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Thread: Taking your bike on an airplane

  1. #1
    MoJo Mother Superior coopers98's Avatar
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    Taking your bike on an airplane

    Looking for any pointers in trying to find the best way to haul my bike on an airline. I have a Durango to Moab trip scheduled for next month and am looking at airfare to Durango.

    United has a good ticket price right now at $148, but as far as I can see, they charge $100 to check a bike box.

    Anyone have any info on best airlines? Also, I'll be travelling with my Kona Hei Hei 29er. Do you know if I'll run into any issues with it be a 29er vs 26er as far as box size, packing, etc?

    Of course, other option is to FedEx the bike ahead of time, but I'd really rather just have it on the airplane with me instead of risking some issue with a mail carrier.

    Just looking for any helpful input!

  2. #2
    MoJo Mother Superior Disco Stu's Avatar
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    frontier takes bikes for free.

    Southwest is $50 a way.

    Both have restrictions ----find it on their website and print it out. Take it with you when you fly---ticket agents sometimes do not know their own policies.

  3. #3
    dirty minded dimitrin's Avatar
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    I am flying with my bike to Oregon.
    I booked a flight with no plane change to minimize lost baggage issues. SouthWest charges $50 each way to fly a bike. I am using the same box that the bikes are shipped to the shops. I reinforced a couple areas, and only have to remove the handlebars, front wheel and front caliper. A very small amount of packing foam helps to really secure everything.
    I will try to post a video that depicts the packing process.

  4. #4
    MoJo Mother Superior coopers98's Avatar
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    Some info/notes.

    Durango has 4 airlines that fly in:
    Frontier - http://www.frontierairlines.com/cust...-fragile-items - No charge if not overweight
    US Airways - http://www.usairways.com/en-US/trave...cialitems.html - $200 each way
    United - https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...ge/sports.aspx - $100-200 each way
    American Airlines - https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...tems_container - $150

    Frontier doesn't have flights that will work due to connection times in Denver so that's out =/ I potentially could fly Southwest to Denver and then recheck on Frontier to Durango, but that's a PITA...

    BLARG!

  5. #5
    dirty minded dimitrin's Avatar
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    ... the pedals are removed as well.

  6. #6
    dirty minded dimitrin's Avatar
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    "Oversize" will get you on Frontier as well.

  7. #7
    Yo
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    TechniKal's Avatar
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    Get a Crateworks box

    http://www.crateworks.com/merchant.m...ode=Bike-Boxes

    or make your own. They have a lot more room than a normal hardside case and would have no problem fitting a 29er. Cheaper too. I had one I'd lend, but some asshole borrowed it from me a few years ago and never returned it.

    BTW - I think the odds of an issue with Fedex is probably about the same as an issue with the airlines. I can understand wanting to keep it close by, though.

  8. #8
    Just along for the ride Wumpus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimitrin View Post
    I am using the same box that the bikes are shipped to the shops. I reinforced a couple areas, and only have to remove the handlebars, front wheel and front caliper. A very small amount of packing foam helps to really secure everything.
    Make sure everything is ziptied together so it comes out as one piece because the TSA is going to open it.

    "No bike does everything perfectly. In fact, no bike does anything until someone gets on it to ride."

  9. #9
    dirty minded dimitrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimitrin View Post
    "Oversize" will get you on Frontier as well.
    Gotta retract that statement after readin the bicycle page.
    Thats really good.

  10. #10
    Auger Boy Mr Bacon Jr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wumpus View Post
    Make sure everything is ziptied together so it comes out as one piece because the TSA is going to open it.

    This is enough to ship via FedEx. I shipped my 575 to California via FedEx Ground for $60. 4 days transit, safe and sound. The TSA guys are likely to not put it back the way you would want it.
    2012 Yeti SB-95a Black


  11. #11
    hold my beer and watch this! RMBL's Avatar
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    It's such bullshit. Dk makes a bike bag that looks like a golf bag because of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Everyone
    Is Walnut Dry?

  12. #12
    MoJo Mother Superior TheSarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9.81m/s^2=5m1L3Z View Post
    It's such bullshit. Dk makes a bike bag that looks like a golf bag because of this.
    Try fitting a 29er wheel in that DK bag.

    I tried to solve this problem last year on a trip to Moab but finally realized it was cheaper overall to rent a bike while I was there.

  13. #13
    MoJo PoLaR BeAr
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    UPS, fwiw, is way expensive. When I ground shipped my SuperMoto in March it was ridiculo expensive. My bike + shop-cardboard-box weighed in just at 60#, ended up 90# "shipping weight". The SuMo by itself is about 37# - the other weight in the box came from packing and the box itself.

    OTOH, the TSA didn't have to handle it, and I would have only saved about 12% of the shipping cost if I'd sent it through Delta - and since they routed me via Crazy Flights I was a lot happier knowing that The Bike Was There (even if Shinerider did get some personal Happy Time with it).

  14. #14
    hold my beer and watch this! RMBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    Try fitting a 29er wheel in that DK bag.

    I tried to solve this problem last year on a trip to Moab but finally realized it was cheaper overall to rent a bike while I was there.
    Its more of a 20inch thing. The point being how ridiculous it is charging for bikes but not so many other things.

    Best laugh was Chris Moeller (owner of s&m bikes) years ago at the reno national. Wheeled his bike up to the luggage check with a luggage tag on it. when they told him it needed to be boxed he said "youre charging me $100... You figure it the fuck out". An airport full of hungover bmxers with smiles at 7am straight outta the gentlemens club...

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2
    Quote Originally Posted by Everyone
    Is Walnut Dry?

  15. #15
    MoJo Bishop Browndog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coopers98 View Post
    Some info/notes.

    Durango has 4 airlines that fly in:
    Frontier - http://www.frontierairlines.com/cust...-fragile-items - No charge if not overweight
    US Airways - http://www.usairways.com/en-US/trave...cialitems.html - $200 each way
    United - https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...ge/sports.aspx - $100-200 each way
    American Airlines - https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...tems_container - $150

    Frontier doesn't have flights that will work due to connection times in Denver so that's out =/ I potentially could fly Southwest to Denver and then recheck on Frontier to Durango, but that's a PITA...

    BLARG!
    American does a direct flight from Dallas to Durango. Less chance of your bike not getting there when you do.

  16. #16
    MoJo Mother Superior pittzer's Avatar
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    Ship it here...

    Pedal the Peaks
    598 Main Ave
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    (970)-259-6880 (to set up receipt, storing, pack up)

  17. #17
    Who wants some? pulpwoody's Avatar
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    FYI, direct from the mouth of a Frontier employee behind the desk at Denver airport: the bike will cost you $20 bucks to fly with as long as it's under 45 pounds. Our suitcase was $20 each way, I don't think you can get away with free bags on Frontier.
    So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains, and never even know we have the key.


    Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

  18. #18
    cmc
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimitrin View Post
    . . . I am using the same box that the bikes are shipped to the shops. I reinforced a couple areas, and only have to remove the handlebars, front wheel and front caliper.
    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

  19. #19
    hold my beer and watch this! RMBL's Avatar
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    think you can rent hardcases from some shops. its ridiculous that the airlines do shit like that AND charge you...
    Quote Originally Posted by Everyone
    Is Walnut Dry?

  20. #20
    MoJo Neophyte ColbyRingeisen's Avatar
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    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.

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