How to Fly with a Bike: The Most Convenient and Affordable Way

With more travelers preferring to tour the world with their bikes, several online tools have been devised to help travelers find the best deals, and one such airfare deal finder tool is the SkySurf.Travel which is a portal to help you find cheap plans to fly with a bike. However, it is worth noting that every airline has its own policies that include their fees and additional requirements.

What You Need to Know

  • Airlines have different rates that apply to anyone who intends to fly with a bike on a plane; some may be kind enough to include it in your baggage allowance.
  • The packaging has to be properly done either in a bike bag or a bike box. The type of box to be used may be determined by the airline regulations.
  • You may need to disassemble the bike
  • Let the airline know in advance that you will be traveling with your bike.

Taking a bike with you on a plane involves sourcing the packaging, packing, protecting and unpacking the bike. Going through the packing and the unpacking sequence can be quite tedious and this may prompt you to look for something simple and affordable,which leads us to the question: what is the best way to fly with a bike?

Using a plastic bag

You should consider using a clear plastic bag over a cardboard box. Using a clear plastic bag gives your bike protection because of its visibility to those handling it. They will perhaps be more careful when they can see what is in the plastic bag.

Reasons why you should use a clear plastic bag.

  1. Simplicity

Being in a plastic bag, you can think of your bike as one package. The CTC plastic bike bags have been specifically designed for packaging, and they can be ordered from a nearby store and are reusable. To reuse it, you just slide the back in, fold it down and tape it in.

  1. Quickness

The amount of time that you need to do the packaging (or unpacking) should not be more than 20 minutes on either end of the flight. Using a bike box usually takes more time and may require that you take the bike apart, unlike the clear plastic bag that keeps the bike entirely intact.

  1. Affordable

With proper planning, getting a CTC plastic bag should not cost you an arm and a leg, and you can make one on your own if you can get a good source.

  1. Handling and Protection

When the luggage handlers are able to see what is in a clear bag, they are more likely to handle it with more care and in an appropriate manner. This kind of packaging also ensures that your bike does not end up being stacked with other luggage when moving through the hold area.

Packing the bike in a plastic bag

Using a clear plastic bag for packaging requires that you know a little about disassembling the bike. Check what your preferred airline says about flying with a bike, most will require that the handlebars be turned parallel to the bike frame, tires be deflated and pedals removed or turned inwards. To further protect the front derailleur, you can add some extra padding to it or disconnect it from its frame, lower the saddle, and secure the front wheel.

  1. Remove the pedals and turn the handlebar parallel to the bike’s frame. You can also lower the saddle at this stage.
  2. Secure the front wheel by using a good rope or a spare line. Make it tight so that it remains firmly secure
  3. Remove the derailleur carefully making sure that you do not damage it or the frame itself. You can improvise on better ways to secure the derailleur when in transit by use of a duct tape.
  4. Place the bike inside the plastic bag and cover it nicely to make sure that it is well protected. Use a thick duct tape in a way to make sure the bag is well secured and there are no snags.

Does it make sense?

Baggage handlers are, of course, humans and they are more likely to handle your bike more carefully than if you decide to fly with a bike packed in a cardboard box with or without labels on it. What are the chances that the best mountain bike under $1000 could just be stacked below the weight of suitcases? Love your bike and use the most convenient and affordable way to fly with your bike to any destination of choice safely.

And the tips?

When you land, check on your bike for any possible damages. Typical airlines must have time limit in which you can file any damage claims. Look out for the privileges that may be given to specific ticket holders, for instance, why pay to fly with a bike when first class ticket holders have a free bike pass? Ask; it doesn’t hurt to know.

If your choice of flight is expensive, then it would be wise to consider shipping your bike as a parcel via courier services. And finally, if you are not confident about disassembling your bike, a local bike shop can do the packaging for you at a fee, of course.

How to Air Travel with Your Bike

How to Air Travel with Your Bike

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

How to Fly with a Bike: The Most Convenient and Affordable Way