As a biking enthusiast, you wouldn’t want to leave your bike behind, even when traveling to a faraway country, right? The good news is you don’t have to by choosing from the many cheap flights available, and SkySurf.Travel will make things easier for you. The portal does not only allow you to browse the cheapest air ticket deals, it also allows you to book all your flights in one place.
Perhaps you are asking yourself this question most cyclists ask themselves, “How can I make sure my bike arrives at my traveling destination, upcoming competition or sport safely?”
There are various issues you have to consider if you are thinking of flying with your bike, whether it’s a mountain bike or another type of bike.
a. Level of Protection
The first issue is how you are going to make sure your bike is safe. What level of protection is necessary for your bicycle? This question should drive you to choosing the right bag or container for packaging your bike so as to avoid damage during travel. Here are the answers to that question.
Almost every airline requires passengers who are traveling with their bikes to package them for check-in. That gives you three solutions to transporting your bike:
- Cardboard Box
This is probably the cheapest option anyone could think of when it comes to traveling with their bike. You can get a cardboard at little to no cost, which is why most people think of this when they want to transport their bikes. The cardboard is lightweight, can be stacked easily and gives additional space to store other items. After arrival, you can also recycle the box.
However, a cardboard box has one downside: it is unstable. In addition, if the box happens to be mishandled at the airport, it can be seriously damaged leaving little or no protection to your treasured bike.
A cardboard box also cannot give maximum protection to your bike on its own. To protect your precious bike, you will need to bubble wrap, cable tie, pipe insulate and tape it, which will cost you some extra bucks. The process is time-consuming as well. Note also, apart from low protection, storing your bike in cardboard boxes requires you to know a thing or two on how to dismantle it. To sum it up, this option requires you to have mechanical skills and provides your bike the least protection.
- Bike Case
Acquiring a rigid bike box is the most expensive but safest option of transporting your bike. This case gives the highest protection to your bike by preventing knocks and shocks from harming the contents. However, like any other item, these boxes have their downsides. The bike boxes can be heavy, adding to the charges you will have to pay to transport your bike. If you choose to fly with your bike in a bike box, then be sure to check the weight limitations so you won’t be charged for extra weight.
- Bike Bag
These are normally low weight, fairly priced and very functional. Basic bike bags will require you to dismount the rear derailleur, pedals, handlebars, wheels and the seat post. Here you will need some mechanical skills as well. If you are not so sure, get a professional mechanic to help you.
b. Weight restrictions
As you have seen above, the bag type matters in determining the total weight you are going to be charged for. Most airlines will not charge you luggage fee if your bike does not exceed the weight restrictions of a usual bag. However, if you choose to fly with your bike in a larger or overweight bag, you will be charged. The weight that most airlines seem to have settled on for non-oversize luggage and usual bags is 62 dimensional inches, which is the summation of length, width and height, and less than 50 pounds. Below is the cost of transporting a bike in various airlines:
- Frontier Airlines: If your ticket is classic or classic +, you will not pay for the transportation of your bike. However, if you are going to travel in the economy class, you will pay a regular fee of $20 for non-oversize bags.
- Delta Airlines: You will be charged $150 per bike
- United Airlines: For a maximum weight of 50 pounds, you will be charged $100
- American Airlines: You will pay $150 per bike for a maximum weight of 70 pounds and 126 inches (dimensional). For less than 50 pounds and 62 inches, you will pay a regular fee of $25 for your first bag.
- JetBlue: You will pay $50 each way for a maximum weight of 99 pounds per bag. If the weight of your bag is less than 50 pounds and 62 dimensional inches, you will not be charged.
- US Airways: You will be charged $200 each way with a weight of 50 to 70 pounds. If it’s your first bag and less than 62 inches, you will be charged $25.
- Southwest Airlines: Your baggage will be stored in free checked luggage compartment and you will not be charged if it’s less than 50 pounds and 62 dimensional inches. Excess weight will result in additional charges.
For the best cycling experience, best fixed gear bikes are ideal. So, consider transporting such so you can enjoy your stay outside your area or country as you discover the terrains of your destination country.