General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Travelling with bike box on a plane Rss Feed  
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2013-09-21 9:36 AM

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Subject: Travelling with bike box on a plane
I'm going to Miami for Miamiman Half Iron soon.

My plan is to bring the bike in a bike box on a plane.

I have delusions and paranoia of the airport staff throwing my bike box around, sitting and jumping on it, arriving in Florida and opening my bike to find that the carbon frame is in 3 pieces.

Any reason to believe my paranoia will actually come true?


2013-09-21 9:45 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
Originally posted by Jpro19

I'm going to Miami for Miamiman Half Iron soon.

My plan is to bring the bike in a bike box on a plane.

I have delusions and paranoia of the airport staff throwing my bike box around, sitting and jumping on it, arriving in Florida and opening my bike to find that the carbon frame is in 3 pieces.

Any reason to believe my paranoia will actually come true?


Every time I ship my bike, when I open it, I find a litle card that says "TSA was here" at the bottom of the bike case.

2013-09-21 10:18 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Master
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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
You can be guaranteed that they'll open the box. If you're lucky they won't touch a thing, and just close the box. More likely they'll move some things around and put them back as best as they can, which isn't as well as you would. Chances that they'll screw thing up big time are farily minimal. FWIW, I don't think the airlines take responsibility if TSA messes up your bike...

Brian
2013-09-21 10:54 AM
in reply to: famelec

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
What if I leave a note in the bike box for the TSA stating:

"If this bike is damaged, I may hurt myself, and if I do, it's all on you"

What do you think? Too cliche? Does the point get across?
2013-09-21 11:39 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

West Haven, CT
Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
Ship UPS to a LBS?
2013-09-21 11:42 AM
in reply to: Jpro19


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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
Airlines will not take responsibility for damage to bikes that are in a soft case or bike box. Hauling a bike thru an airport is a pain in the rear. It is usually safer, cheaper and easier to ship via UPS or other 3rd parties to your triathlon location. Good luck.


2013-09-21 12:00 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
My parents have flown with bikes a few times. They take pictures of were everything is in the bike box and stick it to the cover in the hopes that everything will be put back were it goes. They haven't had any issues so far.
2013-09-21 12:00 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
My parents have flown with bikes a few times. They take pictures of were everything is in the bike box and stick it to the cover in the hopes that everything will be put back were it goes. They haven't had any issues so far.
2013-09-21 12:00 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
My parents have flown with bikes a few times. They take pictures of were everything is in the bike box and stick it to the cover in the hopes that everything will be put back were it goes. They haven't had any issues so far.
2013-09-21 1:21 PM
in reply to: Billyk

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane

Originally posted by Billyk Airlines will not take responsibility for damage to bikes that are in a soft case or bike box. Hauling a bike thru an airport is a pain in the rear. It is usually safer, cheaper and easier to ship via UPS or other 3rd parties to your triathlon location. Good luck.

I don't disagree with your first statement but I do with your second.  Depends on the airline but shipping your bike tends to be more expensive, not less.  And my box arrived at my destination pretty darn beat up.  Surprised there was no bike damage.  And you have to have someone/place to ship too.  Not always practical.  If I had to fly I'd take my bike on the plane now that I have done both methods

2013-09-21 3:30 PM
in reply to: #4860758

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
I've used bikeflights.com twice. They work through fedex. They pickuped at my house and dropped off at my hotel. So convenient. Cost was less than tribike transport but more than some airlines.


2013-09-21 4:02 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
I have confidence. I also have them let me watch them rip open my case before they put it on the plane. Some airports allow this and some don't, but gives peace of mind.
2013-09-21 4:05 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
I've travelled to one race with my bike in a hard sided case. I also stood and very obviously watched the TSA agents as they went through my case.


The hassle and expense involved in taking the bike apart and flying with it is something I will avoid in the future if at all possible. There are several easier and cheaper ways to get your bike around.
2013-09-21 4:49 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
Originally posted by Jpro19

What if I leave a note in the bike box for the TSA stating:

"If this bike is damaged, I may hurt myself, and if I do, it's all on you"

What do you think? Too cliche? Does the point get across?


I put a simple note inside the case that says: "Inspectors, please repack bike carefully". They used to repack the bike in a loose jumble, but with the note, I dont think they even unstrap anything. Works great!



2013-09-21 5:42 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
100% unfounded if you are smart about it.

As others have said, I ALWAYS watch them inspect the bike and ensure they put it back together properly. That is the only time the bike box/bag will be opened. As they go to open it, I always say, "Please be careful, that's a $10,000 bike in there" (Doesn't matter if it's a $200 huffy). That causes them to pause and usually they just do a swipe for bomb stuff and leave it alone.

I have literally traveled around the world with my bike bag (soft case with Albo Pads on the frame) and never had an issue.

Depending on the airline, it is becoming cheaper to use other methods. But the cost of not having my bike sometimes outweighs the financials. Your call.
2013-09-21 5:51 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
TSA and Airlines scares the hell out of me . If i am traveling somewhere i make sure there are relatives to my destination. I get my bike boxed by UPS and sent over in advance with insurance. and vice versa less cost and gives me good sleep

Edited by strykergt 2013-09-21 5:54 PM


2013-09-21 9:42 PM
in reply to: #4860758

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
Your paranoia is warranted as the baggage monkeys of Delta destroyed my bike box. It looked like they used it as a stepping stool before they attached it to the back of a luggage trolley and dragged the box across the runway.
Fortunately my frame is titanium and it held up well to Delta Airlines total disregard of my bike box.
The TSA inspectors were so shocked at the condition of my bike box that they apologized for Delta and then tried to tape the box back together for me.
I've never flown on Delta since.
2013-09-22 4:54 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
We travel a lot a lot with our bikes and so far so good. But we also invested in the best bike boxes out there! And I always try to make sure they put a "fragile" sign on it ( they might ignore it or not but it makes me feel better if its there)

Personally I would always take my own bike with me on a passenger flight rather than send it with UPS or similar because then it is only a short way to the aircraft, one loading and one unloading and done.

I fly for a company who flies for UPS and TNT and I would not send my bike like that seeing how they load our aircrafts! And on top of that it needs to get picked up in a car, go through a big sorting system, in the aircraft, out again, again throught he sorting system and followed by a car again...it might be insured but too many places where thing could go wrong.....
2013-09-22 2:49 PM
in reply to: bzgl40

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
Originally posted by bzgl40

Originally posted by Billyk Airlines will not take responsibility for damage to bikes that are in a soft case or bike box. Hauling a bike thru an airport is a pain in the rear. It is usually safer, cheaper and easier to ship via UPS or other 3rd parties to your triathlon location. Good luck.

I don't disagree with your first statement but I do with your second.  Depends on the airline but shipping your bike tends to be more expensive, not less.  And my box arrived at my destination pretty darn beat up.  Surprised there was no bike damage.  And you have to have someone/place to ship too.  Not always practical.  If I had to fly I'd take my bike on the plane now that I have done both methods




I agree shipping them by air is expensive and still needs to be inspected, but insured by the shipper so no worries there. Shipping them by ground is cheaper bypass airport security takes a little bit longer.
2013-09-22 5:23 PM
in reply to: strykergt

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
I've flown with my bike in a hard case bike box to the UK and back and haven't had an issue, but I was also present when the bike box was opened and inspected...  which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I joked there was a dead body in it.   Cool
2013-09-23 8:39 AM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane
I've only flown once with mine (Southwest) and it was with a hard case. No issues whatsoever. Way easier than I thought it would be.


2013-09-23 9:29 AM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane

We have flown with bikes 4 times (so 8 times through TSA)......2 of those times we had 2 bikes....one of the times my son, then 14, flew alone with his bike.  We have either flown SW or Frontier...both were easy, but it's TSA that will open your bike box.  Here's the best tip I can give you from someone who has searched hundreds of bags, vehicles, etc.  Put as very little as possible in that box.  Do not put items in the box inside of bags, socks, etc....that's a recipe for a further search.  When they open our boxes, and I have talked to TSA agents about this, they look inside and close them right back up.....there is nothing in there that they can't see.....it's very simply packed and packed with the idea that someone is going to look in there......"will they see something that makes them want to search further?"

Forget all the tips about putting skewers and pedals insid eof socks, etc.....that just makes them search further.

Another thing we do is have "TSA" locks already on the boxes....you can get them at most places that sell locks.  They already have a key to those locks and appreicate that they don't need to have you there standing around while they do their jobs.  The last time we flew the TSA agent thanked us for having those locks.....not exactly a recipe to go trash our bikes.

BTW - Frontier didn't charge us a penny extra for the bikes.....they checked them through as one of our "checked bags".

2013-09-23 10:53 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Travelling with bike box on a plane

I flown with my bike at least a dozen times, sometimes in a hard case, sometimes in a soft case and sometimes in a cardboard box and never had any issues.

For me, I choose to fly Alaska/Air Canada to the US, Air Canada/Westjet to Canada and Air Canada/Air Transat to Europe because they have $50 fees.

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