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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I usually ship my bike UPS, but I'm gonna be trying to fly with the bike to save money.

I've got a rigid Performance crate. It's a bit over the limit of what Southwest says they'll take (86 inches vs. 80 inches on Southwest's printed documents) but a call to Southwest's 800 number got an affirmative from their baggage department that they'll take this box.

I'm still paranoid about them deciding not to accept it when I show up at the airport, though.

What are people's experiences flying with bikes on Southwest?
 

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Lemur-ing
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No issues. $50 bike fee is all they charge.
 

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Lemur-ing
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Oh and, FWIW, I flew with the cardboard Madone box for my bike on several SW flights. No issue at all. The box came through regular baggage claim carousel. Well, that would depend on the individual airport I suppose since LAX sent it through the oversized area.
 

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You non-rev on SWA and you can take your bike? I thought there was a limit to what we take when we went discount or non.
 

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Fredke said:
What are people's experiences flying with bikes on Southwest?
My experiences with flying with bikes on Southwest have been very good. I taken my bike on Southwest at least 10 times. The only problem that I ever had was once I arrived at the airport on a busy travel day and I did not get to the check in desk until about 35 minutes before takeoff. I was warned that my bike might not make the flight. It did not make the flight, but was on the next one 90 minutes later.

I don't have the dimensions handy, but I always have used a Trico Iron Case, which I am sure is larger than 86 inches (i.e., height + width + depth).
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone for their advice. Southwest was great. There were no hassles whatsoever and they only charged $50 each way to check the bike in its hard case.

For comparison, FedEx and UPS had both quoted me over $75 each way to ship the bike by ground and between coming and going I would have been without the bike for almost two weeks while it was in transit.
 

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Speaking of crates - any recommendations for a very good/best case for a 10K++ bike? Travel SW Lots and never considered taking a bike along.
 

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terrain said:
Speaking of crates - any recommendations for a very good/best case for a 10K++ bike? Travel SW Lots and never considered taking a bike along.
I recommend a soft case.

I have two they are much easier to deal with that a hard case. Both I and my wife have traveled withe our bikes alot using these and had now issues. The have additional advantages over the hard case in that you can fit more em, my current record is 2 track frames and 5 wheels in one case (the bars and cranksets went in a roll one bag).
 

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corning my own beef
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terrain said:
Speaking of crates - any recommendations for a very good/best case for a 10K++ bike? Travel SW Lots and never considered taking a bike along.
I know a lot of people have had positive experiences with soft cases, but personally, I won't trust baggage handlers with a high-end bike without the benefit of a hard case and the extra protection it offers. I have used several, and SciCon is my favorite. Room for extras is not an issue, I can fit in a 61cm road bike, floor pump, two pair of shoes, tools, helmet, a week's worth of riding gear and still have room for more. The case has a lot of scuffs and gouges to testify to some rough handling, but the bike always emerges unscathed.
 

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Got nothing to add, but I'd maybe buy a cheaper bike than take a $10k+ bike on a trip? I just cringe how the handlers throw stuff around out the airplane window. Plus if they lose it somehow, I'd be livid, to say the least.
 

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Can someone post some pic's - would like to see the bike(s) in the cases to get an idea of how much you have to take the bike apart to fit.

Good point on not taking the 10K+ (actually getting closer to14) bike on travel - but if I can trust the case and in general I'm only flying an hour (west coast to west cost) I'd like to take the new bike along.

JustTooBig said:
I know a lot of people have had positive experiences with soft cases, but personally, I won't trust baggage handlers with a high-end bike without the benefit of a hard case and the extra protection it offers. I have used several, and SciCon is my favorite. Room for extras is not an issue, I can fit in a 61cm road bike, floor pump, two pair of shoes, tools, helmet, a week's worth of riding gear and still have room for more. The case has a lot of scuffs and gouges to testify to some rough handling, but the bike always emerges unscathed.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
terrain said:
Can someone post some pic's - would like to see the bike(s) in the cases to get an idea of how much you have to take the bike apart to fit.

Good point on not taking the 10K+ (actually getting closer to14) bike on travel - but if I can trust the case and in general I'm only flying an hour (west coast to west cost) I'd like to take the new bike along.
For my case I have to take off wheels (take skewers out of axles too), pedals, saddle, and loosen the stem. That's it.

It takes about 15 minutes to pack the bike and 15-30 to reassemble it at the other end.
 

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Other recommendations for travel cases?

My husband and I will be flying Delta to Hawaii next week for the Ironman 70.3 and we were planning on renting a bike box but may now just buy one, as it looks like we may be able to get some used hard boxes (Serfas) in the $100 range. BTW - Delta charges $150 each way plus you have to pay for your each individual piece of luggage too, beginning at your first piece.......what a rip! Anyway, I know nothing about bike boxes. Other than deciding if we want a hard or soft case, are there any features, etc that we would want to consider? Seems like a lot of these boxes are just padded, oversized brief cases! Any advice would be appreciated. Also, when it comes to fitting your bike in the box, it sounds like you may have to take off saddles, pedals, etc and just "play around with the fit"?
 

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Glad this discussion came up. I have a trip to Japan scheduled and have been pondering how I wanted to do the bike thing. I neglected the air pump...that will have to be added to the list.
 

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What Would Google Do.
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its not the case

terrain said:
but if I can trust the case and in general I'm only flying an hour (west coast to west cost) I'd like to take the new bike along.
its the handler! - I once got caught out (couldnt get a bike box at airport :mad2: ) and had to put my dream high end carbon frame/bike in just a see through glorified plastic bag with fragile stickers all over it!! - that was one of the longest flights I've had, although Ive flow a few long hauls and this was only an hour or 2 :wink5:
But to my utter shock and reflief/praises it arrived with me on the other side, without a snif of a scrath or anything!

The more protected the case/bag looks like it is, the more they will throw it around! :eek:
and the cases are not made to protect the bikes form the handlers BTW, but to protect the bike from itself moving around! -hows that for bedtime reading :D
 
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