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Old 02-13-17, 08:50 AM   #1
LHawes
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Traveling to Nicaragua...

...and have a question about flying with a bicycle in its original shipping box from Bikes Direct. Here's a link to general discussion thread Shipping A Bike To Nicaragua? but was wondering if anyone has direct experience flying with a bike to Nica? Avianca claims a bike can be flown with for free, anyone actually done such a thing?

Thanks
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Old 02-15-17, 02:25 PM   #2
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What do you mean 'they claim'. You don't believe them? Hate to tell you, but the worst airlines for flying are the ones in the U.S. - they all charge high fees (because as a community, we don't fight them on it) where as the European airlines are much cheaper, if not free to fly a bike on. And the airlines in the Americas... they don't see many bikes.
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Old 02-15-17, 02:40 PM   #3
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What do you mean 'they claim'. You don't believe them?

I don't why some people find issues like this so hard to research. A simple Google search of "Avianca bicycle policy" will produce direct links to the portion of airline's official website that spells out the rules and any fees for bikes.


OP: I am currently on a computer with software from the stone age so I am having trouble with the site (it runs some script that my machine cannot handle, causing Explorer to crash), but this site states that bikes count towards your checked baggage allowance and are carried without additional charge:


Avianca Bikes Policy - Travelling With Bikes - Taking Your Bike on a Plane, Transporting Bicycles - Airline-Baggage-Fees.com


I suggest performing the above-mentioned Google search and checking the details as I would bet there are size and weight restrictions.
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Old 02-15-17, 09:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies and I wonder why someone would think that I found this issue hard to research? I clearly state in the OP that I know Avianca's policy and the claims on the site were clear as again you (and I above) point out, but I've had more than one instance where after arriving with something I thought was clearly in compliance with the stated policies something came up and oops what do you know I didn't read some fine print and there's an additional charge or some other policy nuance I didn't understand.

That's why I asked the question the way I did. Has anyone actually flown to Nica on Avianca with a bike? I'll be OK and won't worry about the consequences which will not truly harm me but again was just curious about someone's actual experience flying to Nica with a bike.
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Old 02-15-17, 10:29 PM   #5
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Somewhere I heard that's it's a good idea to print out a copy of the airline policy the same day you buy your ticket. That way you have a better chance of proving your rights as a customer should something mess up.
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Old 02-16-17, 07:38 AM   #6
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Somewhere I heard that's it's a good idea to print out a copy of the airline policy the same day you buy your ticket. That way you have a better chance of proving your rights as a customer should something mess up.
Actually, this seems like a pretty good idea!
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Old 02-17-17, 04:03 AM   #7
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wow sounds interesting! Want to visit Nicaragua one day too
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Old 03-17-17, 02:46 PM   #8
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An update. The bike arrived from Bikes Direct yesterday. It is still in its box. I called Avianca to get some more clarity on their web site policy which clearly states that bicycles fly free but the handle bars must be folded and the pedals loose. That's all it says Sports equipment | Avianca

What the web site DOESN'T say is that the bicycle must be in a box and the box can't exceed 90 inches total of all 3 dimensions. No one could possibly know this without calling them, which I should have done first obviously.

The box that the Fat Bike came in totals 101" which will cost $140.00 AND go on a separate cargo flight that I will have to track down independently from my current flight.

The only option looks like trying cut the box down to size but (I haven't opened it yet) it's hard to imagine the factory not packing it tightly.

So just a heads up to those who think a web site gives all the information or that stated policy is actual policy.

I'll update this post in case anyone is interested.
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Old 03-17-17, 03:31 PM   #9
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Yeah, gotta be careful on the specifics of "free". Many say free, with the caveat it adheres to regular baggage limits. It took me calling Brussels Airlines to understand their free was truly free with no size limits, just under 23kg, as only the weight limit was listed on the site.

Past that, I think it'd be risky taking a never assembled bike. What if you get there and don't have a necessary tool, or a part is missing/broken. Not to mention, customs on the other end will probably take an interest in a shiny boxed bike, more than one thats obviously been used.
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Old 03-17-17, 03:58 PM   #10
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Thanks, and of course the reason for my first post. The box has absolutely no room, which is no surprise, and am thinking about trying to get it in to 2 boxes but the second box has to total less than 62" total unless I can ship 2 bikes under the 90" total. The tires alone are 28" dia. SIGH.
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Old 03-17-17, 05:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
What the web site DOESN'T say is that the bicycle must be in a box and the box can't exceed 90 inches total of all 3 dimensions. No one could possibly know this without calling them, which I should have done first obviously.
It seems like it is pretty clear on their website.

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Avianca Bikes Policy
These items are considered as part of the free baggage allowance. Remember that the sum of their three dimensions must not exceed 230 cm (90 inches) and its weight may not exceed 23 kg (50 lbs.) If you exceed these characteristics, they will be subject to space availability
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Old 03-17-17, 05:45 PM   #12
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I knew someone would post the not so obvious details. If you read the policy on bikes there's no mention of the link you allude to. But if you explore every aspect of every tab of every page the details are there, but not clearly stated. No where does it say the bike must be boxed. I talked to a manager and suggested they add the words that would take a person directly to the page/tab you referred to and to say directly that not only do the handle bars need to folded and the pedals loose, but that the bike must also be in a box and the box must not exceed 90".

And perhaps I'm just stupid? And that most people would just discover what you discovered with no problems or questions? Perhaps. Or perhaps the web site isn't clear enough as everyone I spoke to at Avianca agreed with.

Just beware of all policies like I thought I was being but I got burned and maybe someone else won't make the same error.

Last edited by LHawes; 04-05-17 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 03-22-17, 10:11 PM   #13
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Off topic, but arriving with a bike direct bike that you haven't assembled or ridden send to me to have certain risks, if for a bike trip that is.
If there are any parts or whatever missing, it might be hard finding stuff.

Perhaps not a real issue, but depending on the bike, you may find suitable bike shops hard to find, although I guess that would depend on which city you are going to and where you are going etc.
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Old 04-05-17, 08:19 AM   #14
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Latest update. I split the package in 2. The frame and the detached front wheel etc. stayed in the original box which I cut down to size to just fit those items. I removed the rear wheel, the rear cluster, the tube and tire, and the quick release and packaged up the the rear wheel in a separate box. Stuffed the rear tire and tube in the larger box with the frame and got both boxes to be the correct size. They fit in my car, barely and took the to the airport.

Got to the airport and the counter person wanted to charge me $140 for an over sized box, which it wasn't, and I also reminded her that bikes fly free, which she was unaware of. She went to a couple managers who eventually confirmed that bikes fly free but I had an extra luggage piece so I had to pay $40 for the large bike box. The small rear wheel box flew free as my one piece of checked baggage.

That ended the bike shipping drama and the bike ended up in Nicaragua safe and sound. We put it together in maybe 20 minutes, got some air in the tires frm a local bike rental shop and it rode awesome on the beach. Couldn't quite get through the soft sand but cruising on the harder sand and through the neighborhood was great. There's about a 1 mile stretch of beach and lots to explore.

The neighbor immediately wanted one and I cautioned about what it takes to actually get the bike there but there might be 2 there quite shortly.

So the moral of the story? I don't know, don't be a bone head and assume that a web site has all the info? If you want to ship a bike read ALL the fine print ad call to find out details? Dunno. Was worth it but was not a walk in the park as I originally thought. Hope that helps someone out there.
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Old 04-05-17, 05:25 PM   #15
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Glad it worked out. The reason I asked details of where, and if you were doing a trip or whatever is because I rode through Nicaragua last month, part of my Central America trip, so was wondering what you were up to, thats all.

happy riding.
Say hello to Daniel O and his wife ;-)
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Old 04-07-17, 08:43 PM   #16
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Have you done any cross Nicaragua rides, toured the country side, pedaled up too Matagalpa, braved the dust to Puerto Cabeza? Maybe a small tale is in order.
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Old 04-08-17, 01:34 PM   #17
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I've done none of the above - just cruised on some lovely stretches of beach. Not sure i would interested in touring Nicaragua in general, nor touring in general.
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Old 04-08-17, 01:53 PM   #18
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I've done none of the above - just cruised on some lovely stretches of beach. Not sure i would interested in touring Nicaragua in general, nor touring in general.
Tis a shame that touring isn't an interest, but that's what it is. Enjoy the riding you do.
Cheers
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