Author Topic: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes  (Read 10020 times)

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Offline neil

Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« on: May 18, 2017, 12:07:54 pm »
Hi
I have an Enigma titanium bike that has couplings and has flown all over the world and it fits beautifully into a hard case (the length and breadth are the same, so can squeeze a 700c wheel into it.

The hassle is the weight. The bike weighs 8.5kg, the case 8kg and by the time you fit a few other things in you are up to the 23kg max that most airlines require (Emirates is 30kg)

The obvious step is to reduce the weight of the case. Can anyone suggest a supplier? I know it sounds profligate but money no object.

  Thanks
     Neil

Offline John Nelson

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 01:15:05 pm »
Couldn't you just eliminate the "few other things"?

Offline neil

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 03:45:53 pm »
Well if you're going for a 3 week Asian cycling trip and the hand luggage limit is 5kg, that's 11.5kg for everything else, so what do suggest?  :)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 05:59:57 pm »
Carry on one (or two) bags.  Also, checking another bag is usually less expensive than paying for one overweight bag.

Offline aggie

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 06:49:42 pm »
I used to fly with a Richey Breakaway bike.  There is a case they sell specifically for the bike.  Don't know the weight but I was never overweight.  Co-motion bicycles also sells a case for their bikes with S&S couples.  Don't know the weight.

Offline neil

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 06:31:25 am »
Carry on one (or two) bags.  Also, checking another bag is usually less expensive than paying for one overweight bag.

OK I'll put this into context.
Many airline policies worldwide are a single bag in the hold that mustn't exceed 23kg. Add to this is hand luggage that varies from 5-8kg provided that you can lift the bag into an overhead bin.

I lead and organise tours all over the world for CTC (UK cycling organisation) with a  similar number and type of tour to the ones offered by ACA, except we go all over the world.

My maximum I can therefore take is one bag in the hold and one bag in the plane (aside  a laptop bag) The weight is capped at 28-31kg and this includes the bike and all the things associated with a 2-3 week trip, includes lock, first aid kit, clothing etc etc. I have pretty much stripped down everything else to 8kg but it's TIGHT, choices have to be made.

So with
8.5kg bike
8kg case
12kg EVERYTHING else

the obvious place to look is getting a hard case at 5kg? and that's what I'm asking

    Neil

Offline staehpj1

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 06:50:28 am »
12kg EVERYTHING else
A few suggestions...
1. Consider packing lighter for the everything else.  I have not had my everything else not be less than 12kg for a long time.  These days it has been closer to 6 kg for me.  So you should be able to get down below 12kg without even getting into the weight weenie category.
2. While the 26kg limit includes the carry on you can typically take a personal item.  You could carry a very small bag backpack as a personal item with a couple kg in it.
3. You might look at whether there are any items in your everything else category that you can buy when you arrive.
4. If you are close to weight, you might wear some of your heavier clothing to save that last kg or so.

Offline Neil Wheadon

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 10:19:37 am »
12kg EVERYTHING else
A few suggestions...
1. Consider packing lighter for the everything else.  I have not had my everything else not be less than 12kg for a long time.  These days it has been closer to 6 kg for me.  So you should be able to get down below 12kg without even getting into the weight weenie category.
2. While the 26kg limit includes the carry on you can typically take a personal item.  You could carry a very small bag backpack as a personal item with a couple kg in it.
3. You might look at whether there are any items in your everything else category that you can buy when you arrive.
4. If you are close to weight, you might wear some of your heavier clothing to save that last kg or so.

OK
1. 6kg for a 3 week trip isn't particularly realistic when you are away for 3 weeks and leading a group
Clothes 1.6kg, Coat 0.5kg (A lightweight one isn't handy in Oregon rain) Fleece for colder nights 0.4kg. Toolkit, lock etc 1.6kg. Having a cafe lock (thin one( when leaving the bike in cities unsupervised is asking for trouble. Back pannier 0.6kg, handlebar bag and contents (GPS, pens, notebook etc) 1.2kg. GPS, iPad , phone and those dreaded cables add another kg. We're up to 6.9kg. (Can you get all your clothes including evening wear and still look vaguely presentable under 1.6kg?)
Now add in a spare tyre because frankly a bike shop is never close to an airport. Colombo (capital) in Sri Lanka for example has few bike shops that sell 700c tyres, yet alone finding one easily. 2 or 3 water bottles, first aid kit, wallet, guide book, need I go on?
2. Airlines are pretty strict and yes I do sneak the 1.5kg digital SLR into a smaller bag
3. Maybe the toothpaste but you really can't source the things you realistically need and it's a bit of a waste if you do as you still need to bring it home and International airports outside the US and Europe are legendary in their ability to weigh baggage to incur extra charges
4. Well I have 1.6kg of clothing, that's it (well you could add the fleece which I do wear.)

  All very interesting and I have done this maybe 80 times, so if anyone can point me in the direction of a lighter bike box so that next time I visit the USA I have a spare 3 kg capacity to bring home the maple syrup I'd be really grateful.  ;)
   
   Neil


« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 10:27:53 am by Neil Wheadon »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 11:16:45 am »
Many airline policies worldwide are a single bag in the hold that mustn't exceed 23kg.

Which airlines are these?  Every U.S. and British airline I've ever flown allows a second bag in the hold for a nominal fee; most are about $35 now.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 11:40:54 am »
OK
1. 6kg for a 3 week trip isn't particularly realistic when you are away for 3 weeks and leading a group
I have not found that length of trip makes much difference in what I carry.  I typically carry the same on a multi month trip as on a 10 day trip.  I went coast to coast with 6.4 kg of "everything else".  That was packing super minimal and I am not suggesting that you go that light, but there is a lot of room for more stuff between that and your limit.

I was not leading my (non group) trips though so I don't know what you need to carry as leader that you wouldn't otherwise take.

Also I can see where locale might be a factor, but the ST where I carried 6.4 kg of stuff isn't exactly loaded with frequent services.  Also I was prepared for the cold-ish temperatures of the ST in February.

2. Airlines are pretty strict and yes I do sneak the 1.5kg digital SLR into a smaller bag
You need to sneak it in?  I'd think that it would be well within the rules to take it in your personal item.

3. Maybe the toothpaste but you really can't source the things you realistically need and it's a bit of a waste if you do as you still need to bring it home and International airports outside the US and Europe are legendary in their ability to weigh baggage to incur extra charges
Still, I'd do this with as many things as you realistically can without adding too much cost.  Some things may be cheap enough to discard at the end of the trip.  If toothpaste is the only item that you can do this with you can at least do that if you need to.  It all adds up.

All very interesting and I have done this maybe 80 times, so if anyone can point me in the direction of a lighter bike box so that next time I visit the USA I have a spare 3 kg capacity to bring home the maple syrup I'd be really grateful.  ;)
Have you considered a cardboard box or a soft case?

I have a friend who uses a cardboard box specifically sized to fit his coupled bike.  He buys them specifically made for that purpose if I understood him correctly.  Also you could resize a box by cutting and taping a larger size.  All new bikes manage to get to the bike shop packed in a cardboard box.  Not sure how the weight compares to your case, but it might be worth considering.

I used a soft case on a couple trips and managed to keep the fully packed soft case including all my gear well under the 26 kg limit with a good bit heavier bike than your bike.  It had a shoulder strap that let me carry the whole deal pretty easily to get to the check in and from baggage claim.

26 kg really is a pretty generous allowance for anyone who is willing to pack carefully with minimizing weight as a factor in all packing decisions.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 01:12:51 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline Neil Wheadon

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 12:00:55 pm »
Many airline policies worldwide are a single bag in the hold that mustn't exceed 23kg.

Which airlines are these?  Every U.S. and British airline I've ever flown allows a second bag in the hold for a nominal fee; most are about $35 now.
Next month SAS, within Europe allows 23kg inc the bike (and that needed booking)
An additional bag is 66 euros, which is about $65?

Check this out
https://www.skyscanner.net/news/airline-bike-fees-cost-bringing-your-bike-onboard
Most of the major airlines on here are 23kg and unless you upgrade out of economy it is one bag

   Neil

Offline Neil Wheadon

Re: Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 07:07:52 pm »
This is the one I have

http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_hard.htm

  Neil