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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-07-09, 08:48 AM   #1
merlinextraligh
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Delta Airlines no longer accepts Tandems

Apparently Delta has changed their policy regarding accepting bicycles as checked luggage. The policy on their web page reads:

"Bicycles Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats are accepted as checked baggage, bicycles as checked baggage will be $175 (for travel within the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) and $300 (for travel outside the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico).

Your bike must be packaged in a cardboard or canvas container in one of the following ways:


Handlebars fixed sideways and pedals removed
Handlebars and pedals encased in plastic, Styrofoam, or other similar material
Some Delta Connection® carriers and aircraft may not accept bicycles as checked baggage, and may have different limits. "


I spoke to a customer service representative that said that they do not accept tandems and it is in fact a change in policy.

We've flown on Delta before, with a non coupled tandem in a Bike Pro Tandem Race case (dimensions 34"x72"x10") Last time we did it in Sept 08, they charged us for a bike and an oversized shipment which totalled $350 each way.

Now, they're willing to forgoe $700 in revenue (more than the cost of the ticket) and drive away a platinum medalion customer.

Anybody else that flies Delta might want to email them at Delta.com
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Old 08-07-09, 09:03 AM   #2
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Fly Southwest, only 50 bucks for your bike to come along. And to BS rules regarding you OR your bike!
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Old 08-07-09, 10:15 AM   #3
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Found another thread reccomending shipping with Aliante Air Cargo. They gave me a one way quote of $140. Less than half what Delta has charged me in the past.

We'll be without the bike for a week. But, we'll have it picked up from my office and delivered to the Hotel. Plus/minus for me. Loss of $700 and substantial customer goodwill for Delta.
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Old 08-07-09, 11:01 AM   #4
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If you are traveling within the US and especially if you know someone where you are going, shipping UPS has always worked well for me and was always cheaper. Easier than shlepping your bike through the airport. Having said this, I've never tried to ship a tandem.

Frank and Terry
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Old 08-07-09, 02:02 PM   #5
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I've also read somewhere that Fedex will hold your package at their office and you can go pick it up. You will have to plan your trip so that the bike can be picked up during office hours.

Ideally Aliante will tell you when to expect delivery so you can tip the concierge to contact you when it shows up. I've worked in a hotel and at times it can get crazy depending on the location and time of day.

Yes, cannot understand the logic behind Delta's new policy. If I show up at the ticketing with a sack of potatoes I'm sure they will charge me but still accept it. Why not do the same with a tandem?
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Old 08-07-09, 02:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I spoke to a customer service representative that said that they do not accept tandems and it is in fact a change in policy.
That's not good for any of us that travel. I hope they reconsider.
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Old 08-08-09, 03:18 PM   #7
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$700???? WOW!!! Won't take long to pay for S&S couplers at that rate! 2 bags each person still free on Southwest Airlines... that's perfect for us using 2 hardcases for the tandem, and no BS from the counter staff.
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Old 08-08-09, 05:49 PM   #8
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We could ship our van with the tandem inside for $700. .....
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Old 08-10-09, 09:32 AM   #9
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'Still free' are the key words!
We don't need to fly 'unfriendly' skies!
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Old 08-10-09, 01:50 PM   #10
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The Acronym for Delta is "Don't Ever Leave The Airport". Guess I won't be flying Delta again
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Old 08-10-09, 02:46 PM   #11
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I feel compelled to make a pitch for Aliant Air Cargo (see CGOAB resource page). "merlin", above, referenced them.

They shipped my C'dale (no couplers) coast-to-coast for cheap, cheap. If I benefited from this I suppose others could as well.

Andy
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Old 08-10-09, 02:59 PM   #12
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Beware of UPS... the quoted $$ is just a quote.

I gave them the measurements and weight to the 1/10th of an ounce and they "quoted" me a price.

They actually told me it was the price (s) for the 4 bikes I was shipping from Orlando to Astoria Oregon.

Well imagine my surprise when we were half way across Idaho and I get the email with the price about 30% higher in an e-mail confirmation.

Hmmm... I called and eventually got escalated to senior management in Atlanta--- who said it was a quote not a firm price. I replied I was told it was based on distance shipped --- weight --- and size.

Was it off in distance--- NOPE the cities had not moved
Was I off in my measurements? ---- NO dead on...
Weight??? Nope

He said it was like an price in the store ---subject to Change Hmmm--- the difference is in a store if the milk is marked $3 per gallon and at the checkout it is $4 ---- I can leave it and not buy it ---ONCE I SHIP IT THERE IS NO OPTION


STAY AWAY FROM UPS


I now fly southwest and have a coupled bike -- no fee other than the one I paid to buy it
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Old 08-10-09, 06:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I feel compelled to make a pitch for Aliant Air Cargo (see CGOAB resource page). "merlin", above, referenced them.

They shipped my C'dale (no couplers) coast-to-coast for cheap, cheap. If I benefited from this I suppose others could as well.

Andy
I'm working with them for this trip. So far the price and the responsiveness has been very good,and and they are A+ rated with BBB. Of course the test will be how they actually perform, but I'm optimistic.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:30 AM   #14
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US Air also refuses tandems

I recently flew US Air and discovered that their policy now limits bikes to single bikes for $100 each way. However, the bike must fit in a case that measures less than 80" (h x w x d). My Crateworks box is too big. We just recently bought a used tandem with S&S couplers and so we were fine using cases measuring 62" so we weren't even charged. But all of the airlines are becoming bicycle unfriendly.

Have you looked into shipping the bike via Greyhounds freight? I've gotten low quotes from them but do not have any experience using them.
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Old 08-18-09, 08:34 AM   #15
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I recently flew US Air and discovered that their policy now limits bikes to single bikes for $100 each way. However, the bike must fit in a case that measures less than 80" (h x w x d). My Crateworks box is too big. We just recently bought a used tandem with S&S couplers and so we were fine using cases measuring 62" so we weren't even charged. But all of the airlines are becoming bicycle unfriendly.

Have you looked into shipping the bike via Greyhounds freight? I've gotten low quotes from them but do not have any experience using them.
I've been flying since 1958 and in my opinion the airlines have been just plain unfriendly for at least 20 years. After logging 40,000 miles a year on business until I retired, I don't really ever want to fly again. BTW, I consider US Air to be the worst airline on the planet.

Frank
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Old 08-18-09, 08:48 AM   #16
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US AIR = Useless Air.

DELTA = Doesn't ever leave the Airport.

They all suck.

Unfortunately, the travelling public have themselves to blame to a degree. We chase the lowest fares, and are unwilling to pay for service. Hence the airlines have been trained to forget about customer service, and cut costs and service to the bone.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:04 AM   #17
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But there's a difference between lackluster customer service (like those wimpy bags of stale pretzels they hand out; also, Southwest is insanely popular, despite thier low prices), and totally screwing the customer because you already have them by the balls. I mean, $700, really? For a 40-pound box? A passesnger occupies twice the volume and pays a fraction of the price. There's no actual logic there, it's just a fantasy number someone stuck on a piece of paper.

My girlfriend bought a plane ticket 6 months in advance, then tried to have the destination changed 5 months in advance. The fee to change destinatons was 3/4 of the ticket price. The price to cancel was almost the ticket price. The cost of similar tickets weeks before the current same flight are more than double what she originally paid. The ticket isn't transferrable. She just let it go unused.

By the balls.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:53 AM   #18
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I travel with a coupled bike in two cases. It takes me 1-2 hours to build and tune the bike and just over an hour to pack the bike. Coupled bikes are not for everyone - At least one of the team needs the skill to build and tune the bike.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:04 AM   #19
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Since the reg says they accept single seat only, does this mean Delta will not accept a coupled tandem?
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Old 08-18-09, 12:15 PM   #20
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Since the reg says they accept single seat only, does this mean Delta will not accept a coupled tandem?
I think if you read the languge literally, it would mean that they do not accept coupled tandems.

As a practical matter, they may not even know a coupled tandem in 2 standard size cases is even a bike.

Problem is you never know what the ticket agent is going to do, until you get there, and in my experience the agents often don't even know their own tariffs.

I think the worst likely outcome is that you get charged the $175 bike fee for each case.

Assuming the cases are standard sized luggage, and not over the weight limit, I would just keep quiet, and hope they treated it as regular luggage.

If they ask what's in the cases, the answer that has been known to work on occassion to avoid the bike fee,and which is truthful, "Bike Parts."
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Old 08-18-09, 12:45 PM   #21
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If they ask what's in the cases, the answer that has been known to work on occassion to avoid the bike fee,and which is truthful, "Bike Parts."
That is exactly what I said when we brought our folding bikes over to Europe in standard sized luggage.

"Bike Parts"
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Old 08-19-09, 08:29 AM   #22
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[QUOTE=merlinextraligh;9510793]I think if you read the languge literally, it would mean that they do not accept coupled tandems.....

....I think the worst likely outcome is that you get charged the $175 bike fee for each case.

QUOTE]

Has ANYBODY on this list, or known of ANYBODY, who has ever been charged a "bike fee" using two regulation sized suitcases, maxed at 50# ea. to carry a coupled tandem? I'll be absolutely shocked to hear of a single incident. Additional number of bags charge, occasionaly, but not a "bike" fee!
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Old 08-19-09, 01:26 PM   #23
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Quote:

Has ANYBODY on this list, or known of ANYBODY, who has ever been charged a "bike fee" using two regulation sized suitcases, maxed at 50# ea. to carry a coupled tandem? I'll be absolutely shocked to hear of a single incident. Additional number of bags charge, occasionaly, but not a "bike" fee!
No. We have flown several times in recent years with a coupled tandem in 2 cases - each under 62" and under 50# and have not had to pay a bike fee.

We haven't been asked the contents of the bags but someone suggested saying that it was "exercise equipment".
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Old 08-19-09, 01:30 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=Austinbike42;9516554]
Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I think if you read the languge literally, it would mean that they do not accept coupled tandems.....

....I think the worst likely outcome is that you get charged the $175 bike fee for each case.

QUOTE]

Has ANYBODY on this list, or known of ANYBODY, who has ever been charged a "bike fee" using two regulation sized suitcases, maxed at 50# ea. to carry a coupled tandem? I'll be absolutely shocked to hear of a single incident. Additional number of bags charge, occasionaly, but not a "bike" fee!
I would think that would be unlikely as well. However, the airlines are getting more and more aggressive in collecting baggage fees. I'm pretty sure the agents get incentivized on collecting the fees, so I wouldn't do anything to tip them off.
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Old 08-19-09, 02:52 PM   #25
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just talked to the Hotel. The bike is there waiting for us.

Not having to lug the bike, and having it already at the hotel is a major plus.

Not having the bike for a week each side of the trip is a negative. But on the whole with less expense, and less hassle, I think I'll ship the bike from here on out.

Delta's loss is our gain.
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