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Traveling with Trico Sports’ ultra-light Iron Case

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Traveling with Trico Sports’ ultra-light Iron Case

Old 10-27-07, 05:53 PM
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Traveling with Trico Sports’ ultra-light Iron Case

For people who traveled with that case. How much were you charged?
I looked on AA website it seems like it falls both under oversize and overweight (with bike), which comes out to $150 bucks. It also lists for bicycles it's $80 bucks. So if I don't say it's a bike it will be 150, otherwise it will be 80?
I also checked US Airways they don't even accept such a big package! Their limit is 80 inches.

Thanks.

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Old 10-27-07, 06:40 PM
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I've flowm most of the major airlines and they charge
$80.00 each way and limit you to I believe 70 lbs...so
watch out overloading it. Once on awhile they don't
ask what is in the case..so don't volunteer any
information...better yet try keeping it to under 50lbs.
and telling them at check in it is a drum set.
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Old 10-27-07, 07:04 PM
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On January 1, 2007 the law changed so that on most airlines you will be charged for your bicycle. How much you will be charged depends on the airline, the airport, and the person behind the desk. If you are really nice, you might be charged less. If the place is really busy, you might be charged more. If the person is relaxed and laid back, you might be charged less. If the person is a stickler for rules, you might be charged more.

You can read all about it here.
https://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

As for telling them it is not a bicycle ... you might have a tough time explaining how it is that this thing which looks identical to a bicycle is not a bicycle while they look at it after you have shoved it into the X-Ray machine. Even before the X-ray part of the procedure, when you're at the desk, they don't ask you, "What is in that box?" or "Is that a bicycle?", they ask you, "What kind of bicycle is that?" They know.
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Old 10-28-07, 12:15 PM
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I have been charged varying rates, as Machka says, basically depending on the mood of the counter person. I've paid $15, $125 (ouch!), $75, and they've taken it for no upcharge a couple of times. I'm in Madrid right now and when I flew over here on USAir, the counter guy said, "I'm supposed to charge you extra for that, but I forgot, OK?
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Old 10-28-07, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
For people who traveled with that case. How much were you charged?
I put my bike on a Trico case when I flew to France on United Airlines/Lufthansa. Did not get charged extra on the outbound. Was hit with a 50 Euro baggage fee on the return (which is the stated policy). As others have said, be wary about overpacking. The impression I get is that if it's marginal, the counter person is more likely to let it pass, but if it's heavier then they're more likely to charge you. I had shifted more tools and accessories to the case when flying back, because I didn't much relish lugging it on a duffel bag through the Paris metro system. That tipped the case weight to +65 lbs. and got me the excess baggage charge.
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Old 10-28-07, 04:40 PM
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multiple times on international flights: 0$
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Old 10-28-07, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
multiple times on international flights: 0$
That's the way it used to be. Before January 1, 2007, there was some sort of agreement between airlines that flew internationally that bicycles would fly free (domestic flights were a different story).

However, January 1, 2007, everything changed.
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Old 10-28-07, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
That's the way it used to be. Before January 1, 2007, there was some sort of agreement between airlines that flew internationally that bicycles would fly free (domestic flights were a different story).
Delta has had a pay for your bike policy on international flights for several years.

Originally Posted by Machka
However, January 1, 2007, everything changed.
Then why have i been able to fly with a bike, without paying, this year?
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Old 10-28-07, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
then why have i been able to fly with a bike, without paying, this year?
Where have you been flying, and who with?
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Old 10-28-07, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Where have you been flying, and who with?
in recent years i've flown with my bike on delta, continental, and klm.

the former two were eu>us trips, the latter was an inter-european.
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Old 10-28-07, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
in recent years i've flown with my bike on delta, continental, and klm.

the former two were eu>us trips, the latter was an inter-european.
How about since January 1, 2007? Was that your inter-european trip? Or was there a eu>us trip in 2007 too?

And do you have a folding bicycle or one with couplings? Or a regular sized bicycle?

I'm asking because I'm planning to fly internationally again in early 2008, and am on the outlook for airlines who haven't changed their rules. I believe Air Thai is one of the few who doesn't charge for bicycles.
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Old 10-28-07, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
On January 1, 2007 the law changed so that on most airlines you will be charged for your bicycle. How much you will be charged depends on the airline, the airport, and the person behind the desk. If you are really nice, you might be charged less. If the place is really busy, you might be charged more. If the person is relaxed and laid back, you might be charged less. If the person is a stickler for rules, you might be charged more.

You can read all about it here.
https://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

As for telling them it is not a bicycle ... you might have a tough time explaining how it is that this thing which looks identical to a bicycle is not a bicycle while they look at it after you have shoved it into the X-Ray machine. Even before the X-ray part of the procedure, when you're at the desk, they don't ask you, "What is in that box?" or "Is that a bicycle?", they ask you, "What kind of bicycle is that?" They know.
Tell them it is bicycle PARTS.
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Old 10-28-07, 05:51 PM
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The people doing the x-raying are completely independent of the people deciding whether to charge you for a bicycle in most cases, at least in the US.

I manage to pay $0 about half the time (or a little more) when flying within North America. One time the person who was checking us in didn't know and the person next to them said "$80 per bicycle", and my GF said "It's sports equipment" so the checking drone started looking for "sports equipment", didn't find it, and let them on no charge.

Other times it's
Airline:"what's in the box"
Us:"Camping equipment"
Airline: "Any fuel for stoves"
Us: "Nope"
And on it goes.

If I walk up and they say "$X for the bike", I don't argue and just write it off as win some, lose some.

I recently started flying with a cheap soft case and they often just pick it up and put it on the belt. the case and how I pack it are here: https://bitingduck.com/?q=node/19 it looks complicated but it's hardly any different from packing an ironcase.

My GF also recently flew out here with everything except the wheels for her track bike packed in a large-ish duffel bag. The frame is a 52 cm Felt TK1. She put protectors in the dropouts, pulled the fork completely (the nice thing about threadless headsets is the ease of doing that), capped the head tube with tape, and packed clothes around it. I had extra wheels here that she used.

I knew another guy a long time ago who put his track frame in a suitbag and carried it on, and checked the wheels. You probably can't do that anymore...

The rules also say "one bike per person" but I've flown with 2 without any trouble, and know a bunch of people who have to fly with 2 regularly.
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Old 10-28-07, 07:23 PM
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What about dimensions? By AA standards it's in the oversized category which according to their policy is a 100 bucks charge. Does that depend on who is there and how nice you are?
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Old 10-28-07, 07:52 PM
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Depends on who's there and your ability with jedi mind tricks.
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Old 10-28-07, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
What about dimensions? By AA standards it's in the oversized category which according to their policy is a 100 bucks charge. Does that depend on who is there and how nice you are?
Yup! It depends entirely on who is there and how nice you are. If they tell you that they need to charge you for the fact that you've got a bicycle and it is airline policy to charge for bicycles, and you complain, they could whip out the measuring tape and start measuring. I've seen it happen. Your charge could go from $50 to $150 in a hurry. But if you're really nice about the whole thing, they may just glance at the box and tell you that it looks all right. I've had that happen to me. Same thing with the weight of the bicycle ... sometimes they'll actually weigh it, sometimes they won't.

One tip ... get to the airport really early. If you go through the check in when there are only a few people in line, and treat the person behind the desk like your best friend, you might have better luck. I've been treated the best in those situations. Whereas when I've arrived when the line-up contains 75 people already, and the people behind the desk are frazzled and frustrated, and they've already dealt with a heap of complaints of various sorts, they are more likely to stick to the rules to the letter. They'll be there with the weigh scales and measuring tape.
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Old 10-28-07, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bitingduck
The frame is a 52 cm Felt TK1.... I knew another guy a long time ago who put his track frame in a suitbag and carried it on, and checked the wheels. You probably can't do that anymore...
Ah, to be able to ride the smaller bike frame! I can see how it's possible to work around (or with) the rules when the frame is pixie sized.

However, for those of us riding 61 cm or greater frames (without S&S couplings, at any rate), we can't exactly pull these tricks. So be happy that you're not part of the "too tall for most brand's frames" contingent.

That said, the "sporting goods" tactic could work - so long as your case doesn't have any decals on it that suggest a bike, cycling, or otherwise. My club's Iron Case is festooned with multiple decals: USA Cycling, randonneur club decals from multiple countries, Tour de France, etc. It essentially screams "this is a bike!"

I know that kind of suggests that I buy my own case. However, as I live in a tiny apartment where space is at a premium, and the bikes alone take too big a chunk right now, owning my own case isn't in the cards. But when it is, it'll be "sporting goods."
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Old 10-28-07, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by songfta
Ah, to be able to ride the smaller bike frame! I can see how it's possible to work around (or with) the rules when the frame is pixie sized.

However, for those of us riding 61 cm or greater frames (without S&S couplings, at any rate), we can't exactly pull these tricks. So be happy that you're not part of the "too tall for most brand's frames" contingent.
I ride a 56, which won't fit in a duffel like the 52. The performance bag (in my link) doesn't say bike all over it and looks more like a big soft bag than a bike bag. I never understood the makers who advertise in big logos that it's a bike.

Another thing we did in grad school with a rented case was put labels over it with our physics department address in case it got lost. They immediately think- "lab equipment for expedition", especially with a hardcase.
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