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League of American Bicyclists -- "Bikes Fly Free"(10 posts)

League of American Bicyclists -- "Bikes Fly Free"jtolleson
Feb 20, 2002 8:16 AM
Anyone ever taken advantage of this perk for LAB membership?

After deciding to join a friend in Austin for Ride for the Roses, I joined LAB to take advantage of this deal. Here's what I learned:

I found a fare of $195.50 roundtrip on the Frontier airlines site, but upon calling the travel agent who handles the LAB account she could only find a fare $35 higher than that I could get on the web. Then, you pay Navigant travel a $30 fee. That on top of the LAB membership ($30) meant that I paid $95 more than if I had just booked a ticket. That's basically the price of transporting a bike roundtrip ($50 each way on Frontier)

*sigh* I am happy for LAB to have my money, but the higher fare PLUS service fee was a little maddening.

Has anyone found this program to be of value?
the fine print ...tarwheel
Feb 20, 2002 8:37 AM
I also looked into the LAB program but decided not to take advantage after reading all the fine print. It's a great idea, but unfortunately you might give back much or all of your savings by having to use their travel service. In my case, I had a flight voucher I was trying to use, so the LAB program would have been of no value.

The good side, I guess, is that once you've paid your $30 LAB membership, you won't have to pay that cost again (at least for another year). If any of the airlines ever decide to carry bicycles for no additional cost (or a reasonable fee), that will be the one that gets my business.

Does anyone know what the different airlines charge for bikes, for US flights? The $50 fee from Frontier sounds relatively cheap. From what I've heard, most airlines charge about $75 each way.
the fine print ...jtolleson
Feb 20, 2002 8:45 AM
I think you are right that Frontier's $50 is below standard. I've paid $80 each way before, and that was a couple of years ago.

I often hear stories about folks not getting charged at all, so long as they have a hard case (i.e., no cardboard boxes) and use curbside (skycaps will look the other way). I've not experimented with that, though.

For organized events like Ride for the Roses, some airlines offer a bikes fly free deal (here it is American, but the fare is $70 higher, so what's the point?).

Whenever traveling to a bike ride, it is worth checking to see if there is a "travel sponsor."
Its a rip-offpmf1
Feb 20, 2002 9:06 AM
I looked into this and there are too many restrictions. You have to book through their agent which means you probably have a choice of one airline which won't be the cheapest or most convenient. Its not a good deal and they really tout it as a great feature in their brochure, which I think is dishonest.
Its a rip-offTrux
Feb 20, 2002 10:47 AM
So what's the soultion? What is the cheapest most efficient way to ship a bicycle (within the US) over a distance greater than 500 miles?
Its a rip-offpmf1
Feb 20, 2002 11:11 AM
I suppose you could UPS it. Kind of a hassle arranging drop off and pick up.

I figure that $150 round trip is a lot for taking a bike along, but its better than having to pay almost as much to rent one that doesn't fit right. I hear all these ways of getting around it, but none have ever worked for me. Lat time I traveled, I only paid half on the way out and then when it came up on the way back I told the agent "I already paid". Maybe she was new or confused, but she said OK.
Its a rip-offturtlemoye
Feb 20, 2002 11:25 AM
If you are a member of USCF you can go to their web page and register for free bike transport with american airlines. I just got my two coupons(one for each way) but haven't looked at all the details.

That's funny, they booked the $195 fare for me in Janurary. . .js5280
Feb 20, 2002 9:42 AM
LAB I think uses the Navigant travel agency. I went through my IMBA membership and they use Navigant. My fare was $225 w/ $30 fee. I booked back in Jan though. Wouldn't happen to be on flight 214 would you?
Hey! You aren't helping! : )jtolleson
Feb 20, 2002 10:24 AM
No, I booked on the earlier flight (216) and I'm going out Wed. because I have pals in Austin. Our return is on flight 811 (Monday 4/15).
Nope different flight back too. . . nmjs5280
Feb 20, 2002 3:24 PM