I called American Airlines (travelling internationally), and they said it would be $80 each way to check my bike. I told them I would break the bike down, and how much would it cost then? They said- as long as the length, width, and height of the box are 62 inches or less, the bike would be free.
I am thinking I would probably have to take the wheels off completely and put it in the second luggage I'm checking, and I'll pack my clothes around the wheels. Then I'll mark that luggage as fragile. I am going with my sister-in-law to a storage facility to buy a furniture cardobard box for the frame part of the bike. I'll put an old blanket around the frame and put a fragile label on that too.
I'm wondering if this would work- I have no idea what a total of 62 inches would look like- my sister-in-law will help me with this, but do you think if I packed my bike this way, I'd be able to check the boxes without paying, in your opinion?
I'm also thinking the effort may not be worth it either, so if we can't figure out how to get this bike packed, I'll leave it behind. I can always go to the Y to get my exercise in.