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Old 02-03-11, 08:09 PM   #1
Cyclebum 
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Bike in box question

I gather that a standard bike box is about 90", l+w+h. Most airlines specify <62" Am I missing something here?

I've only flown with the bike once(Southwest) but likely will need to again, and don't want to go thru the trim and stuff dance again. If I rode anything larger than 50 cm, don't think I could have met the box size challenge without taking the fork off.

What experience have you had showing up with a boxed DF? Did you cut the box down to <62", or did you get aboard with a standard box, no hassle?
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Old 02-03-11, 08:15 PM   #2
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First of all, have a read over this site: http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

Secondly ... yep, it does sound like you're missing something. You're missing the whole point. Of course we cannot get our regularly-sized bicycles into a box that measures a total of 62" or less ... that's the whole idea behind picking that measurement! Since we cannot do it, airlines can put bicycles into a special category and charge special rates for them.

Keep the box under the weight limit, arrive early, smile and be friendly ... and you'll get away with the normal charge for the bicycle

Go overweight, and you'll be charged overweight rates in addition to the normal charge for the bicycle

Get upset about it all, and you'll be charged oversize (and overweight if they can) rates on top of the normal charge for the bicycle.

It's about that simple ... oh, and be selective about the airline you choose. Again ... read the site I linked to.
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Old 02-03-11, 08:41 PM   #3
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I was able to ship my Large Cannondale T-1
In a bike box 58 x 27 x 8



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Old 02-03-11, 09:12 PM   #4
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Yeah, you can't get it smaller than 62" without getting a coupled frame or a folding bike, so you'll have to pay the $50 (for Southwest, which is the cheapest one).

Quoted from their site:
Non-motorized Bicycles, including Bike Friday and Co-Pilot, will be accepted in substitution of a free piece of checked baggage at no additional charge provided the bicycle is properly packaged and the box containing the bicycle fits within the 62-inch sizing limit and weighs 50 lbs or less . (Maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per checked piece of luggage). The handlebars, kickstand, and pedals must be removed and placed inside the box. A $50.00 each-way charge applies to bicycles that don’t meet the above criteria. Bicycles packaged in a cardboard box or soft-sided case will be transported as a conditionally accepted item.
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Old 02-03-11, 10:13 PM   #5
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Here is a guide on how to pack a bike in a box. Haven't tried this method yet, but will try it later this year.
http://www.jimforeman.com/Stories/boxbike.htm
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Old 02-04-11, 05:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I was able to ship my Large Cannondale T-1
In a bike box 58 x 27 x 8
So ... 58+27+8 = 93 ... 31" too big.

My little bicycle was closer to the 62" limit, but even it was something like 15" over.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:10 AM   #7
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Just be polite when showing up at the check in counter, then you maybe lucky with the charges. For those heading toward Asia from the USA. I believe EVA AIR is still allowing bikes on board with no charge, even though it's web site may say otherwise. But then it's up to the agent on check in.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
A $50.00 each-way charge applies to bicycles that don’t meet the above criteria. Bicycles packaged in a cardboard box or soft-sided case will be transported as a conditionally accepted item.
Geez, I sure was 'missing something.' Thanks for clearing this up for me. SW phone person sure didn't.

BTW, you can get a 50 cm df in a 62" box, but you don't want to. It ain't pretty.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:40 AM   #9
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Regarding bike transport fees when flying internationally, here is a comment I made in another thread a while back:

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.
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Old 02-04-11, 09:38 AM   #10
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I have taken 5 round-trip flights with a Crateworks bike box that totals 86.5". No one has ever measured it. They simply asked what was in the box (with one exception noted below). I answered honestly with no funny stuff like "It's exercise equipment" and was charged the bike supplement if any. As a few others have noted, be nice. Most of the time the employee just wants to move you along.

On that note, you might get lucky with curbisde check in. The last time I tired it with a bike, the extremely busy employee never asked me what was in the box. Unfortunately for me, the TSA screening area was right next to where I checked in. When the TSA opened the box a while after I checked in, the employee happened to catch sight of the bike. The airline paged me to the gate counter and made me pay the fee. The agent got snippy with me, saying "You didn't tell him it was a bike." "He did not ask me what was in the box" I replied.

If you can, look into shipping it. Depedning on who you fly with, it could be less expensive.
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Old 02-04-11, 05:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I have taken 5 round-trip flights with a Crateworks bike box that totals 86.5". No one has ever measured it. They simply asked what was in the box (with one exception noted below). I answered honestly with no funny stuff like "It's exercise equipment" and was charged the bike supplement if any. As a few others have noted, be nice. Most of the time the employee just wants to move you along.
They aren't going to measure it ... the chances of a bicycle box being under 62" is so remote, they'll just charge you for the bicycle, as is what happened with you.

And, more recently, they've stopped asking me what is in the box, and have started just stating, "That's a bicycle you've got there." and sometimes, "What kind of bicycle is that?"

Last edited by Machka; 02-04-11 at 05:58 PM.
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