Flying with your bike

My bike ready to go
My bike ready to go

Have you ever taken your bike with you on a flight, I did that recently when I went to Canada to bike from Toronto to New York. I brought my bike on the flight to Toronto and the flight back from Newark to home.

What did I learn from my experience flying with a bike? I should have contacted the Airlines I flew with before checking in.

Packing your bike the right way is essential of what fee you will pay for the flight, make sure that you have a bike travel bag or box to put your bike in and that the travel bike follows the specs of the airline’s recommendation.

Of course, if you wanted to get around the restrictions and be able to keep an eye on your bike the entire time you are flying, you could look into things like how much does it cost to own a private jet – or, at least, charter one for one trip – and see if this could be an option for you. That way, you would be able to bring your bike into the main area of the plane with you so that you can be sure it will arrive safely and in one piece.

Travel Bag

My travel bag is a soft bag from Decathlon. I chose this bag because I need to take the bag with me when I bike from one airport to another. If you just travel to one destination, you would probably be better off renting a bag from the Airline if they offer such a service or investing in a travel hard case bike box. It makes a difference in the fee you pay to take your bike.

Toronto

I flew Air Canada to Toronto when I was checking in for the flight, the airline staff was not sure about the soft travel bag, but after getting the supervisor to check on it, I got the clearance to take it with me. I had to pay 40 Euros for the bike, which I think was a recent fee.

Newark

I flew United back home from Newark, and I had more issues with my soft bag at check-in; the airline staff was unsure if I could take it, so a supervisor was called. The supervisor even took out a measurement tape to check the size. I cleared that hurdle as the bag was within the allowed measures of the airline. As it was a soft bag and I had not taken off the peddles (I couldn’t get them off) and did not bubble wrap vulnerable parts, they charge me USD 200 to take the bike with me. I think that was a bit steep.

Recommendation

You always learn something, and I recommend contacting the airline you travel with, not just visiting their website. Talk to someone to make sure all is good before you head to the airport. From my experience, the check-in staff does not know how to handle a bike – so check before you travel. When you use a soft bag, you need to take your pedals off and cover fragile parts on your bike with bubble wrap. You do not need to do this with a hard case travel bike box.

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