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Bikes on a Plane - HELP!

FerrinoFerrino Posts: 83
edited October 2007 in Tour & expedition
I'm allowed two free items of luggage on my flight to the US with United Airlines, which are allowed to weigh no more than 23kg and must have a linear dimension of no more than 158cm (the *total* of the length + height + depth).

Now my road bike clearly isn't going to fit inside this 158cm constraint, so I guess my options are to either buy a proper bike travel box to get it on for free, or pay the $100 oversized baggage fee?

I wonder how small I could get the dimension down to by removing both wheels and fixing them to the frame - anyone tried?



  • richaricha Posts: 1,634
    Presumably you could only get it to roughly the size of a... bike bag

    i.e. such as this which measures 134x90x21cm.

  • NFMCNFMC Posts: 232
    I'm flying to the States with Continental and their policy is the same but - if you read closely - you also get to take a piece of sporting equipment as well (bike bag, surf-board, golf). Might be worth a call to US?
  • Steve928Steve928 Posts: 314
    These limits come from the Piece System:

    The "Piece System"

    Where journeys are to, from or include the United States or Canada, the Piece System is generally used. Passengers are permitted two pieces of baggage, and each piece must not exceed 158cm measured as the length plus the width plus the height. In addition, the checked allowance for each piece is 22kg or 23kg, dependent on the airline (please contact your travel consultant for details). Any piece over 22/23 kg will incur an excess baggage fee however, please note that no one piece of baggage can exceed 32kg (70lbs) for health and safety reasons.

    We travelled around the world with 2 bikes, but they were folding Dahon Speedpros and I built plywood boxes just inside the 158cm rule - it was still a tight fit though. You would really struggle with a road bike.

    Interestingly, if you're making multiple flights, as long as 1 leg is governed by the Piece System then all other flights have to allow that amount of baggage without charge also. We had UK, NZ and AUS domestic flights and got our 2 'pieces' each on without problem.

    NFMC - where can I read that? I'm not doubting you, but this is all I can find on the Continental site:
    If the bike(s) are packed in a container that is over 50 lbs (23kg) and/or 62 (157 cm) total linear inches (L + W + H), a $95 service charge applies each way. The service charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply.

    Interested as I may want to ride in Canada next year..
  • allactionallaction Posts: 209
    Thought this was a follow up to Snakes on a Plane......
  • FerrinoFerrino Posts: 83
    Thanks guys - I guess I was a bit foolish to imagine fitting any road bike into those dimensions. I have accepted that I will have to pay for oversized baggage and have therefore crammed as much extra stuff to the bike as possible to get my money's worth (i am moving to the US)! I am just sticking it in a transparent plastic bag, but am now tempted by a cheap 'soft' bike-bag with a handle as I can imagine the handlers just grabbing it by the rims or something....
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