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Old 08-25-08, 01:21 PM   #1
edwardmccaughan
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getting a bike box to the airport?

I have a bit of a conundrum of the getting-a-bike-onna-plane variety-

The bike has to be packed in a bike box, but how do I get the bike and box to the airport?

the airport is a few miles out of town, so theres no bike shop nearby and carrying the bike box on the back of the bike might be a tad tricky (wheeeee! I has a sail!).

there is a bus that goes to the airport, so my current plan is to lock the bike up at the bus station, get a box at the nearby bike shop and then put the bike in the box on the bus, but better suggestions would help :-) (especially since I may end up in a similar situation but without the bus option sometime)

I also emailed the airline about getting a box off them and they told me to bugger orf, is there any other way to get a box at the airport? Do other airlines or the airport authorities tend to have boxes?
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Old 08-25-08, 02:05 PM   #2
MilitantPotato
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Why not break the box down, fold it up, then use extra tape when re-assembling it?
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Old 08-25-08, 02:53 PM   #3
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i did this once to a bus station, a 5 mile ride with it tucked under my arm riding a fully loaded bike. In traffic. It sucked but its doable
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Old 08-25-08, 02:53 PM   #4
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Which airport? Most airports are served by at least one van service that will pick you up at your door and take you to the airport. Tell them in advance that you're bringing a boxed bicycle and be ready to pay extra for the bike.
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Old 08-25-08, 04:40 PM   #5
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call a van cab..
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Old 08-25-08, 05:37 PM   #6
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Airport shuttles with a luggage trailer work well
Station wagon taxis work for a bike shop box but not for a huge airline box. You need a maxi taxi (or van) for those.

Are you sure you can't just ride to the airport and get a box there? Maybe try calling the airport. Around here you can just roll up, buy a box for 14 bucks, then take the lot to the oversize luggage station.
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Old 08-25-08, 08:02 PM   #7
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Don't box it.

Bring a hacksaw and cut your bike in half & shove it in a duffle bag.

Have it welded back together at your destination & let us know how the welds hold up.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:05 PM   #8
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If you've never boxed a bike before do a search to see how it's done properly. You're not just going to be able to shove the bike in the box and call it good.

Do you have friends/family who can drive you to the airport? The bus will work too if you can get to a bus stop with your bike already boxed. Getting to the airport shouldn't be a difficult task.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:41 PM   #9
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If you've never boxed a bike before do a search to see how it's done properly. You're not just going to be able to shove the bike in the box and call it good.
Actually with a big airline box it isn't too bad, you take off the pedals and wheels (sometimes it will fit with the back wheel still on), let down the tubes a bit, turn the handlebars, put spacers between the dropouts, add a bit of padding and tape everything together and you're done. The only difficulty is if you have mudguards on, they get in the way and take quite a while to adjust at the other end.

A box from a bike shop is much smaller. You really need to disassemble things eg. take handlebars off instead of just turning them, rear wheel comes off, seat post either right down or taken off. Even fitting a rear rack in is pretty tight. At least you can leave the cranks and derailleur on.

I put the panniers in a big duffel bag (like the one Camel uses after chewing his bike in half) to keep them all together. Virgin has never had a problem with me checking a bag as well as the bike (fantastic airline for flying with a bike), then again I've never been over the weight limit (bike = 5kg, can easily fit the rest in 15kg checked and 7 kg carry-on). Nb. I've only done domestic with a bike!

Last edited by Cave; 08-25-08 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:02 AM   #10
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Are you sure you can't just ride to the airport and get a box there? Maybe try calling the airport. Around here you can just roll up, buy a box for 14 bucks, then take the lot to the oversize luggage station.
If your airline doesn't have a box try another. You don't have to use one from the airline you are flying on. It would be strange for none of the airlines at a major airport to have a bike box. Call ahead to be sure if you are nervous.

Leaving from home I think it is easier to pre-pack the bike and use a shuttle or get someone to give you a lift to the airport. Coming home at the end of a tour it is nice to just ride to the airport buy a box and pack the bike there (remember a pedal wrench).

I like the airline box because you don't have to do as much disassembly as with a smaller bike shop box.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:35 AM   #11
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I've also done one way car rentals from close to the airport to the airport itself. This meant I didn't have to ride through a bigger city and on bicycle unfriendly roads. It also meant I could stop at Staples for packing tape and a LBS for a bike box to pack my bike. The cost was less than an airport shuttle.
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Old 08-26-08, 03:54 PM   #12
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Quoting myself from this thread: Bike on a plane
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What I would like to know is this. Has anyone actually ridden to an airport with a bicycle box in tow?
I did last summer in Anchorage. I stopped at REI and the bike shop folks gave me a cardboard box for free. I flattened it, then folded it accordion style into a plank like shape. I strapped that lengthwise across my rear panniers. It stuck out both sides a couple feet, so I had to be careful not to hit anything (or anyone), but I made it to the airport ok. At the airport, I unfolded it and it returned to its normal shape and held up just fine. Here's a pic on the way to the airport:http://www.colovelo.com/wp-gallery2.php?g2_itemId=3561 and after packing my bike: http://www.colovelo.com/wp-gallery2.php?g2_itemId=3564

If you have a backpack, it might even be easier to carry a box folded like this on your back. I've carried a snowboard on my back while on my bike and it wasn't a problem. Less danger of hitting something than with the method I used in Anchorage.
Don't forget to bring a roll of tape!
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Old 08-26-08, 04:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
If you've never boxed a bike before do a search to see how it's done properly. You're not just going to be able to shove the bike in the box and call it good.
I forgot a wrench when I did this so I cut two rectangular holes in the box for the pedals. this was grey hound though, airline probably wouldnt accept it. I looked like a psycho in the middle of the terminal on my knees hacking up a box with a big knife. I dont know why I didnt get detained.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:16 PM   #14
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1. Call a cab and ask for a van

2. Check into shuttle busses

3. Contact a friend with a station wagon, van, pickup truck, etc.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:56 AM   #15
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Use FedEX to a bike shop at destination.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I forgot a wrench when I did this so I cut two rectangular holes in the box for the pedals. this was grey hound though, airline probably wouldnt accept it. I looked like a psycho in the middle of the terminal on my knees hacking up a box with a big knife. I dont know why I didnt get detained.
You don't need a pedal wrench. You can use an Allen wrench as long as the pedals are not too tight. The best thing to do is to loosen them with a pedal wrench before leaving home, apply a little grease to the threads and tighten then the Allen wrench should work.
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