Godfather of Soul
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex, 2010 Specialized Tricross Expert,2008 Gary Fischer Hi Fi Carbon, 2002 Specialized S-Works hard tail, 1990 Kestrel KM 40
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Bikes on American Airlines to Europe/International from the US
I recently booked a miles/award ticket on AA to London (and then paid for a British Airways ticket to Amsterdam) for my trip in July/August. Their website says it's supposed to be a $150 charge for the bike each way, and while I was prepared to eat this, I still held out hope for a better deal.
When I booked the trip, I asked the AA agent on the phone if that was true for international flights (their website seemed a bit vague about this in one place), and she said yes. I asked her if she could double check, and sure enough, she learned that a bike on an international flight can count as the first piece of luggage and fly for free (up to 60lbs). She told me it was some mysterious rule #116, which seems like it must be from an internal rule book not available online to googlers. Of course, I plan to double check this before my trip and hopefully get some more information about precisely where this rule #116 is located in case I have any problems at the airport.
Anyway, since flying with bikes is such a headache and expensive to boot, I figured I would pass along some info that might be useful for others. Not sure if other airlines have this same type of deal, but it doesn't hurt to ask the agent to check because they usually have no more idea about this than the customer.
As an aside, it was a bit funny as well because she kept offering me a deal on a rental car. I was like, "hello, I'm taking my bike - do you get it?" She was real nice, however, and got pretty excited about my trip once she realized what I was doing.