I guess there was so much conversation about shipping via airplane and only one comment about FedX/UPS, it was starting to sound like the obvious choice is by air.
Maybe because the original poster specifically asked about shipping by plane. They said:
My wife and I are planning to do some touring in the midwest (from California), and need to fly there with our bikes and equipment.
Also if flying to a tour IMO it does make sense to fly with the bike to the tour. It is nice to be able to just ride out of the airport. I do prefer to UPS the bike home after the tour though. It is nice to just dump it on a bike shop and pay them to box and ship it home. That has generally cost me about $100 including the shipping and the bike shop's fee. It is so nice to not have to deal with boxing and schlepping the box to the airport in a strange town at the end of a tour.