- Anyone been to the USA and back with their bike on a plane.
Just wondering. My brother lives in the U.S. and is visiting here later this year and wants to bring his bike over with him.
I’m assuming it’ll have to go in a bike bag then into the hold.
The thing is it wont be quite complete. All the major components will be there: frame, forks, wheels, bars, etc and it will be in a slightly unassembled state.
Wondering how closely it will be looked at, I mean, will customs look in the bag, see what looks like a bike and think nothing more or will they check more closely and be suspicious that its not a complete bike?Posted 6 years agometalheartSubscriber
Used a cardboard bike box (i.e. spare from a bike shop).
You have to partially disassemble anyways. Some people go further than others, remove rotors, rear mechs etc.
I’d be a bit wary of having stuff loose rattling about though as it will do just that, rattle about. As long as its properly packed and heaps of bubble rap it should be okay though. i.e. bubble wrapped and taped to the frame…
Last time mine wasn’t packed properly (I had only one working hand, okay) and the bottom of the fork poked through the box and the neg air valve was borked.
Oh and don’t expect the bike to land the same time as you. 4 flights and 3 delays…Posted 6 years agoAidanMember
The worst bit is paying $200 each way 😯
That seems to be the settled rate on all airlines into the US.
Other than that, I’ve always used a cardboard box padded with the rest of my stuff. If you can get the right sized box, leave the rear wheel in, then you don’t have to worry about the chainrings and rear mech.Posted 6 years ago
The worst bit is paying $200 each way
Aye. Bastards. I phoned twice and was told both times I’d just have to pay for an extra bag then got humped for $250 for 2 bikes to Newark.
The attitude at the desk was pay up or f*ck off.
Try some of the non US airlines. We flew back transat from Toronto and the 2 bikes only cost 50 canadian.Posted 6 years ago
What about insurance? The bike is a bit of a mash-up. Really nice frame but a lot of crap components.
How did you guys go about putting a value on your bikes and who did you insure it with? The airline or separate travel insurance?
Edited to add:Posted 6 years ago
Thank you for the replies so far, off to bed now.AidanMember
Yep, Air Canada was $50 CDN. One time I booked through KLM as that should have been free but the flight was operated by Delta (I think, certainly some American outfit) and I still had to pay $200.
You pay at check-in so should be fine to pay one way if he leaves the bike here.
I just relied on a yearly travel insurance policy but I’ve never had any damage.
Someone I know had passport problems and they were so busy giving him a hard time about that, they forgot to charge for the bike. A risky plan…Posted 6 years agomcmoonterMember
I’ve flown to the States with my bike a few times from Edinburgh with Continental and BA.
I’ve always smiled nicely at the check in, and flown out with my bike for free. Coming back I’ve always had to pay $100 to get my bike back.
My bike box has always been opened and security tagged on the return trip too.
I was once asked by a customs guy back in Edinburgh if I had bought the bike in the US. I said I hadn’t, he never took it any further.
Last trip over, I left my bike in Portland, knowing Id be back in September.
I’d also remove the rear mech from its hanger and tape it to the chainstay to save it getting bent.Posted 6 years agomcmoonterMember
Just out of curiosity when was the last time the smile nicely and not get charged thing worked?
Last and first time it failed was last year, but I did have two touring bikes and camping gear for a trans America ride on the scales 😈
I think it depends on the individual at check in. I remember arriving really early to check in and they hardly bother looking, another time I was late and they just rushed it through.Posted 6 years ago
Virgin Atlantic – nonMember
If you’re planning a cycling trip and only your own ride will do, you’ll be glad to know you can bring your bicycle with you at no extra charge – as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 23kg.
That’s in addition to your free baggage allowance.
This applies to non-motorised bicycles (including tandems), which should be transported in a protective box or bag – which you will need to provide yourself.
Presumably same from US to UK & return – definitely free UK-US-UK
AT LAX they haven’t got a big enough x-ray machine so insist on unpacking and examining the box. They then normally insist on repacking it themselves – so try to make it easy for them. Last time they let me repack it but that’s the only time they did soPosted 6 years agoircSubscriber
Last year BA charged me £40 for Glasgow – Heathrow – Washington DC and the same (or might have been $60) coming back from San Francisco.
Mine was in a cardboard box. Bars, front rack/wheel/mudguard off. Everything I took off was cable tied to the frame so if customs examined it the bike came in and out the box in one piece.
I wouldn’t worry if the bike isn’t complete. To balance the weights between my bike box and my case I put a few things like seatpost/saddle and pedals in my case. No problems.Posted 6 years agobrukSubscriber
Flew to Vancouver years ago with bikes. Just stripped frame, wrapped in bubble wrap and prayed. It went as part of luggage allowance. Which was tight weight wise so I had the crankset, pedals and brakes in my hand luggage. Don’t think you would get away with that now.
Why is he bringing an incomplete bike over 😉Posted 6 years ago
hels – Member
P.S I would check the dimensions for allowable suitcases, if the bike is really that broken down put in in as ordinary luggage in a big ole suitcase from a junk shop.
Yeh, esp with 23kg weight limits which rendered my proper bike case totally useless – with virgin I put frame (2 halves of a FS), fork, bars in an old case and a cardboard box for the wheels. 4 of us travelling so plenty of case allowancePosted 6 years agoltheisingerMember
Flown with Virgin Atlantic twice into and out of San Francisco and not been charged to take bikes at all.
First trip, the bike bags were opened and had a right good rummage through. The second trip, nothing.
Insurance – I just have home insurance that covers the bikes away from home.Posted 6 years ago
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