bubblewrap the bike. then pack rolled-up jeans, shirts, socks, underwear, and whatever other soft goods you will be taking with you into every available nook and cranny of that case. people like to imagine their luggage going from the conveyor belt directly and gingerly into the cargo hold of the plane..
better to picture the case being thrown.
"A brave baggage handler spills his guts on what happens once passengers checked their bags. To be honest it isn’t pretty:
“I’m not going to lie, your checked luggage takes a beating. They call it ‘throwing bags’ for a reason. There isn’t an easy way around this. Airplanes are only making money while in the air and no airline wants an airplane on the ground too long. Due to the nature of some aircraft, it would be impossible to turn around a 737 or 757 in an hour or less without throwing bags because it’s just faster.”"