Author Topic: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport  (Read 3405 times)

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Offline PeanutButterShammyCream

What did you have to do to your bike in order to fit it in the box?

Take off the pedals, turn the handlebars etc....????

Also, what airline did you use?????


  • Guest
Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 08:32:09 am »
Which box?

Is the airline I flew available to you?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 12:28:35 pm »
And which airport?

Call the airline you plan to use at the airport you plan to use. Ask them about box availability and box size. It's going to vary.

And be sure to have a backup plan and time to execute it if they happen to be out of boxes that day.

There's too much uncertainty in all of this for my taste. I'd be a nervous wreck. I prefer to get a bike from a bike shop ahead of time, and then find a method of transportation to the airport that can handle the box.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 12:31:49 pm by John Nelson »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 12:52:33 pm »
Not much help.  Long ago I used bike boxes at airports to fly home.  I cannot remember if the airline itself supplied the bike box, or if there was a universal supply for boxes at the airport.  Meaning all the airlines contracted with a third party to have boxes at the airport.  You went to your airline and asked for a bike box.  They sent you down to the customer service supply office and they gave (charged) you a bike box.  Same bike box for everyone in the airport.  I ALWAYS made sure to have my own roll of tape before going to the airport.  I taped it so it would stay sealed permanently.  I think the bike boxes at the airport were always big so you did not even need to take off the front wheel.  Just take off the pedals, take off the seat, and turn the bars.  But maybe you did have to take off the front wheel.  Not sure.  Don't think you had to take the bars off, just turn them.  Racks always stayed on.  Boxes were good sized unless you ride a 68cm monster sized bike.  As for the airport not having boxes, not really a problem.  If the airline supplies them, you could get a box from another airline.  If its one place that supplies all the boxes, I suspect they would work with you to find enough cardboard to make your own box.  Another reason to have your own roll of tape.

Also should add that on a couple trips I went to the airport the day before and asked to make sure they had boxes available.  Did not want to take a chance that maybe they are out of boxes.  I would always ride into the town I was flying out of one or two days before flying out.  Then either rode to the airport, got a motel near the airport, or took a bus or train to the airport.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 04:08:58 pm by RussSeaton »


  • Guest
Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 02:44:15 pm »
You ask about boxing your bike at the airport. Unless you plan to ride your bike to the airport carrying a box, it sounds like you are expecting and counting on the airline to supply a box. I would not go that route unless there is a 100% chance that a box will be available. A safer bet is to supply your own box. If you go that route you might as well box it up before you get to the airport.

Asking others what airlines they have used will only elicit helpful answers if someone happens to have had an experience with an airline that flies to where you want to go. I will be flying to MSO in June. If I asked the question you did and someone responded "I used Southwest. They are the cheapest for bikes.", the response would not help me because Southwest does not fly to MSO.

All that aside, if your travel plans are within the U.S., have you considered shipping your bike? I will be shipping to Missoula this June. I have used on two occasions, saving A LOT of money over what I would have had to pay the airlines. Last year I shipped from Philly to Rapid City, SD for something like $47, including a 10% discount for repeat business and $1,400 in insurance. I think my airline wanted $150 for the bike. For what I saved, I had the bike professionally boxed for shipment and assembled and tuned by a local bike shop in SD. And there is no dealing with lugging a bike to the airport, going through security and having a TSA agent open the box and not close it properly. One time I flew with my bike the TSA agent couldn't figure out how to use the buckles on my box's straps. When I got to my destination, I found one of the straps tied in a crude knot.

Offline BrianW

Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 10:23:09 am »
Yes, as others have said, getting a box from an airline at the airport can be very hit or miss nowadays. Some airlines have their own, but may not have them in stock. If you are flying a return flight out of the same airport you arrived in, you could ask the airline to hold your boxes for you for the return flight, or at least put a request in with them to have new ones available for your return. I know both these options sound like they would never work, but they have for me (for example, US Airways held three boxes for me in Munich for our return flight once).

Always give yourself an extra day before you flight home to source a box and pack it up. If you are using an airline box, try to go to the airport the day before and get the box. If the airline is out of them, they may be able to request one from another location and have it delivered by an incoming plane (happened for me in Paris once, they sent one over on a plane from the USA).

Offline big blue cat

Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 01:29:48 pm »
My experience with shipping my bike via airlines hasn't been good. The only way I would ship my bike via airlines or any of my gear if it's a direct flight, hard for them to lose. I would NEVER ship it Delta, they charge $200 each way.  More times than not the bike comes late which delays my trip.

If I were you, I would box it myself & ship it UPS?Fedex to a hotel in the city in which I was starting & find a bike shop in the town I was ending & either have them tear it down & box it or, get a box from them & you box it. To me it's worth the extra money for the bike shop to ship it home when you are finish. I could tell you stories that will make you cry.

Offline Walter

Re: Question for those who have boxed up their bike at the airport
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 01:17:51 pm »
shipping bikes vary VERY MUCH by airline. some require (airline provided) boxes, some don't. some have dimension and weight restrictions. Xiamen for example requires removing the front wheel.
some charge both sports equipment and oversize. rates vary from $ 50 up to $ 200 one way.
local flights sometimes cannot carry bike boxes due to their cargo hold doors and hold size.
most of the time I removed the pedals, turned the handle bar and released some tire pressure. I always attach assembly tools to the bike, so I can reassemble my bike at arrival. any kind of tools are NOT allowed in carry-on.

I never had problems getting boxes at airports, one time I had one delivered by a bike shop (at a delivery charge)

before you fly and/or book look up the rates and requirements and calculate the total price. sometimes a more expensive ticket airline charges less for bikes and vice versa.