Know Before You Plan Your Trip
Well, it is ultra-obvious now that these days airline fees for bicycles and luggage are all over the map. What can and what cannot be carried onto an airplane, changes monthly, weekly, or is somewhat unclear. Add to that new fees for items that used to be free and we are all confused; passengers, airline employees, and travel planners alike. Ask someone about bringing your bike on an airplane and silence ensues.
Attempting to keep a current list of the charges levied by the different airlines isn't easy, but there are some basics about airlines fees for bicycles that might help.
- Your bike needs to be in a box. Most airline prefer that it is NOT a cardboard bike box.
- The 62"/50# rule. Most airlines limit the size of your bike in a box along two criteria. The box must measure less than 62" in total measurement of length+height+width of the box. If it measures over the 62" then it moves from the luggage to baggage category. Same goes for weight. Definitely keep the weight below #50. When you put anything in an airplane that is in the baggage category, you will pay serious money.
- Importantly, and in most cases, when you exceed the 62"/50# rule, airlines charging $50 to $100 for shipping a bike in the US and North America - and $150-$200 for overseas. That's one way!
- Some airlines now are charging for any luggage other than your allowed carry-on and small bag. Alaska Air for example now charges $20.00 for anything checked into the cargo hold.
Since the rules constantly are fluctuating , we have provided these handy links to all your favorite airlines. As long as the airlines update their websites, the info here should be current
American Airlines/American Eagle
Virgin America Airlines #link_777812
Virgin Atlantic Airlines
And what about rail travel in the US and Canada you ask?
So what to do in order to avoid those high prices? You might want to consider three options:
- Going on a bicycle tour where the bike is supplied.
- Renting a bike.
- Investing in a bicycle that meets the 62"/50# rule and is not subject to extensive baggage charges.
You could just plan a trip with us. We supply the bikes, helmets, and route planning that will make your trip fun. It's easy to contact us.
Or, if you need someone to receive, unpack and build, or pack and box you bike for shipping. We can do it. Flat charge. We supply the cardboard bike and labor to get it all done.
We also have more information for travelers on our Bike Rental page.
Or our Travel Bike page.
To consider some other options about traveling with or without your bicycle.
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