From a previous post where someone else asked about the "value" of S&S couplers:
Originally Posted by me
Folks have been travelling abroad with full-size tandems for many years... they're not essential and, yes, they bump up the price of a steel framed tandem by $1,200 - $2,000 depending on what you decide to do about cases (more for Aluminum, Ti or Carbon).
However, a coupled tandem will eliminate almost all of the hassles and added expense associated with toting a full-size tandem around if you're not riding to and from the airport, e.g., you've got to get your 80 - 100lb "coffin-sized box" to and from the airport, onto public transit, shuttle buses, trains, etc... and those are not always easy things to do. The 45-60 minutes associated with unpacking/assembly and disassembly/packing are a small "price" to pay, and if you travel enough those oversized luggage fees, larger than standard size rental vehicles, and other related expenses can begin to add up.
Bottom Line: Having a travel tandem means you can decide to take your tandem along on a trip... not planning your trip around travelling with a tandem.
Here's the deal: The S&S option on a new frame or an upgrade to an existing frame IS a significant expense even without the cases. The cases themselves are a wash since you can argue that a full-size tandem travel case will cost the same as the S&S cases or, conversely, there can be little if any cost of you opt to pack either your full-size tandem or a partially or fully dis-assembled S&S tandem in one or two standard bike boxes.
So, if you're looking to save money the answer is probably "no", unless you plan to do a lot of travelling, e.g., ~10 round trips with excess/oversized baggage charges + increased costs for any ground transportation to accommodate the full-size bike, e.g., bigger rental vehicle or exclusive shuttle trip. What you are buying is convenience and elimination of travel hassles. Of course, if you're not mechanically inclined, the assembly and disassembly hassle at the beginning and end of each trip would probably errode if not eliminate the added value of the S&S couplers so that must be factored into your decision as well. I cite 45-60 min but have heard of others who spend 1.5-2hrs.
Some information about packing our S&S tandem can be found here: http://www.thetandemlink.com/article...cksonpack.html