Author Topic: Flying with a bike . Help!  (Read 5709 times)

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Offline preston uk

Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 09, 2015, 12:07:50 pm »
Not literally. I'm  hoping to fly out of Sacramento (back to the UK)  but am having problems getting information about taking my bike on Alaska Airlines (a connecting flight). I can't book my bike  from this side and can't find an e mail address for them. Here are my questions !!!
1) Will I be ok with my bike in a soft bag (heavy duty , clear plastic) sold for the purpose  or do airlines insist on boxed bikes ?
2) I'll obviously have a ticket for the plane but is there ever an issue getting the bike on as extra baggage without pre-booking ?

Offline JHamelman

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 03:00:32 pm »
Hi Preston,

I posed your question to Alaska Airlines via Twitter (@alaskaair) and got this response:

Quote
Hi! we'll accept your bike provided it is properly packed in a soft or hard sided case designed specifically for bikes. -Linnea

Best,
Jennifer
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline preston uk

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 03:40:04 pm »
Thats very kind of you ! I'll book my tickets !

Offline John Nelson

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 04:31:27 pm »
Before you book your ticket, be sure to ask them how much they charge for the bike. It's not unusual for the bike to cost more than you.

Also, the smaller the plane, the more limited the cargo capacity is, so if you're on a small plane, get there early.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2015, 09:27:45 am »
Brought to you by the magic of Google ("Alaska Airlines bicycle policy"):

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/travel-info/baggage/baggage-sporting-equipment.aspx

Click on the internal link for its checked baggage policy. Looks like if you keep the linear dimension (l+w+h) at or below 115" and the weight at or below 50 lbs. the charge is $75. That's cheap, by American standards. I flew U.S. Air to Italy in 2013 and paid $200 each way. Back in the day (1995) Delta charged me nothing from NYC to Milan.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 09:30:35 am by indyfabz »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 10:43:41 am »
If possible, try to find out exactly what is meant from the Twitter response given above.  "we'll accept your bike provided it is properly packed in a soft or hard sided case designed specifically for bikes."  Is a cardboard bike box from a bike shop or the ones previously sold by airlines in the airport qualify as a "hard sided case designed specifically for bikes".  Or does the Twitter response only mean the plastic or padded cases sold to carry bikes.  Cardboard boxes won't work.

Offline BobG

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2015, 08:08:20 am »
My experience with Alaska Airlines was back in 2009. I boarded Alaska at Eugene OR and checked the box for $75 + a small fee for their large cardboard box sold at the baggage counter. That was just a short connection flight to Portland where I was transferred to Delta for the trip back to VA. The $75 Alaska bike fee took the bike all the way. Had I boarded with Delta in Portland I would have been required to pay the Delta bike fee of $150 or so. Not sure if this fee policy still applies. Hopefully for you it does. Back then a "a soft or hard sided case designed specifically for the sporting equipment piece" included the cardboard box provided by the airline. I am guessing that a "clear plastic" bag would not qualify.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 08:29:44 am by BobG »

Offline preston uk

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 04:31:20 am »
Thanks for you advice. I've booked my tickets .I am hoping to be passing through Sacramento about 10 days before I fly out of there , I plan to call at the airport and ask advice just to put my mind at rest.
 I feel like an old fuss pot. Years ago these things didn't bother me !

Offline got2dive

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2015, 01:13:06 am »
Have you checked out bikeflights,com? I'm not sure if they do international, but worth checking out.

Sent from my VK815 using Tapatalk


Offline RSN473

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2015, 04:47:38 pm »
Hi - I flew on Alaska with my bike in August 2015 (LAX to Bellingham)and it was a great experience.  I just packed it in a discarded bike shipping box I got (for free) from my local bike shop.  This excellent article from ACA was also a great resource:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/how-to-department/routes-maps-logistics/boxing-your-bicycle/

The overweight/oversize charge was $75 (as per their website) and their staff was super helpful and friendly.  They even delivered my bike to me personally in the Bellingham airport, and then one of the baggage guys helped me take the bike out so he could reuse the box. 

I would definitely fly with them again.

Cheers,
Ron

Offline preston uk

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 11:25:18 am »
Thanks daytripper, that sets my mind at rest .Some of the budget airlines here can be a bit picky about boxes . I flew Ryanair to Poland  some years ago and had to follow all sorts of rules. I met some French boys in Slovakia on my trip who had flown with the same airline from paris , no pedal removal , no twisting handlebars , no boxes or bags , just deflating the tyres.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2015, 11:31:54 am »
just deflating the tyres.
... and deflating the tires is the least important thing the airlines should care about. I never do it. It accomplishes absolutely nothing except making your bike more vulnerable to damage.

Offline DaveB

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 11:54:58 am »
just deflating the tyres.
... and deflating the tires is the least important thing the airlines should care about. I never do it. It accomplishes absolutely nothing except making your bike more vulnerable to damage.
Yeah, there is a misconception that the reduced pressure in the baggage compartment will cause the tires to blow off the rim or "explode" or some such failure.  Even in a perfect vacuum, the effective pressure differential in the tire will only increase by just under 15 psi (1 BAR).  It's not a real problem.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2015, 11:27:29 am »
Bicycles must be contained, box or hardshell.