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Mountain Bike As Checked Baggage

Old 12-14-14, 02:26 PM
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Mountain Bike As Checked Baggage

Hello,

I am planning to fly in about 2 weeks internationally with my mountain bike. The airline is Delta, which is notorious for hating bikes. If I check it as a bike, the cost is $150 one-way. Apparently it is somehow possible to pack a bike in a cardboard box that doesn't exceed overall dimensions of 157cm/62inches, which is the cutoff for oversized baggage. I couldn't find on Delta's website what the charges are for oversize though. Weight is no issue. Anyone have any experience with this? I have never flown with my bike, and I don't have a case. My LBS said they only have cardboard boxes that exceed those dimensions, but said there are cardboard boxes for sale specifically for that purpose. Haven't been able to find them yet. Is it easier/cheaper to ship? I've been getting quotes for around $500, clearly I'm doing something wrong.

TL,DR:
What's the best way to get my bike from the U.S. to Guatemala?

Thanks much!
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Old 12-14-14, 02:32 PM
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Want to know what Delta's policys are ask Delta.

Pack it in a Box like it shipped to the Bike Shop In . acompanied Luggage is less than Air Freight , Generally.

It may be oversize , but try to not make it over Weight.

But feel free to check shipping rates With USPS , UPS, DHL ,etc.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-14-14 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 12-14-14, 02:34 PM
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Unless your bike frame comes apart in a way that lets you pack the bike very compactly I think you're going to find that it won't fit within Delta's stated limit of 'Length + Width + Height <= 62".' The cases made for bikes with S&S coupled frames just barely meet that specification. I've found airlines to be much more thorough about checking the weight of baggage than they are about the physical size so you might be able to sneak a larger box on without extra fees - but it's a gamble depending on the mood and whims of the person at the airline counter.
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Old 12-14-14, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by valeraxy
I am planning to fly in about 2 weeks internationally with my mountain bike. The airline is Delta, which is notorious for hating bikes. If I check it as a bike, the cost is $150 one-way. Apparently it is somehow possible to pack a bike in a cardboard box that doesn't exceed overall dimensions of 157cm/62inches, which is the cutoff for oversized baggage.
It is NOT possible to pack a bicycle into a box that does not exceed the dimension restriction ... unless, perhaps, you've got a folding bicycle or a bicycle with S&S Couplings.

And usually the oversized luggage fee is more than the bicycle fee.

Excess Baggage | Delta Baggage | Delta Air Lines
Scroll down, down, down to where it lists the Oversized Baggage Fees. It looks like it will cost you $150 either way.
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Old 12-15-14, 12:21 AM
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Thanks all for your replies! Looks like I will just pack it in a cardboard box as small as I can, and keep my fingers crossed. I'm banking on weight being the bigger issue rather than size. An additional $300 would really, really suck. So many better ways to spend it!
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Old 12-15-14, 06:54 AM
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You can always check with shipbikes.com - they use the standard carriers but they pass their corporate discounts on to you.
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Old 12-15-14, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by valeraxy
Thanks all for your replies! Looks like I will just pack it in a cardboard box as small as I can, and keep my fingers crossed. I'm banking on weight being the bigger issue rather than size. An additional $300 would really, really suck. So many better ways to spend it!
There is a very good chance you will be charged $150 each way if you choose to fly with Delta. If you go with another airline, it might be less.

Regarding the size, it isn't as though you'll get your bicycle down to, say, 64 inches (length + width + height) ... a mere 2 inches oversize ... your box will likely be significantly oversize. Especially if you're packing a mountain bike. I can't pack a small road bicycle into a box within that 62 inch limit.

Measure it out ... 62 inches is not that big.


You can try things like turning up really early, smiling and being super friendly, having all your paperwork in order and ready to go, not making any trouble whatsoever for the check-in people ... and you might, possibly get lucky and have them reduce the fee a little bit ... maybe ... but there's never any guarantee of that.
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Old 12-15-14, 11:19 AM
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From the Delta website:

Bicycles

Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats are allowed as checked baggage on most flights with the exception of some Delta Connection® carriers and other aircraft that may have different limits due to cargo constraints. Linear dimensions must not exceed 115 linear inches (292 cm) — no oversized fees apply. Bicycles over 70 lbs will be charged the applicable excess weight fee. Bicycles over 100 lbs will not be accepted.

Bicycle Transport Fees
  • 150 USD/CAD* for travel to all regions (excluding Brazil, Europe & North Africa)
  • 150 USD/CAD* or 105 EUR* for travel to/from Europe & North Africa
  • 75 USD for travel to/from Brazil
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Old 12-15-14, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier
From the Delta website:

Bicycles

Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats are allowed as checked baggage on most flights with the exception of some Delta Connection® carriers and other aircraft that may have different limits due to cargo constraints. Linear dimensions must not exceed 115 linear inches (292 cm) — no oversized fees apply. Bicycles over 70 lbs will be charged the applicable excess weight fee. Bicycles over 100 lbs will not be accepted.

Bicycle Transport Fees
  • 150 USD/CAD* for travel to all regions (excluding Brazil, Europe & North Africa)
  • 150 USD/CAD* or 105 EUR* for travel to/from Europe & North Africa
  • 75 USD for travel to/from Brazil
$75 to/from Brazil, $150 to/from everywhere else.

I wonder why Brazil is half price, perhaps rules imposed by the Brazilian government, or they use a subcontracted airline to/from Brazil and pass on the savings...
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Old 12-15-14, 02:26 PM
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I flew Delta to Brazil a few months ago and it is a Delta plane. Their contract routes (Delta Connection?) are primarily for short hop/commuter flights. Didn't take my bike on that trip, however.

Technically, the Ritchey BreakAway piece of luggage is 66 united inches, so it is oversized compared to their original 62" limit. After many flights to Taiwan I've never been challenged by Delta, and Northwest previously. However, in a weak moment with Cathay Pacific to Australia, I did say it was a bike and that got very expensive.

Weight has not been a problem. With bottles, pedals, lights, loaded saddle bag, full hex key set, pedal wrench and crescent wrench, I don't think I've ever been over their weight limit.
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