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  1. #1
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    storing bike boxes at airports

    a muffeled hurrah, I just received a response from the Shannon Airport in Ireland. They will still store bike boxes. some tourers weren't sure about this availability. Hitch is they charge $2.50 (euro)daily $12.50 weekly. Just go to airport information and ask to be directed to Ground Services.

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    Another thing to consider investigating is using the same hotel for your first and last night(s) and having THEM store the box. We've never tried that, but some folks we met in southern France had they bike cases in safe storage as an Ibis Hotel in Toulousse. They were out for a month.
    Mike Sakarias
    Juneau Alaska

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    considered that also. There's a B&B close to the airport that will store the box for free. Cost of getting the unassembeled bike in the box from airport to B&B is about 15 Euros. figuring X2 (for round trip) it's almost the same $$. But at the B&B I'll have a place to work without pressure.

  4. #4
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    2.5 euros a day? What a bargain! They wanted 8 euros at Vienna airport. I abandoned the box and allowed a day upon my return to get another, which turned out to be no problem.

    For my next trip, to Frankfurt, I booked a hotel for the first and last nights and that worked well. It was nice to not have to worry about whether I would find one on my return.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I used to do that too (leaving my box at a B&B or hotel). B&Bs usually do it for free. I'd probably still do that if I used a box. I'm using a thick plastic bag now so I can come in from one airport and leave from another. I got tired of those round trips. I just dispose of the bag when I arrive and buy a new one for departure.

  6. #6
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell
    I used to do that too (leaving my box at a B&B or hotel). B&Bs usually do it for free. I'd probably still do that if I used a box. I'm using a thick plastic bag now so I can come in from one airport and leave from another. I got tired of those round trips. I just dispose of the bag when I arrive and buy a new one for departure.
    This method works like a charm! I turn&lower my bars, remove pedals+flying it goes. I've never bothered protecting my rear der. with cardboard-some folks suggest doing so.

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    Camel, I'd love to think that the air-line 'throwers' would treat my new(bie) toy with the same care I do. but from what I've heard/read here...that ain't necessarily so. I've gone with a borrowed hard shell and storage at the B&B. does your bike really arrive undamaged? May the bicycle protective spirits smile on you. tib-fib

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    Newbie Patroclos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tibfibfracture
    Camel, I'd love to think that the air-line 'throwers' would treat my new(bie) toy with the same care I do. but from what I've heard/read here...that ain't necessarily so.
    I worked as a student on the Brussels airport for a month... it depends on wether they know what it is... if it's a shapeless box, they indeed will just throw it around (in a manner of speaking)

  9. #9
    cycling fanatic Ken Brown's Avatar
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    A box will obviously protect a bike better than a bag, but a lot of people believe that baggage handlers take more care with a bag or open bike. Many airlines specify that bikes must be boxed, but that doesn't mean they won't accept it in a bag. I asked at Special Handling at Vienna airport what they would have done had I shown up without a box and they said they would have put it on the plane as is. I have seen bikes come off the plane with neither box nor bag.

    It would be rather unsettling to get an unsympathetic baggage handler who rejected the bike, so I am more comfortable with a box. Would it be cheaper to abandon the bike or miss the flight?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Netcelt's Avatar
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    When you get your bike from the luggage handlers go through customs and turn to your right. That's where they store em at Shannon.

  11. #11
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tibfibfracture
    Camel, I'd love to think that the air-line 'throwers' would treat my new(bie) toy with the same care I do. but from what I've heard/read here...that ain't necessarily so. I've gone with a borrowed hard shell and storage at the B&B. does your bike really arrive undamaged? May the bicycle protective spirits smile on you. tib-fib
    I've had decent luck so far-no major problems. The chain popped off once. I've flown to and from two month long European tours so far using 7 different planes-so 14 "throws". Different bikes each time, first time with my Raleigh R300, last summer with my Waterford. Front&rear racks and front&rear fenders on each.

    The method described makes it super easy to cycle (or mass transit/cycle combo) rite to/from the airport!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel
    I've had decent luck so far-no major problems. The chain popped off once. I've flown to and from two month long European tours so far using 7 different planes-so 14 "throws". Different bikes each time, first time with my Raleigh R300, last summer with my Waterford. Front&rear racks and front&rear fenders on each.

    The method described makes it super easy to cycle (or mass transit/cycle combo) rite to/from the airport!
    Wow - trusting a Waterford to the handlers - what good luck you've had. Makes me wonder if the plastic bag is the way to go. Does this work for Domestic flights in the USA too???

    We met a bike tour guide in France recently. He's flown around the world for various tours, and claimed that he always rolls his bicycle to the ticket counter - NO box or bag or anything! Except in the USA, where he claimed that handlers are terrible and he always uses a box.

  13. #13
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    Air Transat between Calgary and Amsterdam took my bike without box or bag (they had no bags, although they were supposed to have them them), they did make me deflate the tires. Upon arrival in Amsterdam and after a 1.5 hour wait my bike showed up. One tube was ruined and the sidewall of the tire had a nick in it and had to be replaced.

    On the way back I bought a box for $15 Euros at Schiphol airport, but there was no tape to close it up. Luckily I had some extra utility straps to close the box. The box looked pretty battered when it arrived home but the bike was okay.

    Next time I get a proper box and protect it well.

  14. #14
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ispoke
    Wow - trusting a Waterford to the handlers - what good luck you've had. Makes me wonder if the plastic bag is the way to go.
    Yeah, I had decent luck. I resolved that if anything happened to it, I'd just deal with it. The front&rear racks IMO help protect it a bit. I'm not THAT concerned about scratches&whatnot-it is a touring bike afterall.

    I did have the big "WATERFORD" downtube decal masked using black fabric. More because of the lower annual income in the areas was touring, than for flight damage. I didn't want to apear too abnoxious riding a bike that is half, or a third of folks average annual $. I did leave the other decals&headbadge uncovered though.


    Quote Originally Posted by ispoke
    Does this work for Domestic flights in the USA too???
    I'm not 100% certain, but unfortunately, I believe it doese not. From what I understand US carriers can, and do, make you box bikes for domestic flights. They also can, and do, charge an exhorbatant(?sp) fee for it. The fee may be waived for a US domestic leg of an International trip.

    Some folks just box&ship UPS/Fedex, if they know where they'll be. Some bike shops offer storage service, as well as setup&tune up-usually at a decent price.

  15. #15
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Air Transat between Calgary and Amsterdam took my bike without box or bag (they had no bags, although they were supposed to have them them), they did make me deflate the tires. Upon arrival in Amsterdam and after a 1.5 h
    That's rough.

    I've taken my bike on Transat a number of times with no problem. Was that a non-stop flight?

  16. #16
    cyclotourist
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    Yeah it was a non-stop.

    I have flown across the Pacific with a bike some years ago, and never had a problem, just turning the handlebars and removing the pedals - except when they make you deflate the tires.

    The tire nick -gouge is more like it - probably didn't have anything to do with deflating the tires - I think it must have been crammed in with some other oversized baggage and something scraped the sidewall. It ended up costing me a day in Amsterdam hunting for a tire on a Sunday - but if I had to choose someplace to be stranded, it would be Amsterdam.

    Transat were very anal about weighing everybodys' baggage and charging extra at Schiphol, but my bike box, crammed with tools and extra camping gear, flew for free.

    I don't want to be too hard on them, it was several hundred dollars cheaper than Air Canada and it was a non-stop. Next time I will just be a bit better prepared.

  17. #17
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    My wife and I tried that in Melbourne , same story, $10 a day makes it an expensive box, so we tossed it in the trash at the airport , saved a bus to town and got a new one from a bike shop at the end. Double saving and we enjoyed the ride.

    Brian F.
    nzbicycletours.com

  18. #18
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    Be aware as from 1st June 05 Shannon airport (all airlines) all outbound bikes now must be boxed.

    There are two bike shops in Shannon, one in the center and one on the Galway road to the north both can supply cardboard boxes free, IF you get them on the right day !
    You will need to remove at least the wheels to fit a bike in

    Otherwise Delta Airlines sell boxes at /$ 20 each (tape extra) only problem is whilst you can fit your bike into the box by only turing the handlebars, the boxes are too big to go as luggage and so must go cargo which means your bike will be arriving days after you and at who knows what extra cost.

    We found out all the above the hard way having flown in with unboxed bikes and assumed we could fly out the same way. By amazing luck a couple from the USA arrived into Shannon with boxed bikes and gave us the boxes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skookum
    Transat were very anal about weighing everybodys' baggage and charging extra at Schiphol, but my bike box, crammed with tools and extra camping gear, flew for free.

    I don't want to be too hard on them, it was several hundred dollars cheaper than Air Canada and it was a non-stop. Next time I will just be a bit better prepared.
    I hear you. Transat customer service really suffers at airports where they contract out ground support. Other than that, as with you I like the safety and price. I'm heading to Europe in late September. I always book last minute and I'm usually on Air Transat out of YYZ.

  20. #20
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    For Randonneurs on the list, I just recieved an e-mail from RUSA where Trico is offering 45% off there "Iron Case" model to new members. Seems to be a very good case. I'm now pondering one, primarily for flying w/my "stupid lite" road boad.

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