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Who's flown recently with a bike??(6 posts)

Who's flown recently with a bike??PaulCL
May 2, 2003 10:51 AM
I'm going to Colorado next month...7 kids...500 miles.....saddle sores...aches..pains...oh joy..

But, I have to carry the bike on a plane. I haven't flown with my bike before 9/11. So, how have the rules changed?? I used to scam my bike on for free by telling them that my big box, plastered with "Fragile:Conference Material Enclosed" bumpers stickers, was for a conference. Will that work now?? Am I screwed and have to pay the $80 each way??

Any and all suggestions welcome. Thanks. Paul

P.S. I'm totally thrilled to be going to Colorado again. I promise to take a lot of pictures and only post the good ones....
Early March experiencems
May 2, 2003 11:08 AM
I took my bike from BWI (Baltimore-Washington Int'l) to LAX in early March. I also have been in the Louisville, Kentucky, and Columbus, Ohio, airports within the last month (without bike). I do not think that the old Conference Materials scam will work. In all of the airports, except BWI, I had to take my bags to an x-ray machine before they went on the conveyor belt behind the check-in agents. Things that were too large for the x-ray machine, like my Trico Iron Case, were opened by the TSA agents and inspected by hand.

I usually put a lot of stuff in the bike case in addition to the bike (e.g., saddle bag, tools, etc.). When my bike was inspected at LAX, it took ten minutes for the TSA agent to take everything apart (including taking everything out of the saddle bag and taking my minitool apart). Suggestion # 1 -- put as little in the bike case as possible other than the bike. The TSA agents at LAX did not know how to open the case, but they also would not let me near it when they were inspecting it (I guess I could have slipped something in to it). I had to yell instructions to the agents from 10 feet away. Suggetion #2 -- you may want to have instructions for opening the case handy and instructions for how to put everything back together after the TSA agents take it apart. Finally, $80 is a scam, but it seems to be the going rate except for Southwest -- they only charge $40.00 for a bike. Suggestion #3 -- fly Southwest if you can.

P.S. Remember to leave your co2 cartridges at home -- I have been told (but have not checked the authority myself) that it is a federal crime to pack co2 cartridges in checked luggage.
Me...Mike Prince
May 2, 2003 11:11 AM
I did in February. I don't think your trick will work anymore, in fact it's probably not worth a try. I called USAirways and asked them what their policy was - the answer was $80 each way.

I showed up at the airport in Charlotte, bike packed in padded bag. Got to the counter and checked the bag. It needed to go on the oversize conveyor, so the person at the desk carried it over there. "What's in the bag?", she asked. "A bicycle" I said. I walked away without paying a cent. I am convinced that my frequent flights with USAirways (150+ segments a year) had nothing to do with this, that it was just oversight on the ticket person's part.

I would be honest, count on paying the fee and if you don't get charged, feel lucky.

In all frankness, if it were me, I would box up the bike and ship it to your destination. If you have more than one ride this works well. Also costs like $35 each way. Just my $0.02
shipping it aheadPaulCL
May 2, 2003 11:48 AM
I called UPS a year or so ago about shipping the bike and if memory serves, it was more expensive than $80 each way??

Who do you call to ship it??? USPS?? UPS?? Fedex??? If I can do it for $35, I'll do it. It will save me $110 overall.
shipping it aheadukiahb
May 2, 2003 3:59 PM
UPS is indeed about $30, had a bike shipped from CO to CA last year and it was $27, also just ordered a Trico case, and shipping in that is $32 (w/ a small box also)
re: Who's flown recently with a bike??kermit
May 3, 2003 6:11 AM
If you haven't purchased your plane ticket yet, consider flying with Frontier airlines. Their central hub is located in Colorado and their prices are really good, even on last minute ticket purchases. The bonus is that they only charge $50 each way.

If you deceide to courier the bike I hope you have better luck than I did. I shipped my bike via FedEX ground; they managed to lose it, find it, deliver it 2.5 weeks late with major damage in three different spots (frame, fork, rear derailleur).

I purchased insurance, but it looks as though they are going to deny my claim because it is a "used" bike.

Any one here a lawyer?