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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone flown with a bike? Do you just pack it in a bike box and check it like a normal bag? Would the size or weight (30 pound bike) of the box exceed the airline's size/weight restrictions?

Finally, is packing a bike worth the trouble? Where I live, it's been freeeeeezing cold and I've been crazy busy at work lately, so I haven't been able to ride in a month. I'm heading to a slightly warmer climate and I'll finally have some free time, so the thought of getting in some riding is quite appealing. I'd guess I'd be able to get 3 good rides in if I took my bike.
 

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You have to pack it in an FAA certified shipping crate - they are hard plastic and run around $200-300. You can get them from any online bike shop. Some LBS have them for rent as well. I believe there is also a fee that varies by airline... others will have more info on this.

The last time I took my bike on a trip I sent it UPS and it got severely abused. I would recommend FedEx if you opt not to fly with it. Whenever I have looked into flying with the bike it has worked about to be the same price as shipping (that's within USA).
 

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I've heard that if you put a sticker on the outside of the bike case that says something like "artwork" or "photo equipment" that they won't charge you a bike fee at the airport.

Have always shipped my bike, will give the regular mechanic a few extra bucks to dismantle and pack it (in a cardboard bike box.) We've always had decent luck with FedEx.

Most recently shipped my HT via UPS and it was just peachy.
 

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you can take it with you but the airlines will charge you extra.

To check a bag and not have it cost extra the L+W+H cannot exceed 62 inches. For a bike most airlines charge around 80 dollars each way. If you say its not a bike I am not sure how much if any that saves you.

The cheapest way to get your bike to your destination is by fedex ground. Fedex ground has some size restrictions. Some bike boxes fit within the fedex size restrictoins for the cheapest rate some don't. If you want to get the cheap rate check the dimensions of your box on the fedex online rate calculator.

As a point of referance it cost me about 30 dollars to ship my bike by fedex ground from Austin TX to Moab last spring.
 

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ship it

I've flown with it and just used the standard bike cardboard box and it got beat up pretty good. Cost me 80 bucks both ways.
I just shipped mine this time, with Fedex, and it cost me 50 bucks and that was with 4500 bucks in insurance! It arrived in perfect condition.
 

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Insurance...

Airlines make you sign a disclaimer. If they wreck it, lose it, burn it, steal it.....whatever, you are not covered. After signing away your legal rights, they charge you something like 75-100 dollars for the weird box. It counts against the normal limit of two bags each, so you might end up paying another 50-100 for your baggage as well. It kinda makes you wonder how the airlines survived this long, don't it?

If you're going home to Mommy, ship the bike UPS in a bike box. You can buy insurance, and it costs about the same as the airlines. If you're taking a biking vacation, you can ship it to a local bike shop, or a UPS store and pick it up when you arrive. They will typically save your box for the return trip too.
 

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Lutarious said:
Airlines make you sign a disclaimer. If they wreck it, lose it, burn it, steal it.....whatever, you are not covered. After signing away your legal rights, they charge you something like 75-100 dollars for the weird box. It counts against the normal limit of two bags each, so you might end up paying another 50-100 for your baggage as well. It kinda makes you wonder how the airlines survived this long, don't it?

If you're going home to Mommy, ship the bike UPS in a bike box. You can buy insurance, and it costs about the same as the airlines. If you're taking a biking vacation, you can ship it to a local bike shop, or a UPS store and pick it up when you arrive. They will typically save your box for the return trip too.
There is some kind of deal through IMBA that if you are a member and use their travel agent you can fly with your bike without an airline fee. In other words, you still have to have a hard plastic case and pay more for the ticket through their methods but there is no $50-100 bike fee.

Probably better off saving the few bucks on airfare through online ticket booking and shipping the bike.

IIRC, ibmkidiii used the IMBA method last holiday season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. It probably won't be worth the trouble to bring my bike for this trip, but maybe in the future. If I decide to ride, I'll probably just rent a bike for a few days.
 

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slcmtb said:
Thanks for the replies. It probably won't be worth the trouble to bring my bike for this trip, but maybe in the future. If I decide to ride, I'll probably just rent a bike for a few days.
I find that the kindness of peopleis overwhelming. If you get on the regional forum of the place you are going to visit, you are bound to find someone with a loaner bike or good advice on where to beg, borrow, rent or steal one for the duration of your trip. This takes some advance planning.
 
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