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Taking bike on plane or bus

Old 05-24-22, 09:08 AM
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TLit
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Taking bike on plane or bus

When I went to Israel I took a good touring bike. The cost was modest, not sure what it would cost today. A problem I kept getting was as I was touring the country which has been at war for a long time, on leaving it with the panniers/suitcase to shop for something the cops considered it a potential bomb. How to avoid that?

Also when I tried to have my bike on a Greyhound in luggage the driver initially refused it then on consultation with another driver permitted it. How do you get around such restrictions?
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Old 05-24-22, 09:45 AM
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Also when I tried to have my bike on a Greyhound in luggage the driver initially refused it then on consultation with another driver permitted it. How do you get around such restrictions?
Were there restrictions? All I see here is that you and the first driver didn't know and maybe the other driver did know something. But maybe even he was wrong.

If you are going to travel on public transportation with your bike, then you need to know what those restrictions are before you try. Call them and find out. Also know if it is a policy unique to that carrier or whether it's a policy that applies to all carriers of that form of transportation. Air or rail might be different.

Might help to print them out and take with you to show them. Though still the drivers might be in their rights to refuse. So you might be left behind to take up your complaint with the management or others that care to listen. So be nice!


How do you get around such restrictions?
Payola!

Last edited by Iride01; 05-24-22 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 05-24-22, 01:01 PM
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The official word from Greyhound: Bicycles, golf clubs, skis and ski poles must be packed in a wood, canvas or other substantial containers, and securely fastened (you'll need to pay an oversized item charge too). I know that I often read about sellers using Greyhound to get a bike to the new owner. You either need a bike box or one of the bike carriers designed for the bike.

It's been a long time since I used an airline to ship a bike as I traveled. Used an empty bike box obtained free from my LBS. On the way out I didn't get charged a cent but was charged $30 for each leg of the trip back home by the same airline. Personally I would never again use that method but would ship the bike ahead of time by a service like Bikeship. Far easier to handle the bike at each end of the trip than to deal with a bike plus luggage. Now a days you really get hosed by the airlines for excess baggage.
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Old 05-24-22, 01:05 PM
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So bike boxes are the way to go and paying the extra fees. Back in the 80s I broke the bike down to frame and tires and tied them together which risks scuffing and damage.
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Old 05-24-22, 02:41 PM
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Amtrak has expanded bike service. There are several routes where no disassembly or boxing is required.

https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

Local services Iím my neck of the woods also allow bikes. Just came home from Atlantic City, NJ, with a fully loaded bike on Sunday. No extra charge.
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Old 05-24-22, 04:57 PM
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Most domestic US airlines no longer charge an extra surcharge for bicycles. They are treated as a regular baggage charge, whatever that is. Weight restrictions apply, but not oversize. I've traveled Delta and Alaska in the past year with my bike in a Pika Pack case. They used to charge a lot for each leg
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Old 05-24-22, 06:58 PM
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How about the problem of biking in paranoid countries such as Israel where you are biking around and the police think the bike with luggage on it could be a bomb? Any solution to that?
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Old 05-24-22, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
How about the problem of biking in paranoid countries such as Israel where you are biking around and the police think the bike with luggage on it could be a bomb? Any solution to that?
I suppose the answer is "it depends". I lived in Jerusalem from Jan 2018 to Dec 2019 in maybe one of the most contentious cities in the world. It was a relatively peaceful time, though. In the city, I biked where I was allowed as well as over to Tel Aviv and through the Negev to the south. I had no issues and never saw any bikes--even loaded ones--get stopped. I also try not to draw attention to myself. Without getting political, I don't match the "profile" of who the police do stop routinely which I saw plenty of there--just not cyclists. We had friends who lived there a few years before us during not so great times. I would not be surprised if security is increased during very tense times. For better or worse, Israel doesn't mess around.

I now live in Central America and bike here, too. Again, I don't match the profile of who the police are looking for, and again, I try not to draw attention to myself except for the lycra.

Don't draw attention to yourself pretty much works the world over.
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Old 05-24-22, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
When I went to Israel I took a good touring bike. The cost was modest, not sure what it would cost today. A problem I kept getting was as I was touring the country which has been at war for a long time, on leaving it with the panniers/suitcase to shop for something the cops considered it a potential bomb. How to avoid that?

Also when I tried to have my bike on a Greyhound in luggage the driver initially refused it then on consultation with another driver permitted it. How do you get around such restrictions?
I would probably avoid visiting countries which had been at war for a long time, I say this as a former soldier. Going to places where panniers and backpacks are not likely to be mistaken for bombs is a simple solution to your first question.

As for Greyhound, YMMV, much depends on the attitude of the driver. If you spend time trying to debate official policy, you are likely to miss your bus. Bus drivers (and most people condemned to driving vehicles for a living) are cantankerous and argumentative, a little cash usually improves their attitudes. I do international tours with a folding bicycle, these are much easier to carry on a train or bus.
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Old 05-24-22, 11:05 PM
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+1 for Amtrak Travel, Check Amtrak routes before booking a flight, a lot Less hassles in many ways and you wont be jam packed like sardines in a tin can, like on a plane, and a Lot cheaper too, most Amtrak routes offer carrying a loaded bike for a small fee but check for availability when making reservations

Also, posting this in Touring forum might produce more and better results for you,

Last edited by Eds0123; 05-24-22 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 05-25-22, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Most domestic US airlines no longer charge an extra surcharge for bicycles. They are treated as a regular baggage charge, whatever that is. Weight restrictions apply, but not oversize. I've traveled Delta and Alaska in the past year with my bike in a Pika Pack case. They used to charge a lot for each leg
There are size restrictions on some major carriers. Hereís Deltaís policy. The box must be less than 116 linear inches or it will not be accepted.

https://www.delta.com/us/en/baggage/...ting-equipment

Southwest charges $75 if itís between 62 and 80 linear inches.

At least US Airways is gone. Socked us $200 for each bike each way to/from Italy in 2013.
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Old 05-25-22, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
How about the problem of biking in paranoid countries such as Israel where you are biking around and the police think the bike with luggage on it could be a bomb? Any solution to that?
Not as long as humans can't all get along together in peace and harmony.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by pennpaul View Post
I suppose the answer is "it depends". I lived in Jerusalem from Jan 2018 to Dec 2019 in maybe one of the most contentious cities in the world. It was a relatively peaceful time, though. In the city, I biked where I was allowed as well as over to Tel Aviv and through the Negev to the south. I had no issues and never saw any bikes--even loaded ones--get stopped. I also try not to draw attention to myself. Without getting political, I don't match the "profile" of who the police do stop routinely which I saw plenty of there--just not cyclists. We had friends who lived there a few years before us during not so great times. I would not be surprised if security is increased during very tense times. For better or worse, Israel doesn't mess around.

I now live in Central America and bike here, too. Again, I don't match the profile of who the police are looking for, and again, I try not to draw attention to myself except for the lycra.

Don't draw attention to yourself pretty much works the world over.
It was a while ago and mainly happened in Jerusalem. I went into a shop came out and the police were cordoning off an area around the bike until I told them it was mine, happened more than once. Possibly finding someone willing to watch it but then since when we are travelling everyone is a stranger more or less that would be hard.
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Old 05-25-22, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Eds0123 View Post
+1 for Amtrak Travel...
Fun fact: You can get a non-folding bike on or off an Amtrak train at only a subset of their stations.
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Old 05-25-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
How do you get around such restrictions?






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Old 05-25-22, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
When I went to Israel I took a good touring bike. The cost was modest, not sure what it would cost today. A problem I kept getting was as I was touring the country which has been at war for a long time, on leaving it with the panniers/suitcase to shop for something the cops considered it a potential bomb. How to avoid that?
The best way to avoid that is to avoid Israel. Israel is a different country due to their occupation of Palestine. In most countries you can safely leave your bike locked to a solid object for a few minutes while you do your shopping.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Fun fact: You can get a non-folding bike on or off an Amtrak train at only a subset of their stations.
Overall, I am sure that is correct. But there are some services that allow you to carry on/off you bike at any stop. The Keystone service between New York City and Harrisburg, PA is one example. The Vermonter, between D.C. and St. Albans, VT, is another. (I have taken that one from Philly to Brattleboro once and St. Albans twice.) I am pretty sure the Capitol Limited is also in that category. (Amtrak added a special bike area to cater to the demand from people riding the GAP and/or C&O.
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Old 05-25-22, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
It was a while ago and mainly happened in Jerusalem. I went into a shop came out and the police were cordoning off an area around the bike until I told them it was mine, happened more than once.
That will definitely do it in Jerusalem!
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Old 05-25-22, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
...there are some services that allow you to carry on/off you bike at any stop. The Keystone service between New York City and Harrisburg, PA is one example. The Vermonter, between D.C. and St. Albans, VT, is another. (I have taken that one from Philly to Brattleboro once and St. Albans twice.) I am pretty sure the Capitol Limited is also in that category. (Amtrak added a special bike area to cater to the demand from people riding the GAP and/or C&O.
Super, and certainly the taxpayers in the Northeast are getting a better deal out of Amtrak. Let's look at folks at the other corner of the country riding the Sunset Limited, a train that roughly parallels the Southern Tier bike route. New Orleans to Houston, ~350 miles and Amtrak makes four intermediate stops...but you're not getting your non-folding bike on or off at any of them. San Antonio to El Paso, ~550 miles and Amtrak makes three intermediate stops...but you're not getting your non-folding bike on or off at any of them. Maricopa to LA, ~400 miles and Amtrak makes four intermediate stops...but you're not getting your non-folding bike on or off at any of them.

It's much the same with all Amtrak's western trains. Hey, IIWII, just look up station services and know before you go.

Amtrak station at Sanderson, Texas on the Southern Tier: no checked baggage service here!
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Old 05-25-22, 03:06 PM
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The Midwest, west and south has some roll on service.

https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

And considering ridership numbersÖ.

Last edited by indyfabz; 05-25-22 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-25-22, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
There are size restrictions on some major carriers. Here’s Delta’s policy. The box must be less than 116 linear inches or it will not be accepted.

https://www.delta.com/us/en/baggage/...ting-equipment

Southwest charges $75 if it’s between 62 and 80 linear inches.

At least US Airways is gone. Socked us $200 for each bike each way to/from Italy in 2013.
The point is that Delta does not follow their normal size restriction for a bicycle case or box, which is a change. Normal baggage size restriction is 62 lineal inches, bike containers can be up to 115 which is quite a difference and adequate for most if not all normal bicycle cases or boxes. The weight restriction for normal baggage does apply (50 pounds or less). Alaska Airlines is the the same or similar as is United. I flew with them last summer and winter with a bicycle at no extra charge beyond their normal baggage fee. These airlines used to charge $75 - $150 per leg for any over size item, including bicycles, so this is a major change. I have no idea about Southwest. If they are as you wrote above, they're quickly becoming an outlier.

Last edited by Camilo; 05-25-22 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 05-26-22, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyBlueBiker View Post
The best way to avoid that is to avoid Israel. Israel is a different country due to their occupation of Palestine. In most countries you can safely leave your bike locked to a solid object for a few minutes while you do your shopping.
Bikeforums is a different forum due to your political occupation of the General Cycling forum. In the Politics and Religion forum you can safely leave your mind locked to a solid objection for a few minutes while you do your ranting.

https://www.bikeforums.net/politics-religion/
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