i will to you ROCK!
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bay Area
Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Bianchi Piaggio Vespa Team SS, Mercier Kilo TT FG
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I packed up my bike and checked it in on Southwest last week from San Francisco to LAX. Southwest's website states that they will charge you $50 for anything outside a certain size and weight spec, but they didn't charge me at all!!! Maybe because i used a soft bag that is collapsable.
I disassembled the bike (stem, bars, seat/post, pedals), wrapped the frame in bubble wrap then a furniture blanket, and stuffed the wheels and frame in the bag. I packed the stem, bars, seat/post, pedals in another bag just in case and to keep the bike bag's weight down. Make sure you tell them what it is and try to put as many "FRAGILE" stickers on it as you can.
On the flight from SF to LAX everything worked out wonderfully! On the way back things were a little sketchy because LAX makes you bring your bags over to some other service that loads the bags. AND GUESS WHAT!? when i got home the top tube was dented!!! its not major, but I know it wasnt there before...