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Thread: Taking your bike on an airplane

  1. #21
    MoJo Mother Superior notyal's Avatar
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    I saw a mojo-made (can't remember who) video a year or two ago where he was able to pack all gear and his bike in two large suitcases and check it as standard luggage for free (or at least standard luggage rates). FWIW, it was a 26" DH bike.
    "living today like it is the first day of the rest of my week"

  2. #22
    MoJo Neophyte ColbyRingeisen's Avatar
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    BTW, you can rent the bike cases from BSS for $8/day.

  3. #23
    monkey see, monkey doo Chongo loco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColbyRingeisen View Post
    Ship it, don't take it with you. I've a friend who also races and he tried to take his bike with him from Austin to Colorado for one of the BetterRide.net clinics. He was using a bike travel case rented from Bicycle Sport Shop and TSA decided to have a look-see and didn't get the case on the plane. He never did get the bike in time for the clinic and had to rent one there anyway.
    Had TSA open mine before. They tossed my locks, didn't compress it like I had it so all my stuff moved around and one of my rotors got tweaked. Lesson learned to remove the rotors. One other tip, don't leave CO2's in your gear or they will open it to remove them.

    If I were flying and weren't riding anywhere but Durango/Moab I'd probably fly into Albuquerque vs Denver. Much shorter drive. IIRC, it took me 7 hrs from Durango to Denver last summer but I was riding there. From Abq it's around 4 I think.
    "It's a dog eat dog world, Woody and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear?" ~ N Peterson

  4. #24
    dirty minded dimitrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    D, that's what I did a few years ago going to Denver, and this is what the airlines managed to do to the box. It was "lost" for a few hours before they "located" it. I had it double boxed and well taped. I definitely want to do a hard case this time, if I can find one at a reasonable price. :



    http://www.bikemojo.com/speak/showth...th-bike-in-box
    Cullen that is f^cking unbelievable, how did you not end up in jail for murder??
    What POS airline was that?

  5. #25
    MoJo Cardinal B Gillespie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notyal View Post
    I saw a mojo-made (can't remember who) video a year or two ago where he was able to pack all gear and his bike in two large suitcases and check it as standard luggage for free (or at least standard luggage rates). FWIW, it was a 26" DH bike.
    I'm thinking about trying this for the Whistler trip next year. Doesn't take THAT long to pull the rear triangle off...

  6. #26
    MoJo Bishop Dr. D's Avatar
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    I've shipped fedex before, SA to Phoenix. I shipped directly to the hotel I was staying at and my box was in the room when I checked in. Delivery to a business address saves a few bucks. I think I paid around $40 each way, well worth it considering I would have had to rent for 6 days if I went that route. I used a bike box, reinforced all the corners and "grab handles" with that tape that has the fiber strands in it. Airlines will just rape you, you never know what they will say until you are standing there with the box and your flight is about to board. They know they have you, your aren't going to cancel, go home or anything but pay up and shut up.

  7. #27
    dirtaoist maheoway's Avatar
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    That's what I was waiting to hear.
    In San Francisco a SC Tallboy is $100 for 2 days, adds up for 2 weeks+bike box rental.
    Would rather have my bike, undamaged, and available at any time.
    "old and in the way"
    I will go slower

  8. #28
    MoJo Mother Superior AntonioGG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maheoway View Post
    That's what I was waiting to hear.
    In San Francisco a SC Tallboy is $100 for 2 days, adds up for 2 weeks+bike box rental.
    Would rather have my bike, undamaged, and available at any time.
    I've flown SWA with an oversize bike box, 67 lbs gigantic box I bought on CL for $100. $50 each way and I get my own bike, tools, etc. I did remove tubes on the way there but forgot them on the way back and they were not removed. I think they're OK with the tubes. I was reading the rules and they allow them for some some purposes. I did not take the LPG 40g bottles though. That's definitely forbidden. I packed the bike in such a way that it was easy to put everything back in (this box has an aluminum frame the bike mounts to) and the wheels were in wheel bags (though they don't zip up...anyone have recommendations on 29er friendly wheel bags?) I left notes for TSA on what the powders were, how to close everything back up and get the box to latch, etc. They opened it both times. I got to my gate 3hrs before since that's what SWA recommends for traveling with extra sized bike boxes. Not a problem for me with a Saxon Pub at the airport and a good book to read.

  9. #29
    dirtaoist maheoway's Avatar
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    I've now read too many airline shipping horror stories.
    Fed Ex or UPS seems more sensible
    $229 for plastic XL shipping crate new
    Any out there for sale?
    Borrowing or renting for 2 or 3 weeks seems unlikely/expensive, could apply rent to purchase.
    Not interested in cardboard.
    "old and in the way"
    I will go slower

  10. #30
    cmc
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    Well, another summer, another trip. The dilemma returns: face the hassle of bringing bike on a plane (or shipping), versus renting a bike while there. Really want to ride my own bike this time.....



    This guy's video advice is to use a hockey bag and only a few towels for bike protection. I'm thinking he's just been lucky so far.....

    How To Fly Cheaper With Your Bike - Pinkbike


    How To Fly Cheaper With Your Bike
    Jul 22, 2010
    by Jordan Holmes Follow
    Add to Favorites

    Professional riders travel the world to ride in amazing locations and push their limits, but one of the most stressful parts of the job is having to fly with your bike. It really does seem like airlines are out to get us with their extra charges for pretty much anything that you can't fit into your pockets. Morpheus pro rider Mitch Chubey knows a thing or two about flying with his bike and inside he shares his method to get around those extra fees and lower the stress level on your next trip.

    Read on...

    Professional riders certainly look like they live the dream as they travel the world to ride their bikes with friends in amazing locations, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows. If you've taken your bike with you on vacation you've no doubt experienced the nightmare that can sometimes transpire at the check-in desk. I swear I've actually seen dollar signs appear in the clerks eyes as I slowly dragged my big cardboard bike box up to the counter. Morpheus team rider Mitch Chubey takes a different approach...

    Things you'll need: Allen key set, pedal wrench, some towels, and a duffel bag.


    Watch the video to learn how to get past excess baggage fees


    And another reason not to use cardboard shipping boxes through airports....



  11. #31
    Big wheeled Mojo ATX29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Gillespie View Post
    I'm thinking about trying this for the Whistler trip next year. Doesn't take THAT long to pull the rear triangle off...
    Did it for a Whistler trip year before last. Pulled the rear triangle off, wrapped everything in foam, stuffed it in a Cabelas duffle. Wheels in a wheel box with all my gear. Checked them both on South West at no charge.
    Endurance: The end is nothing;the road is all.
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  12. #32
    Over the Hill and Going Down Fast el gringo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notyal View Post
    I saw a mojo-made (can't remember who) video a year or two ago where he was able to pack all gear and his bike in two large suitcases and check it as standard luggage for free (or at least standard luggage rates). FWIW, it was a 26" DH bike.


    Over the Hill and Going Down Fast

  13. #33
    Over the Hill and Going Down Fast el gringo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    Well, another summer, another trip. The dilemma returns: face the hassle of bringing bike on a plane (or shipping), versus renting a bike while there.
    Don't we have this convo every year? We fly our DH bikes all over (and out of) the country every summer. If you settle-up with me on the AF lodging from last year, I'll walk ya through the tricks of the trade


    Over the Hill and Going Down Fast

  14. #34
    blah Anita Handle's Avatar
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  15. #35
    cmc
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    Quote Originally Posted by el gringo View Post
    Don't we have this convo every year? We fly our DH bikes all over (and out of) the country every summer. If you settle-up with me on the AF lodging from last year, I'll walk ya through the tricks of the trade
    Yeah, we do. But you were drinking Dale's Pale Ale and there were no demonstration.

    And for the record (although I'd rather keep it offline, but still don't want bikemojo to think I'm a deadbeat . . . there was also a matter of a request for me to go to Lowe's, buy materials, and get paid back...... ) Suffice it to say we are working it out in private.

  16. #36
    cmc
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    Even if you put the frame and fork in one bag or box and the wheels in another, it seems like a challenge to stay under 62 inches. My frame is around 40 inches long. I'll see what I can figure out.


    American Airlines

    https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...overweight.jsp


    OVERSIZED BAGGAGE (generally):
    Oversize baggage charges
    Baggage larger than 126 in/320 cm will not be accepted as checked baggage.

    Domestic Flights = $200 for Larger than 62 in/158 cm



    BICYCLES:

    You can travel with 1 non-motorized touring or racing bike if the:

    Bike is in a hard-sided case, bike bag or box built for bike transport
    Handlebars are fixed sideways
    Pedals are removed; or
    Pedals and handlebars are wrapped in plastic foam or a similar material
    Please note that if your bike is not in a hard-sided case, it will be treated as a fragile item.

    You’ll be charged $150 unless your bike and case are less than 62 inches and under 50 lbs. If so, they’ll be considered as your 1st checked bag.

    If you are traveling to, through or from Brazil, your bike will be considered a bag. Once your free bag allowance is exceeded you’ll be charged $85 for each additional bike.

    70 lbs. and 126 inches based on the airplane size and load factors

  17. #37
    dirty minded dimitrin's Avatar
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    Cullen I know you had a sorry experience with Southwest Air and a cardboard bike box, but I have flown my bike round trip 3 times, my wifes bike round trip twice, and a buddies bike round trip once in a cardboard boxes I got from the bike shop. All boxes still look as good as new.
    Southwest charges $75 each way, and the box folds flat for easy stowing between flights.
    I remove the handle bars, front wheel and front brake caliper and zip tie them to the frame. I made a point to pick boxes that were in excellent condition, then wrapped them with heavy duty packing tape so they are very water resistant.
    I am sure I posted pics somewhere, but am unable to find were I might have done that.
    Dude, you could swing by the house and check out the set-up, we could go ride some deception trail and drink a couple brews.
    Keep in mind I'm recovering from a severely broken leg, I'm not dropping anyone on rides these days.

    I'll try to find those pics of my bike packaged and post them.

  18. #38
    Over the Hill and Going Down Fast el gringo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    Yeah, we do. But you were drinking Dale's Pale Ale and there were no demonstration.
    Pfft . . .never at the right place at the right time. Last year, I did a demo for FR512 at Smokin' Hops after a TP sesh. You could've gotten the training and beers (and a sesh) all in one day. The Rough Riders asked me to do a video and I got about half way through, then stopped. I like riding more than screwing with vids. I'll try to finish it and post it. In the meantime, there's a clip of me packing in the beginning of this vid:



    Over the Hill and Going Down Fast

  19. #39
    cmc
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    There are some interesting differences in fees as well as liability waivers. United charges the most, but also appears to cover liability for damage in a cardboard box.


    Southwest Airlines
    https://www.southwest.com/html/custo...ggage-pol.html

    Bicycles (defined as nonmotorized and having a single seat), including Bike Friday and Co-Pilot, properly packed in a hard-sided bicycle box that fall within the dimensions and weight limits established for normal Checked Baggage, (i.e., 62 inches or less in overall dimensions and less than 50 pounds in weight). Pedals and handlebars must be removed and packaged in protective materials so as not to be damaged by or cause damage to other Baggage. Bicycles packaged in cardboard or soft-sided cases will be transported as subject to limited release. Note: See below for information regarding bicycles that exceed our checked baggage size limits. Additional charges may apply.

    Effective for tickets purchased on or after December 15, 2012, for travel on or after February 13, 2013, the items listed below will be accepted as Checked Baggage for a $75 each way charge. For tickets for travel before February 13, 2013, or for tickets purchased prior to December 15, 2012, the items listed below will be accepted as Checked Baggage for a $50 each way charge.

    Bicycles (defined as nonmotorized and having a single seat) properly packed in a bicycle box or hardsided case larger than 62 inches in total dimensions will be accepted as Checked Baggage. Pedals and handlebars must be removed and packaged in protective materials so as not to be damaged by or cause damage to other Baggage. Bicycles packaged in cardboard or softsided cases will be transported as subject to limited release items.



    Virgin America
    Contact Us | FAQs

    The following equipment is subject to a charge of $50.00 as checked baggage regardless of class of service, in lieu of the appropriate checked bag fee. Additional overweight charges apply if the item exceeds 50 pounds.
    Bicycles
    One item of bicycling equipment is: one non-motorized bicycle. Bicycles will be accepted in a hard-sided or padded bicycle case. Bicycles may also be accepted if the handlebars are secured sideways, the pedals removed and the bicycle encased in a plastic foam or similar material to prevent damage. Bicycles secured in this manner may also be packaged in a cardboard box. Virgin America will not accept responsibility for bicycles packaged in cardboard boxes or bicycles with foam packaging. Bicycles not in a hard-sided case will require a limited release tag. Virgin America does not supply bicycle boxes.




    United

    Traveling with Sports Equipment | United Airlines
    United accepts non-motorized bicycles with single or double seats (including tandem) or up to two non-motorized bicycles packed in one case as checked baggage. If the bicycle(s) are packed in a container that is over 50 pounds (23 kg) and/or 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), a $150 USD/CAD service charge applies each way for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a $200 USD/CAD service charge applies each way for all other travel. If the bicycle(s) are packed in a container that is less than 50 pounds (23 kg) and 62 (158 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), there is no bicycle service charge, but the first or second checked bag service charges may apply.

    The following are bicycle restrictions:

    Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed, or
    All loose items must be enclosed in plastic foam or similar protective material, or
    Bicycle should be transported in a sealed box.
    If your itinerary includes a United Express flight, please contact United for information regarding aircraft cargo hold limits
    United is not liable for damage to bicycles that do not have the handlebars fixed sideways and pedals removed, handlebars and pedals encased in plastic foam or similar material, or bicycles not contained in a cardboard containers or hard-sided cases.
    Note: Bicycles will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo when no excess baggage is allowed.



    Jet Blue
    JetBlue | Help
    Bicycles
    What is accepted:

    Bicycles will be accepted in a hard-sided, padded case designed for bicycles. If not in a hard-sided case, bikes will be accepted with the handle bars secured sideways and pedals removed. The bicycle must also be encased in plastic foam, a cardboard box (domestic flights only), or similar material to prevent damage.

    Domestic and International Flights:

    Bicycles will be accepted on domestic and certain international flights* for a fee of $50 per bike each way and will count as one of your checked bags. Excess baggage fees may apply.

    Please note: overweight baggage fees will not be assessed for bicycles. However, the maximum allotment of 99 pounds per bag still applies. Bicycle cases should contain bicycles only; cases containing additional items may be subject to excess baggage fees.

    Also note: if bicycle and container are less than 62 dimensional inches and under 50 pounds, the bike fee will not be assessed.

    *Bicycles are NOT accepted on flights to/from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peru and Port of Spain.
    Last edited by cmc; 06-04-2015 at 05:03 PM.

  20. #40
    cmc
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    Quote Originally Posted by el gringo View Post
    Pfft . . .never at the right place at the right time. Last year, I did a demo for FR512 at Smokin' Hops after a TP sesh. You could've gotten the training and beers (and a sesh) all in one day. The Rough Riders asked me to do a video and I got about half way through, then stopped. I like riding more than screwing with vids. I'll try to finish it and post it. In the meantime, there's a clip of me packing in the beginning of this vid:
    Thanks, Gringo. I will experiment with taking the rear triangle off etc. and finding a bag/box (e.g. 24" drum bag/case) for wheels.

    I was also able to borrow one of these Dakine bike bags, so I'll do some testing with that.
    Dakine-Bike-Bag Photo Album - Pinkbike



    OR..... 24" X 18" drum case for wheels . . . and put frame in a different smaller bag by removing/folding rear triangle... (per Gringo tip!)
    Last edited by cmc; 06-04-2015 at 05:08 PM.

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