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air canada double-check

Old 03-12-08, 03:05 PM
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air canada double-check

I am contemplating taking my bike to Toronto this summer, and was looking at the Air Canada site regarding baggage.

Does the policy mean a) a bike will count as 1 bag of 2 you are allowed and b) it will cost you an extra $50 for each leg of the trip ?


And, anyone have experience with Air Canada and bicycles that they'd like to share?


Egads, all these new regs with respect to baggage, makes me want to buy another tourer---that folds or has s&s couplers. But, I just bought a new touring bike!!!!
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Old 03-12-08, 03:21 PM
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Just did a trip from Vancouver Island to Houston Texas , and return . Took my touring Bike and all the bags etc. All legs of the trip were with Air Canada.
I had a carry on bag ( front handle bar bag, actually) with personal stuff and a small fanny pack as carry on. I checked one large ( as big as they would allow ) duffel bag. ( Inside the duffel bag, which I bought at Wal Mart for 25.00) I had my two side panniers and extra misc cycle stuff. Weight for this big bag was 43 lbs. They allow up to 50 lbs per bag, with no surcharge. The bike was partially disassembled and put in a bike box obtained from the local bike shop. Also in the box was my cycle shoes, helmet and front pannier bags(empty) Weight for bike and box plus stuff inside was just over 40 lbs. Air Canada charges $50. extra handing for this box. One Way..another $50 to come home(plus GST). Air Canada was awesome in getting the box to us at the baggage claim ares. Customs and security were a little bit extra work, just get to the airport early, before the crowd.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:26 AM
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The Air Canada policy means:

1) You are allowed 2 piece of small carry-on luggage (in my case, my handlebar bag and trunk bag)

2) You are allowed a normal-sized duffel bag or suitcase.

3) You are allowed your bicycle in a box or bag.

You will be charged $50. If you know that going in, and smile and accept it, all should be well.

However, there are weight and size restrictions on luggage. They have just lowered the weight limit so your duffel bag, and your bicycle box cannot be more than 50 lbs each. That shouldn't be a problem for your duffel bag, but your bicycle box might be close to the limit. If you are really nice about the $50 charge, chances are they won't weigh your bicycle. Raise a stink, and they will. If they deem your bicycle to be overweight, the charge will go up.

As for size, your bicycle box is supposed to be a total of 62 inches, length + width + height. No regular-sized bicycle will meet that requirement, and the airline is well within their rights to charge you the overweight fee. However, if you are sweet and nice and kind ... and if you arrive early, chances are they will not.

In total you could be charge about $180 for the bicycle box, I believe ... but if all goes well, you could sail through with the $50 charge.

When I flew to and from Australia last month, I was charged $50 each way, and made a point of thanking the ticket agent and everyone who handled my bicycle for that. When I came back from London last September, that ticket agent decided to charge me about $80 for whatever reason (oversized? overweight?) so the extra charges can happen.
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Old 03-13-08, 11:47 AM
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I remember returning from my first trip to Europe, on the last leg transfering at LAX, the agent decided to charge me an extra $180 for my bike. To go from LAX to Seattle. Actually at first they said they didn't accept bikes at all (rather funny as I'd already flown one way with the bike on there airlines without a charge). I can't remember the name of the airline and it was only used for the LA to Seattle leg, but they went bankrupt a year or so later and I felt vindicated. I've heard of worse.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:13 PM
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Sorry, this has nothing to do with Air Canada, but it's a good story. Years ago before I got a Bike Friday, I was flying from Singapore to Seattle on United, going through US Customs in San Francisco. United in Singapore readily accepted my bike "as is" unboxed, and it arrived fine at SFO. After clearing customs, I went to check in my bike & duffel bag (containing my panniers & everything else) for my connecting flight to Seattle. They put a tag on my duffel bag and sent it on its way. One second later they informed me that my bike had to go in a box for the relatively short flight to Seattle (after coming all the way from Singapore unboxed). They told me they could give me a box, but the problem was that the tools I needed to put my bike in a box had just disappeared down the baggage shoot in my duffel bag. No problem, they said, they'd get someone to bring me some tools. 10 minutes later, an airplane mechanic appeared with the biggest wrenches I've ever seen in my life. I'm sure they work great on a 747, but they were useless for my purposes. The mechanic and I got a good laugh out of it. He eventually was able to scrounge up some regular-sized tools.
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Old 03-13-08, 07:12 PM
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Have taken my bike twice on Air Canada to Europe. I didn't pay either time, but that was a few years ago and now they charge for everything.

To Vienna and return everything was fine. To Frankfurt the next year the bike did not make the plane despite having checked in plenty early. Fortunately Lufthansa, who represent them in Germany, delivered the bike to my hotel early the next morning, so I lost little cycling time. I wasn't planning of cycling the day of arrival anyway, though I had planned to assemble it to be ready for the next day.
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Old 03-14-08, 12:23 AM
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Thanks Machka, you confirmed my understanding. I was just making sure I was understanding correctly; no one including me likes those kinds of surprises.




axolotl--good story!
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Old 03-14-08, 01:47 AM
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Air Canada

Yes I concur with the posters who used AC. They charge $50 Canadian each way, regardless of how many legs (no stop-overs) to your final destination - even though you may be using another airline to your final destination. Under IATA rules, as AC is the first airline it's baggage rules apply to the entire triip.

Thus, when I also used Qantas to OZ and Lufthansa to the middle of no-where, the initial AC baggage rules/tariffs applied.

Remember that they have a baggage weight limit, so don't overload your bike box - otherwise you MAY be forced to pay XS baggage tariffs.

Remember to smile a LOT at the staff and say "Thanks" often. They MAY waive part of the tariff. The old saying still applies to harried AC check-in staff: "Be Nice to the Mice". It has always been a pleasant experience so far - and some staff are really interested in hearing about the bike trip that will be started, or that has been finished.... it provides some "comic??" relief from their job. :-)
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Old 03-14-08, 11:07 PM
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When we went to Europe two summers ago, Air Canada was supposed to charge us $25 per bike, but forgot to both ways. I think they had just started charging for bike boxes.

They probably remember nowadays.
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Old 03-14-08, 11:15 PM
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https://online.wsj.com/article/SB1205...mod=yahoo_buzz

This overview, a little general for our purposes, appeared in the WSJ this week.

Obviously what we need is a touring outfit that breaks down into a wheel chair.
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Old 03-15-08, 09:10 PM
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I flew from Toronto to Santiago, Chile 2 months ago (still here) with my bike in a box, and AC attempted to charge me the $50, as I had expected, but they somehow made a mess with the transaction. I think it was something like they charged my credit card for someone else´s extra baggage fee, and it took a long time to undo the mistake (around 15-20 minutes), so when it was finally fixed, the check in clerk said for the wait and hassle they were not going to charge me after all, so the bottom line staff there do have some say on the charges. I was calm and patient the whole time (I got there very early, so had loads of time), and I think she appreciated that. So keeping your cool can save you some money!

BTW, she explained to me that the bike, because there is a charge (normally) for it, does NOT count as 1 of the 2 check-in bags that you are allowed. Wish I had known that before, as I had taped all 4 of the panniers together in this huge awkward ball, thinking that I had already used one of my check-in bags for the bike box!
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