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Old 06-19-06, 10:00 AM   #1
late
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We are going to Italy and want to bring our bikes

Hi,
we just called Luggage Free and got a quote for over $1200 to et our bikes to
Italy and back. Is there a cheaper way to do this? MY LBS rents hard shell bike carriers cheap, so that part is taken care of.
Thanks
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Old 06-19-06, 12:11 PM   #2
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check it on the plane?
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Old 06-19-06, 12:23 PM   #3
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Yeah, take it on the plane. Many international flights allow a bike for free, but even if they charge you it should be less than $100.
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Old 06-19-06, 12:39 PM   #4
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We may have to do that. The problem is getting in and out of airports with luggage and hard shell bike cases. Sounds like a nightmare, in addition to the potential of them getting hung up in customs.

I don't know about Italian airports, but Boston has turned into a pain without bikes. I'm not even sure how we're going to get the bikes to the airport.
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Old 06-19-06, 01:26 PM   #5
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Possibly a nightmare, but possibly less than figuring out how to retrieve your boxed bike from where ever it's shipped to, etc. And if you ship it, you still have the chance of it not getting there when you need it.

To get to the airport, if you can't get a friend to drive you (someone you know owns a pickup truck, stationwagon, SUV?), you can get a shuttle / limo / airporter service that uses a van. You'll need to arrange in advance to get the right vehicle. At the airport on the other end, the information desk should be able to help you find a similar service. Yeah, all this stuff costs money, but it's gonna be WAY WAY less than $1200. If you have a hotel/hostel booked in Italy, they may have a van or other service to help.

Customs is really no big deal. They have carts for your luggage. Just make sure you can open your bike box and show it to them if they need to see it - don't stuff it full of other junk that will fall out and get lost.

I've travelled internationally with a bike (in a cardboard box) and a huge duffel containing my panniers a few times, and it is fine. It seems daunting when you think about it, but it really is no biggie. If all else fails, a few euros to the skycap could ease your airport experience.

Oh, and if you are acquiring hardshell bike cases.... try to get ones with wheels!
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Old 06-19-06, 02:16 PM   #6
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$1200!!! I tell you what I'll fly to the US from the UK and hire a car and drive you to the airport if you give me the money LOL sorry but that's about as ridiculous as being charged that amout of money. I've travelled all over and never been charged to take my bike on a plane, as for getting there and back from the airport just hire a car if no one can take you to it.
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Old 06-19-06, 02:38 PM   #7
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Yes, just check your bikes in as luggage.

At the airport, you will have to pack each bike in a cardboard box or plastic bag, which will be supplied. In either case, you will have to turn the handlebars sideways; you may or may not be asked to remove the pedals. When I flew from Milan a couple of years ago, I had to pay 20 or 30 Euros to have my bike shrink-wrapped for flight.

$1200 to ship bicycles sounds like a lot of money given that many (if not most) airlines will take bikes overseas for no additional charge.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:37 PM   #8
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Taking a hardshell case on an airplane is not that much of an issue.
Good ones, like the iron case have good wheels. They roll nearly as easy as rolling luggage.
Find a friend with a van, rent a van (one way one day) from a rental car company with a location at the airport, or call an airporter service on the us side to get em there.
Do the same on the otherside
When I( take my bike on the plane, the iron case fits in the back seat of any family sedan.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:50 PM   #9
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I will be traveling to Italy in September. The plan is to box the bikes and check them on the plane as luggage. When we get to the other end, the Hotel Cervo will meet us with a shuttle that can transport the boxed bikes. The hotel agreed to store the bikes for us as we will be staying the last night of the tour. A little on the high end of our budget at 90 Euros but the hotel is only five minutes from the Milpensa airport. A small price to avoid dragging bikes with boxes on and off a bus or train.

If all else fails, the boxes will get trashed and we will bike to the hotel.
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Old 06-20-06, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late
Hi,
we just called Luggage Free and got a quote for over $1200 to et our bikes to
Italy and back. Is there a cheaper way to do this? MY LBS rents hard shell bike carriers cheap, so that part is taken care of.
Thanks
The last 4 times I flew to Europe the bike was counted as one of my two pieces of luggage, no charge. I used a cardboard box the first two times, and just checked the bike unwrapped and unpackaged the second two times. One time (Paris) I dragged the bike in a cardboard box onto ar RER (local commuter) train, which was really a nuisance. The other three times (London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Florence, Italy) I loaded my stuff onto the bike, changed into cycling clothes in the men's room, and rode the bike out of the airport. Great way to start seeing a new country, and the exercise will do you good after a long plane ride.
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Old 06-21-06, 08:30 AM   #11
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Luggage Free- what's so free about charging 1200 bucks? *chuckle*

Your plan should be to check the bikes as luggage. When you get to Italy, you'll be taking everything to the main train station anyway. Take it to the station with you, and then check your luggage in at the left luggage and retrieve it on the way out when you finish your adventure.

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