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Air travel with bike(4 posts)

Air travel with bikeKEN2
Apr 16, 2001 9:16 AM
Does anyone have experience with getting around the fee for air travel with your bike? I can rent a hardside plastic bike case cheaply, but I don't really understand the mechanism by which the counter assesses the $50-60 fee. Do they just ask you (in which case I have no problem telling them "it's just pair of skis folded in half")?

I am an IMBA member but in order to travel with bikes for free you must purchase tix through their travel service. I am using frequent flyer miles so that's not an option. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated.
re: Air travel with bikePaulCL
Apr 16, 2001 10:24 AM
A buddy of mine goes to a print shop and has a big sticker printed up that says "Convention Display Material - Fragile" and sticks it on his bike box. If asked, he then claims that his "partner" has the key and his partner is on another flight. It's a lie, but it works. For some reason, convention material, golf clubs, big boxes, etc.. don't cost extra but a bike will cost $50 each way. It's not fair - so look'em in the eye and lie like a dog!
re: Air travel with bikeLanterne Rouge
Apr 16, 2001 12:02 PM
I've had good luck by always checking my bike box at the curb, while conspicuously holding a $20 bill for the skycap to see. Most skycaps would rather get the $20 than send you to the check-in gate where the airline gets the dough. This has worked for me 90% of the time, including last weekend at the Ride for the Roses, where there were dozens of people checking bikes.

A word of caution about the outright lying route. If something happens to the bike in transit, you will probably not be able to make any claim, including a claim up to the air carrier's limitation of liability of $1500ish, if you are found to have checked it as something other than it is. Plus, if they tell you to either open it or not check it, and it's found to be something other than what you said, you could be refused boarding and have the FAA in your face. Unlikely possibilities, but unpleasant enough to deter me.

Enjoy traveling with your bike. There's nothing like having your own trusty steed when you're away from home.
Thanks for the responses! nmKEN2
Apr 17, 2001 5:24 PM