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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Is there a cheap way to fly with your bike?

    I'm flying to Florida on United Airlines and wondering if there is a cheap way to bring my bike along. Seems they charge $200 r/t. Is there a box that you can scam on for just a checked bag fee???

  2. #2
    MB1
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    Ups.

    Hth
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  3. #3
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I travel with a bike 5-10 times a year. I just UPS it. US air charges 200 bucks each way. Way too much. I use a Trico Iron Case and its about 120 bucks round trip. My company picks up the tab.

  4. #4
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    I'm cheap enough that I'd try to fit the whole bike in two checked roller bags. I think frame/fork could fit easily in one of the larger roller suitcases, and if the wheels did not fit, I'd pack them in another roller, and fill in the gaps with clothes (properly shielding them from grease, of course). Then again, it depends on your skills with a wrench. I'm comfortable building an entire bike in a hotel room, so it would be worth a try.

    I just flew United to Colorado (from NY) and a single checked bag was only $25. If it took you two bags, thats only $100 round trip.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    buy a Ritchey Breakaway

  6. #6
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    I have a hard case and I always use shipbikes.com.

  7. #7
    Yea that's right.
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    Drum (set) cases.

    Starting doing it that way many years ago , not sure if it still 'flies' today though.

  8. #8
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    Check here:

    Airline Baggage Regulations For Bicycles

    We fly fairly frequently with our bikes and pretty much stick with JetBlue, SouthWest or Virgin who all charge $50 each way for a bike.

    We also use Aerus soft cases. Filled with CF bike, riding gear and accoutrements it weights ~35 lb and is much easier to deal with getting in out of shuttle buses, taxis and rental cars than a bulky hard case. It's also way easier to stow and/or transport when the bike is out of it. See the following for a review, which is a bit dated but still relevant. The case currently comes with a set of pads so you don't need to make your own.

    How I travel with my bike | DC Rainmaker
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyncStar View Post
    I'm flying to Florida on United Airlines and wondering if there is a cheap way to bring my bike along. Seems they charge $200 r/t. Is there a box that you can scam on for just a checked bag fee???
    There are regular reports of people packing their bikes very small (removing several parts) and stating that they are checking "exercise equipment" or "sporting goods display" (your bike is beautiful, right?). How well this works depends on who you talk to and of course if they open it up and see the bike then you'll get charged their full fee (often $100 each way).

  10. #10
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    +1 on the Ritchey Breakaway. I have one that serves as my commuter and rain bike. When it's time to hop on a flight, I disassemble, put it in it's box and check it as regular luggage. I've done a trip to Boulder and a trip to France with mine in the last year and it's worked out great.

  11. #11
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    Getting a folding bike is also an option. My Brompton folding bike checks as regular luggage (some airlines, such as southwest, have specific policies for folding bikes).

  12. #12
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    If you travel 5+ times a year, keep your eyes open for a used coupled bike with a travel case......it will pay for itself in no time.

    Otherwise, get a crateworks crate, and ship the bike. Many companies will let employees use their shipping discounts as long as you reimburse the cost. it's a win/win...you get the lower price and they get the volume.

    Len



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  13. #13
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    There was a blog about this a month ago -- they covered the various rates by different US airlines (since not all of them cover the same route).

    How to Avoid Excessive Bike Baggage Fees | The Far Ride

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by smcnees View Post
    +1 on the Ritchey Breakaway. I have one that serves as my commuter and rain bike. When it's time to hop on a flight, I disassemble, put it in it's box and check it as regular luggage. I've done a trip to Boulder and a trip to France with mine in the last year and it's worked out great.
    Ditto. I have over 20 trips with my Ritchey Breakaway in the past 1.5 years and it's a great solution for people who travel. And exploring new places by bike is perfect pace (car is too detached/fast, and by foot is too slow). No fees, and the frame pays for itself in just a few trips. It's only a little bit of extra hassle with luggage and assembly/disassembly (15-30 min if done carefully).

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