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Any tips for airline travel w/bike?(12 posts)

Any tips for airline travel w/bike?bcm119
Sep 13, 2002 11:40 AM
I'm traveling on Delta tomorrow with my bike (I have a Colorado Cyclist bike box) and I saw on Delta's website that they charge $80 to check your bike. $80?? Isn't that ridiculous? Anyone have any secrets for avoiding this charge, outside of sticking a wheelchair sticker on it (which I can't bring myself to do)?
Probably SOL. . .js5280
Sep 13, 2002 11:47 AM
Not much you can do to fly the bike for free unless you book your ticket through Bicycle League of America or IMBA's "Don't get screwed by the airlines" program. I wouldn't recommend lying what's in the case post 9/11. So take the bike, some lube, and your credit card. Oh, that's $80 each way.
They charged me $90 when I flew this summer. (nm)onespeed
Sep 13, 2002 11:56 AM
Probably not, but . . .ms
Sep 13, 2002 12:05 PM
I traveled with my bike quite a bit this summer. The one time that I was able to get away without paying the fee was when there was a long line at the check-in counter and I only had as many checked bags, including the bike, as there were travelers (i.e., four bags -- my wife, two daughters (one large bag) and me). When the agent mentioned the fee, I said that it was the only bag I was checking and that it was very light (it was on the scale and it is lighter than most bags people check). The agent looked at the line, looked at the bike and said, in essence, I don't have time to do the paperwork for the charge, just don't let anyone know that I did not charge you. I may be breaking my end of the bargain, but at least I won't identify the airline.

BTW, the charges I did pay varied -- Southwest ($40.00); Northwest ($60.00 or $80.00 -- I can't remember which); America West ($75.00).

Finally, do not lie about the bike. My bike was damaged by British Airways (a freebie because it was an international flight -- not the freebie I mention above) and I have made a claim -- something that I could not do if I had lied about the contents of the bag.
try using the jedi mind trick on the ticket agentcyclinseth
Sep 13, 2002 12:12 PM
You, while passing you hand across your chest: "you do not need to charge me $80 for this box"

Ticket agent comments to partner: "We don't need to charge him $80 for that box"

You: "you will upgrade me to first class at no extra fee"

Ticket agent: "We'll upgrade him to first class at no extra fee"

In all seriousness, it did work for me once. I just told the ticket agent that she really didn't need to charge me (in a very kind and pleasent tone). You never know unless you ask. Sometimes you might get lucky.
Pedal fast to keep airborn. (nm)Captain Morgan
Sep 13, 2002 12:26 PM
Leave your co2 home, $500 fine ,if they snag you.curlybike
Sep 13, 2002 2:18 PM
Delta allows you an "out"Elefantino
Sep 13, 2002 3:40 PM
Delta rules say that that if you are traveling with "bicycle parts" rather than a whole bike, it's free ... no charge. However, the box will be opened when it goes through the scanner because of the metal parts inside.

Technically, a bike that is not put together is "parts." And Delta will not dispute this, particularly if you do something clever like pack your tires, tubes and saddle in your carry-on.

I just called Delta to confirm that this is still true, and it is. Good luck.

FWIW,
Mike
Hey, great advice.carnageasada
Sep 13, 2002 4:01 PM
I'm flying Delta next month with my bike. Er, I mean bike parts.
Sky Cap check inKerry
Sep 13, 2002 4:34 PM
Not sure what the rules are these days, since I have only once used a Sky Cap for baggage check, but if there is any way to do a curb side check, a nice tip to the Sky Cap may eliminate the (outrageous) bike charge. Another gimmick is to say that it is sports equipment for display. You do have a very nice looking bike that you want to show off, don't you?
re: Any tips for airline travel w/bike?DERICK
Sep 13, 2002 9:07 PM
Send it fed ex ground. I flew to Moab Utah and sent my bike Fed ex ground for $27.00 With 500.00 Insurance and had it waiting for me at the place I was staying. No hassle and no problem fitting it in the car with the other luggage or the rental car. $500.00 is the deductable on my homeowners insurance which covers my bicycles. This was for a full suspension mountain bike weighing about 23 pounds so a road bike might be a little cheaper.
re: Any tips for airline travel w/bike?moabbiker
Sep 14, 2002 2:32 AM
Agreed, send it by courier. Much more convenient and probably cheaper. Travelling to a large airport with baggage in tow is a major pain these days. I wouldn't want to even try it with a bike.