I am Venky. I've been in the US for the past 10months and am going back. While I am here I bought a second hand Redline 925 that I ride in fixed gear setup. I love the bike and have had many memorable riding experiences with it. Now, I am going back to India in a couple of weeks and wanted to take the bike along with me. I bought the used bike for less than $200.
Now the question is how much will I end up paying in the process of taking it to India. A friend who traveled to India with a bike a couple of days ago says, he paid $400 for Lufthansa and and additional $100 as customs.
Paying $500 to take home a $200 bike, doesn't sound too good for me. I may be able to get a decent bike for that price back home.
My tickets are not confirmed yet but I might be flying Qatar airways.
Does it really cost that much to take a bike along? Please let me know your experiences and how much you ended up getting charged. I would appreciate quick replies because I may need to cancel a bike case order that I've put if I decided to not take the bike with me but sell it here.
Check with the airline for how much it would cost. It's probably on their website somewhere. $400 sounds expensive, but my experience has been all within the US, and I was also a very high-status frequent flyer the times I travelled with a bike, so often I got away with oversize and/or overweight baggage for free. And then there's the altermative: they might soak you for $1,000 or more when you show up at the airport with your bike, so if you can't find out on the web site, call the airline. And then hope you get someone competent on the phone. Because what they tell you over the phone won't be binding on the airline's agent at the airport.
And what are you going to pack it in? That won't be free, either. If you want the bike to survive, you're looking at something substantial. A normal bike shipping box probably isn't substantial enough.
You'd probably be better off selling your bike, and taking the proceeds from that sale along with the money you'd save by not flying with your bike and buying a new bike.
If you really want to keep the bike, look into just shipping it separately via an international shipper.