking isn't allowed. Now you get to miss your flight. Or you can check it, but you have nothing to help protect it, and you'll be spending a minimum of $100 to do so. So not only are you losing $100, and the reason you bought an expensive folding bike, but you may have some nice damage afterward.

Doing something that isn't in compliance with well stated rules is just asking for problems..

(1) 22" long x 14" wide x 9" tall , via AA: http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...nAllowance.jsp
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Old 08-24-12, 08:32 AM   #8
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What are the proposed new components Chags?
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Old 08-24-12, 09:30 AM   #9
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With my Brompton in a hard case I had to argue quite assertively that it was "bike parts", not a whole bike, even though it was in airline size-compliant casing, coming back from Boston. Detroit - Boston was asked "is there anything in there I should know about". Again, I said parts for a bike. I don't like the dishonesty (ish), but nor should I have to pay extra because it is "a bike" unlike unfolding bikes.

Otherwise I agree with JimBeams83. It is asking for trouble to carry it on, not least because scanners seem so variable in size between airports.
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Old 08-24-12, 02:03 PM   #10
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Thanks again, all.

Most of the time I will fly in and out of Seattle on Alaska Airlines. If a bike fits within their 62" / 50 lb standard checked luggage specs and is in a soft or hard case made for the bike, it is treated like any other standard piece of luggage even if you call it a bicycle. For a regular traveller like me, I would pay $20 as I would with any other piece of checked luggage.

I haven't checked a bag in years, have always done fine with just carry-on. I really like the idea of multi-modal travel with the brompton but I am reluctant to have a case to haul around. If I am going to take some form of transportation to my lodging becasue I have a case to deal with, rather than ride the bike, it may make sense to just rent a bike near the lodging. Maybe their soft case is an acceptable option but I understand it doesn't roll well or fold to a very compact size. So in addition to buying the two b-bags (which would comply with the 62" dimension requirement), I suppose I should plan on paying an additional $80 round trip each time my wife and I would fly with the bikes.

Anyone out there who loads a hard case on the rack and secures it well enough to ride x miles?

I'll take a closer look at the soft case and see if I can compress it into a neat package to secure to the rack - in the images I have seen on-line it looks pretty bulky.

Fortunately with Amtrak and the Victoria Clipper, I can just carry it on, maybe use the saddle bag cover.
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Old 08-25-12, 06:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
I'll take a closer look at the soft case and see if I can compress it into a neat package to secure to the rack - in the images I have seen on-line it looks pretty bulky.
You can compress it and carry it on the rear rack; I do when I use megabus. The trick is to mount it transversely on the rear rack; you will get heel interference otherwise.
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