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3330 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2012 9:51 AM by Captain Chas
Emersonius Amateur 21 posts since
Jul 13, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 18, 2012 2:30 PM

A question about taking a bike in a case on an airplane

Question for those who have packed their bike and taken it onboard an airplane - does a bike case "count" as a suitcase, or do you get nailed for an oversize bag charge?


I will be flying on United.  I will be renting the bike case from a local bike shop.





  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009


    Unless you have a folding bike which can be "disguised" in a suitcase, United is horrible about charging fees for bicycles. It is currently $100 each way within the US and Canada, and $200 elsewhere. Standard bikes with wheels, pedals and handlebars off, don't fit the dimensional requirements. From their website:

    If you can spare the bike a few days on either end, check with FedEx or others about shipping your bike. You will need a destination (bike shop, hotel, etc) that you have checked with as well, but is is bound to be cheaper. Good luck and have fun.



  • Julie Ann Hackett Legend 226 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    Renting a bike is another option that is less hassle and most likely cheaper.  I rented a bike for a race and even though it wasn't my bike (it wasn't even a nice bike since I got the last rental they had due to unforseen circumstances) I still had a great race.  I was amazed at some of the nicer bikes people who had planned ahead were able to rent.  Any time I have a chance to rent, I'd choose that over flying/shipping my bike.

  • Captain Chas Rookie 3 posts since
    Sep 1, 2009

    Every airline will charge you an extra fee for bringing a bicycle. The fee varies by airline. One of the cheapest fees is Virgin America at $75. Make sure to consider that in your "total ticket cost" when getting an airline ticket.


    Personally, I hate even the idea of putting my bike on an airline. The debate still rages on soft-case vs. hard-case and which is better. The cases can be expensive, too.


    I think renting might be the best option, actually, if I were to do it for a race either overseas or a long way away.


    For major events there are ususally bike shops that will ship the bike for you for a reasonable cost.


    Swift Riding!

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