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airlines dont like bikes(38 posts)

airlines dont like bikesishmael
Apr 11, 2002 8:58 AM
im going to the cayman islands for a couple of days and was going to borrow a bike box and ship my bike...the airlines(american) said they charge 80 bucks no matter how small i manage to get the bike down to...if they find out its a bike they charge you...
Try telling them it is a Trade Show Display...Alpedhuez55
Apr 11, 2002 9:09 AM
THat can work sometimes but may not be as easy for an international flight though. I like the European airlines better. It is considered a piece of luggage as long as it meets weight and size restrictions. I was able to pack my bike and some clothes in the box with weight to spare!!!

Good Luck!!!
Mike Y.
re: airlines dont like bikespmf1
Apr 11, 2002 9:39 AM
The charge is probably $80 EACH WAY.

I was told that they do the same for golf clubs, skis and other large items to discourage it. Usually, its free on international flights if the case is one of your two pieces of luggage. I've never been able to get around this. So-called dodges:

1. Give it to the sky-cap outside and tip him well. I did this and he wheeled it right up to the desk where the clerk charged me.
2. Tell the clerk its convention equipment. "Good, then your company will re-imburse you" was the answer I got.
3. If it comes out the cargo chute, go comkplain that you payed for it ot be specially handled. It wasn't so you'll get refunded. Unfortunately, it never comes out the cargo chute except on international flights (when its free).

I did partially get out of it once. Pay only one-way. On the way back (when you're supposed to pay again) you may be able to confuse the clerk by saying you already paid for it on the way out.

OK, so you have to eat $160. Its a bummer, but a rental bike for your vacation will probably cost $100 or so and be a complete POS compared to your bike. If I'm taking time off work, spending money on a vacation and part of the vacation involves cycling, there's no question that its worth $160 to have my own bike.
Golf Clubs fly free...TJeanloz
Apr 11, 2002 9:59 AM
I've never had an airline even TRY to charge for golf clubs. The business travel market is too lucrative to insult with petty fees.
Apr 11, 2002 10:10 AM
I was told they do by the clerk, but I didn't have any on me. I guess she was trying to console me with a lie.

Another injustice!
Golf Clubs fly free...Troyboy
Apr 11, 2002 10:12 AM
Yep, I've flown my clubs ALL over the place. Never ever been asked for a penny. I've flown two pair of skiis all over the darn place in a huge ski bag too, no charge.
Golf Clubs fly free...ALBikeGuy
Apr 11, 2002 12:24 PM
A guy came in here for a business trip and brought his bike with him, on the plane. He had a "Ping" sticker on the outside of his bike box (hard shell), they never questioned him on it.

He said he told the person at the counter that he was hoping to get a little golf in during his trip....which was true, except he didn't bring his clubs.

Don't know if it will always work, but sure is funny!
Golf Clubs fly free...Troyboy
Apr 11, 2002 12:30 PM
That's a good one! LOL

Lil secret, ship it from work using the UPS account. Bring a call tag with you for the return. Don't tell boss.
re: airlines dont like bikesRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 12:43 PM
Mine came out of the cargo shoot. Didn't thing of that. Everyone sat there commenting how big the luggage was. As for confusing the flight, it doesn't work. They know you have to pay it twice.
Joim IMBAlaffeaux
Apr 11, 2002 9:56 AM
Bikes fly free on some airlines (not American unfortunately).
Bikes Fly Free!TJeanloz
Apr 11, 2002 9:58 AM
Tickets cost twice as much!

Notice, you have to use their travel agent- who charges an additional $30 fee. And they don't get decent flight prices.
Not true, my ticket today was the best fare when I bought it.js5280
Apr 11, 2002 11:54 AM
I have had heard this before though and I know sometimes you can't get the lowest fares you could find otherwise. However, in same cases in you can. Yes, you do pay $30 for the agenecy but they pretty much all charge that now. I agree, bikes should fly for free just like other sports equipment of reasonable size.
Not true, my ticket today was the best fare when I bought it.TJeanloz
Apr 11, 2002 11:59 AM
Every time I've tried to use the IMBA or USA Cycling travel agent, the ticket price has been ridiculous. It will be like $300 on Orbitz, and the USA Cycling travel desk will tell you they can get an "extra super-saver discount rate" of $799...
Joim IMBApmf1
Apr 11, 2002 10:00 AM
I thought of this too, but you have to use their travel agent to book tickets and I recently heard that there was some charge involved. In a nutshell, the claim they make about member's bikes flying free has some strings attached.
My MT bike is arriving in Moab today...biknben
Apr 11, 2002 9:59 AM
I won't be there till Saturday. I shipped it UPS 2-day for about $140 from NJ. Ground shipping would have cost $60-70. It's a bit steep but what can I do. It will cost the same to ship it back. I'm returning Wed. and need it back for a race the following weekend. Otherwise I'd just ship it ground.

IMO, the airlines are a joke. They charge an outrageous fee just because they can. They figure cause us cyclists, golfers, and skiers are serious enough to want our own stuff that we'll fork over the extra cash. They also don't offer any guarantees or insurance. My trip is only 4 days long. If my bike gets "mishandled" for even a day my vacation is trashed. Not gonna risk that when UPS, FedEX, etc. will guarantee shippment with insurance.
Apr 11, 2002 10:09 AM
Are you nuts? You'll be paying $280 round trip to ship your bike when you could have paid $160. You really think the guys loading palnes for UPS are any more gentle and caring than the airlines? I worked for UPS one summer and I can tell you, packages are not treated gingerly. Plus, if you have a decent case and you pack it right, that should not be a concern. I watched a guy in Paris drop my bike 4 feet from a cargo bay onto the tarmac. There was no damage. The chances of your bike getting lost is a lot higher with UPS than the airline. How many stops do you have? Its not like you're flying to Pakistan with it. You really think they'll lose your bike? Best thing about taking it on the plane is that its there when you are. You're wasting your money.
Apr 11, 2002 10:38 AM
Ever gotten to your destination without your clothes? Try going on a Bike vacation without your bike. Screwed!!!

I don't expect UPS to treat it gingerly. I don't care if they drag it there. It's packed well in a hard case. I'm confident it will get there in one piece. I'm also garanteed it will get there on time.

If UPS looses it (I think highly unlikely), it's issured for as much as it's worth, new. I wouldn't mind renting a bike knowing that I could buy a new one when I got home.

I'm not concerned the airline will Loose it or mistreat it. My concern is that it not guaranteed to arrive when I do. Like I said, I'm only there for 4 days.

You may have worked at UPS but you have not stood in line at a customer servce desk asking "Where's my luggage?", only to hear "We'll contact you when it turns up!"
It has happened to mepmf1
Apr 11, 2002 10:49 AM
I did have the airlines lose my bike for one day when I was in Italy last year. It showed up the next day and I arrived several days before my bike trip started, so no problem. I'd think the chances are much smaller on a domestic flight.

Oh well, just goes to show that having one's bike on a bike related vacation is indeed worth the expense.
It has happened to mehikerryank
Apr 12, 2002 5:20 AM
I haven't had my bike lost yet, but when I went to Idaho with my MTB, the Delta agent told me my bike would be the last thing to go on the plane. This is because they wanted to make sure they could get all the luggage and cargo on, even though I'd paid the extra $70. They also insulted me by putting heavy stickers all over my bike box which contained a 26lbs Santa Cruz and nothing on my mother's 70lbs suitcase. Make sure you bring your own box, because they will charge you an extra $15 for a box if you don't have one.
It has happened to mepmf1
Apr 12, 2002 5:27 AM
On the way back from a bike trip in Italy, I remember being so paranoid because my wife and I had packed so much crap we bought on the trip in our bike cases. I had nightmares of frantically redistributing things in the airport. The guy flopped them on the scale and both were around 45 kilos -- almost 100 lbs. He never flinched and off they went down the conveyor belt. We were eating Italian hard cheese for months after we got home.
Apr 11, 2002 12:46 PM
UPS only insures for up to $100. You are on your own for the rest, although it probably isn't as much as the airline charges for insurance.
Actually, not so. They insure up to plenty.Troyboy
Apr 11, 2002 1:17 PM
They'll insure up to, I don't know if there's a limit, I'm sure there is. You pay a percentage, so, the higher you insure, the more you pay. It's pretty much a no questions asked situation should something get lost or damaged. Check arrives very quickly for the full insured amount.

We ship lots of expensive stuff from work and insuring it is more common than not.
Actually, not so. They insure up to plenty.RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 5:04 PM
The first $100 is covered. All else is extra. Southwest Airlines insures up to $250 and anything above that is extra.
First $100 is free...35 cents/$100 after...(nm)biknben
Apr 12, 2002 4:10 AM
airlines dont like passengers eithermr_spin
Apr 11, 2002 10:05 AM
Just give them your money, sit down, and shut up.

They make much more money off of cargo.
$80 is not that bad...colker
Apr 11, 2002 12:25 PM
i've been charged 100 for an extra (much smaller than a bike case..) luggage.
if you travel a lot, why not build a frame with s&s couplings? you can pack your bike in a small case... no ultra thin walled steel tubes are allowed though.
re: airlines dont like bikesRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 12:40 PM
Remember the $80 bucks is both ways. I fly SWA. They charge $35 both ways. Still a rip off. I always say I bet you don't charge your corporate execs any money for thier golf clubs.
re: airlines dont like bikesRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 12:40 PM
Also remember, they only have a limited insurance policy that wouldn't cover an upper level pro style bike.
Once again, not so...Troyboy
Apr 11, 2002 1:23 PM
Last time I shipped a frameset I insured it for $1000 just to be sure. I just ran our UPS system here. For a 20 pound package from CA to TX it's $9.40, insured at $1000 it's $12.83 and insured for $4000 it's $23.33.

Like I've said, if it's lost and they can't track it down, it's pretty much a no wait for your money, no questions asked deal. I've used it for work before. If it's damaged, they'll take ownership of the damaged whatever it is and get you a check fast.
Once again, not so...RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 5:05 PM
Actually it is so. They only insure up to a certain dollar amount and you pay for the extra. So a pro quality bike is not totally insured under their terms of service, and you are forced into purchasing more insurance.
Again, not so.Troyboy
Apr 11, 2002 11:52 PM
Semantics. They'll insure up to whatever you want. Yes, you have to pay more. Your statement was something like *they have a limited liability policy and will not insure*. That is incorrect. They are the closest thing to a no questions asked policy. A large digital projector got damaged for us. They took it and I think we had our money within a week.

I'm not interested in a battle of words.

Not a big deal. $3 for $900 worth of insurance. $13 for $3900 of insurance? Irrelevant to me considering what I've sold via roadbikereview classifieds.

Fact remains, they'll insure to a large extent for very cheap. Would you ship a Prince and not spend $13 to insure it? Not me.
Neither do buses.RoyGBiv
Apr 11, 2002 1:57 PM
The local intercity commuter bus hereabouts recently banned people from stowing their bikes underneath. Seems some luggage had become damaged and the bus line said to hell with it. What a pain this has become. Wish they'd be more European and install bike racks on fronts or backs of buses.
Chicago El TrainsRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 5:06 PM
Allow bikes on the train during the weekends at no extra cost.
Asian airlines don't charge a dimetandemania
Apr 11, 2002 4:41 PM
I was in Thailand in January. Had a tandem with me and the Thai airlines didn't charge me anything. The only problem is(as part of Sept 11 security measures) we had to X-ray our tandem like the rest of the ordinary luggages.
Asian airlines don't charge a dimeRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 11, 2002 5:08 PM
I am surprised you didn't have to remove the saddle to check the tubing. I hope that the bike didn't get stuck in the x ray. That is a great picture.
Asian airlines don't charge a dimepmf1
Apr 12, 2002 10:54 AM
Christ, I ride my bike into the White House grounds commuting and the Secret Service never checks the seat tube or my seat bag. They like to pick it up and marvel at how light it is though.
Grand Cayman's a lousy place to rideripSRV
Apr 12, 2002 9:53 AM
Been there and played golf. The island is flatter than Fargo and the roads are lousy. Leave your bike home and sit on the beach like you're supposed to. Spend that $160.00 on rum and taxi's.

IMHO, it's better to pay the airlines and have a bike on the same flight rather than UPS. I've had one bad UPS experience for a bike trip. UPS better than US mail though.

I heard the reason airlines charge for bikes is because somebody shipped an expensive rig in a lousy container, it got damaged, and all the airlines remembers is paying for that guy's new sled. From that day forward they covered ass and charged everybody the same.

Other airlines followed policy. Have a nice vacation and leave the bike at home. TC
Good advicepmf1
Apr 12, 2002 10:51 AM
Especially the rum part.