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I'm flying to Florida on United Airlines and wondering if there is a cheap way to bring my bike along. Seems they charge $200 r/t. Is there a box that you can scam on for just a checked bag fee???
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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I travel with a bike 5-10 times a year. I just UPS it. US air charges 200 bucks each way. Way too much. I use a Trico Iron Case and its about 120 bucks round trip. My company picks up the tab.
 

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I'm cheap enough that I'd try to fit the whole bike in two checked roller bags. I think frame/fork could fit easily in one of the larger roller suitcases, and if the wheels did not fit, I'd pack them in another roller, and fill in the gaps with clothes (properly shielding them from grease, of course). Then again, it depends on your skills with a wrench. I'm comfortable building an entire bike in a hotel room, so it would be worth a try.

I just flew United to Colorado (from NY) and a single checked bag was only $25. If it took you two bags, thats only $100 round trip.
 

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Check here:

Airline Baggage Regulations For Bicycles

We fly fairly frequently with our bikes and pretty much stick with JetBlue, SouthWest or Virgin who all charge $50 each way for a bike.

We also use Aerus soft cases. Filled with CF bike, riding gear and accoutrements it weights ~35 lb and is much easier to deal with getting in out of shuttle buses, taxis and rental cars than a bulky hard case. It's also way easier to stow and/or transport when the bike is out of it. See the following for a review, which is a bit dated but still relevant. The case currently comes with a set of pads so you don't need to make your own.

How I travel with my bike | DC Rainmaker
 

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I'm flying to Florida on United Airlines and wondering if there is a cheap way to bring my bike along. Seems they charge $200 r/t. Is there a box that you can scam on for just a checked bag fee???
There are regular reports of people packing their bikes very small (removing several parts) and stating that they are checking "exercise equipment" or "sporting goods display" (your bike is beautiful, right?). How well this works depends on who you talk to and of course if they open it up and see the bike then you'll get charged their full fee (often $100 each way).
 

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+1 on the Ritchey Breakaway. I have one that serves as my commuter and rain bike. When it's time to hop on a flight, I disassemble, put it in it's box and check it as regular luggage. I've done a trip to Boulder and a trip to France with mine in the last year and it's worked out great.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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If you travel 5+ times a year, keep your eyes open for a used coupled bike with a travel case......it will pay for itself in no time.

Otherwise, get a crateworks crate, and ship the bike. Many companies will let employees use their shipping discounts as long as you reimburse the cost. it's a win/win...you get the lower price and they get the volume.

Len
 

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+1 on the Ritchey Breakaway. I have one that serves as my commuter and rain bike. When it's time to hop on a flight, I disassemble, put it in it's box and check it as regular luggage. I've done a trip to Boulder and a trip to France with mine in the last year and it's worked out great.
Ditto. I have over 20 trips with my Ritchey Breakaway in the past 1.5 years and it's a great solution for people who travel. And exploring new places by bike is perfect pace (car is too detached/fast, and by foot is too slow). No fees, and the frame pays for itself in just a few trips. It's only a little bit of extra hassle with luggage and assembly/disassembly (15-30 min if done carefully).

bikeaway.tumblr.com
 
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