General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Shipping bike Rss Feed  
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2016-07-25 9:31 AM

Member
166
1002525
Bismarck, ND
Subject: Shipping bike
I know this has been discussed but wondering about best and most affordable way to ship my bike. Going from ND to Boulder. I do not have a bike box but could maybe find a box. My airline charges $75 each way. I am also concerned about getting my bike "put back together".

Thanks for your help


2016-07-25 9:49 AM
in reply to: brreems

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Expert
1183
1000100252525
Fort Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Shipping bike
I did this both ways last summer. I took my bike on the plane on the way out to Lake Tahoe and shipped it back. It was more expensive shipping, but I don't recall by how much. It was a pain rolling the box (that belonged to my club) in the airport and te box had partially popped open. I did have to partially disassemble the bike, but this was not a big deal. Shipping was easier. Either way, make sure you do not exceed the weight limits. I weighed the box before and found I was 2 lbs over the limit. The airline price went up a lot more than the shipping cost if the weight limit was exceeded..I had the box shipped back to a local packing company. If you do this, it is cheaper than delivery to you home. Just let them know it is coming. They charged $5 for the service.
2016-07-25 9:57 AM
in reply to: brreems

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Master
2725
200050010010025
Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

I guess it depends on what your circumstances are.  I shipped a bike via UPS once and it cost me about $45 one way.  I went to my LBS and got an old box from them (I think they charged me $5 for the box).  All I had to do was remove the pedals and loosen and twist the bars around then it slid right in the box.  That said if you don't have good ship to address (friend, family, whatever) than that might not be a good option, but if you do it can save a boatload of money and hassle at the airport.

2016-07-25 10:09 AM
in reply to: 0

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Pro
15655
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Subject: RE: Shipping bike

We have flown bikes dozens of times and shipped maybe a half dozen times.  Most airlines have a flat rate for bikes......weight does not matter if you tell them it's a bike.  Shipping can be a lot cheaper if you don't need the bike for a few days.  We used Fed Ex....no issues.

Here's a tip.......my kid started going to the kiask instead of the counter with his bike and just checking it like any other luggage.  When he walks to the counter to give it to to them they weigh it and if it's under 50.00 the don't charge him.  He's done it a half dozen times and it worked 5 times.  The other time they asked what was in the bag (Scicon soft side) and he told them it was a bike and got charged.

There is nothing set in stone for flying a bike....no matter what you hear.  Frontier/Alaska airlines did not charge us extra a few times.  Southwest as well.  United/American/Delta are a nightmare to fly a bike with.  I've seen charges as high as 250.00 one way on those airlines.



Edited by Left Brain 2016-07-25 10:11 AM
2016-07-25 5:42 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Expert
1183
1000100252525
Fort Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Shipping bike
My experience was on Delta.
2016-07-25 10:06 PM
in reply to: brreems

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Regular
694
500100252525
Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Shipping bike
It is going to cost you likely close to $75 to ship via fedex and you still have to find a box and disassemble.


2016-07-26 8:57 AM
in reply to: #5192451

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27
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Subject: RE: Shipping bike
Some posts on this forum talked about cracked frames from rough handling by the airlines. Some pieces of the bike go missing because the TSA decides to open up the bike box. Having read about all the hassle and risks of shipping a bike, I decided against it on my last race. There is a lot of good experiences on this forum about tri bike transport but they are super expensive.
I rented my bike instead. It was relatively painless.
2016-07-26 10:26 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by haitwun Some posts on this forum talked about cracked frames from rough handling by the airlines. Some pieces of the bike go missing because the TSA decides to open up the bike box. Having read about all the hassle and risks of shipping a bike, I decided against it on my last race. There is a lot of good experiences on this forum about tri bike transport but they are super expensive. I rented my bike instead. It was relatively painless.

In addition to the dozens of times we've personally flown with bikes, the team has probably 4-500 round trip flights in the last 5 years.  The ONLY  problems were 2 bent rear derailleurs.  Those flights include hard cases, soft cases, hen houses, and most any kind of other travel case you can think of.  The flights include both domestic, international, and overseas.  Problems with broken up bicycles while flying are VASTLY over-inflated in my experience.



Edited by Left Brain 2016-07-26 10:28 AM
2016-07-26 10:30 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Elite
7783
50002000500100100252525
PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

2016-07-26 10:37 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

2016-07-26 10:39 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Elite
7783
50002000500100100252525
PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

That's pretty much what the guy told me until the agent sitting at the terminal beside him looked up what it really was and he backed down.



2016-07-26 10:41 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Extreme Veteran
3025
2000100025
Maryland
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

I've also used the website bikeflights before.  had them ship my touring bike to a shop to set up for me when I was doing a bike tour.  worked out well.

2016-07-26 10:52 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

That's pretty much what the guy told me until the agent sitting at the terminal beside him looked up what it really was and he backed down.

Like I said, our worst experiences are all on United, American, and Delta.  Frontier/Alaska and Southwest are the best.....with Frontier/Alaska our first choice always when flying bikes.

2016-07-26 4:39 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

That's pretty much what the guy told me until the agent sitting at the terminal beside him looked up what it really was and he backed down.

Flying a lot with dive gear got into the habit of printing out pages from the airline's website showing the fees and policies.  Never had to use it but it might be a good idea for bikes too (or at least find it fast on your phone)



Edited by ChrisM 2016-07-26 4:40 PM
2016-07-26 4:59 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

Master
5557
50005002525
, California
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

That's pretty much what the guy told me until the agent sitting at the terminal beside him looked up what it really was and he backed down.

Like I said, our worst experiences are all on United, American, and Delta.  Frontier/Alaska and Southwest are the best.....with Frontier/Alaska our first choice always when flying bikes.

Delta is good, in that you know what to expect.  Bad in that they almost always charge you the bike fee on domestic flights.

In contrast, I've done international flights with many different carriers and I don't think they've ever charged me for the bike.  Qantas and Air New Zealand are both great, as well as British Airways.

 

Last note: most of the U.S. carriers will give you more leeway (a) if you're a frequent flier paying on their credit card, or (b) if you're on a business or first class flight.  Always scan bookings for deals on those because sometimes it works out close to what you'd pay for economy + bike fee.  And you wind up with a better seat and perks and a mileage bonus.

2016-07-26 5:03 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

Master
5557
50005002525
, California
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

Can you imagine the uproar if they tried to pull this on a 60 year old for his golf clubs?  There'd be 24/7 news coverage of airline abuses, a hotline to call if you've been victimized, and a national moment of silence.



2016-07-26 5:37 PM
in reply to: spudone

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Pro
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Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by spudone

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

That's pretty much what the guy told me until the agent sitting at the terminal beside him looked up what it really was and he backed down.

Like I said, our worst experiences are all on United, American, and Delta.  Frontier/Alaska and Southwest are the best.....with Frontier/Alaska our first choice always when flying bikes.

Delta is good, in that you know what to expect.  Bad in that they almost always charge you the bike fee on domestic flights.

In contrast, I've done international flights with many different carriers and I don't think they've ever charged me for the bike.  Qantas and Air New Zealand are both great, as well as British Airways.

 

Last note: most of the U.S. carriers will give you more leeway (a) if you're a frequent flier paying on their credit card, or (b) if you're on a business or first class flight.  Always scan bookings for deals on those because sometimes it works out close to what you'd pay for economy + bike fee.  And you wind up with a better seat and perks and a mileage bonus.

Yeah, what you said about Delta and their fees is right.....the problem with Delta is they will way overbook and your bike can arrive after you do.....how long after is up in the air.  Every instance we had to deal with in bikes being "lost" has been with Delta,  including Jrs. at AG worlds in Edmonton a few years ago. They were ok to work with.....but it was pretty obvious, too, that a "lost item" drill was pretty common for them.

2016-07-26 5:42 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Elite
7783
50002000500100100252525
PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Shipping bike

Originally posted by ChrisM

Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by axteraa

The most damage I've had from flying with my bike was a broken water bottle cage and that was just poor packing on my part using a soft case.  The worst issue I've had is my bike not arriving the same day as me (made it the next day) and dealing with the crooks at United who wanted to charge me $200 when the fee was really $100.

When my kid was 16 he had my credit card to get his bike home on a United flight out of Phoenix.  They hit it for 250.00.  They just told me that was the fee and there was nothing they could do about it. LOL

 

That's pretty much what the guy told me until the agent sitting at the terminal beside him looked up what it really was and he backed down.

Flying a lot with dive gear got into the habit of printing out pages from the airline's website showing the fees and policies.  Never had to use it but it might be a good idea for bikes too (or at least find it fast on your phone)

That's what I have done ever since that time.  

2016-07-27 12:07 PM
in reply to: brreems

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Expert
1053
10002525
Culpeper, VA
Subject: RE: Shipping bike
I use Bikeflights.com and they tend to be pretty inexpensive. They essentially are the middle men for UPS/FedEx and somehow get a better rate than you would if you do direct and price the same shipment.

I ship to my destination and don't have to lug a bike box to the airport. I picked this tip up from an article Jesse Thomas wrote about the traveling issues of a triathlete with some good tips... found it here: http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/12/features/triathlife-with-je...

One tip from me is to pack all your tools you used to break your bike down in the case and toss in something to affix your return label. I will also toss in my wetsuit, bike shoes and other stuff I don't want to carry with me on the plane that will fit in the case.
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