Taking a bike on a plane can be quite frustrating, but If you are going to travel with it anyway you will need to know how to pack your bike for checked baggage and how much it will cost to take it on the plane.
Here is the short answer:
You can take a bike on a plane in checked baggage on most airlines. Bikes will be counted just as a standard checked baggage, airlines recommend to detach your bike and placing it in its original case if it is available, otherwise a solid bicycle bag or box built for bicycle will be accepted, Make sure that the Bike has enough wrap so the Bike won’t move inside the box.
Here is a detailed guide on flying with bikes and what are the TSA and airlines regulations about traveling with bicycles in checked baggage.
What The TSA Says About Bicycles?
The TSA does not have problems with bicycles so they don’t specify if bicycles are allowed or not in carry on or checked baggage, though the TSA recommends you check with the airline first.
And obviously bikes are large to be carried in carry-on baggage , so most airlines will not allow them on board, and they should go in checked baggage.
Can You Check A Bike On A Plane?
Yes, Most airlines allow Bikes in checked baggage, and most of the airlines will consider your bike as a piece of your checked bags if it is within the size and weight limits.
Here is an example of American airlines rules about Traveling with bicycles.
You can travel with 1 non-motorized touring, mountain, tandem, or racing bicycle if the:
- Bicycle is in a hard-sided case, bicycle bag or box built for bicycle transport
- Handlebars are fixed sideways
- Pedals are removed; or
- Pedals and handlebars are wrapped in plastic foam or a similar material
Please note that if your bicycle is not in a hard-sided case, it will be treated as a fragile item.
Standard checked bag fees of your destination apply up to 50 lbs / 23 kg and 126 in / 320 cm (length + width + height) or $150 fee applies from 51 lbs / 23 kg to 70 lbs / 32 kg.
How To Bring A Bike On A Plane?
How do I take my bike on a plane? Airlines set different regulations for traveling with sport equipment ; and bikes are required to be packed and protected perfectly in a bike box or a solid card box.
you will need to detach your bike before heading to the airport.
Here is a detailed video for packing Tips before Taking Your Bicycle on a Plane.
It is advised to put a notice or a fragile sticker on top of your expensive bike box to notify the airport security and the baggage handlers that your bike is fragile and should be handled carefully.
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Airlines Regulations On Traveling With Bikes
According to United airlines bicycles are accepted in checked baggage, but they must be packed appropriately.
To pack your bicycle as checked baggage:
- Pack it in a sealed box using plastic foam or similar protective material inside. The box should be a hard-sided case or constructed from durable cardboard.
- Secure the handlebars sideways and remove the pedals before packing the bicycle. All loose items should be inside the box.
- Motorized or battery-powered bicycles are not permitted.
- United are not liable for damage to any checked bicycles that are not packed as described above.
Oversized bag fees do not apply to checked bicycles. Standard checked baggage fees as well as overweight service charges still apply.
Jetblue allowed its passengers to pack bikes in checked baggage, but Bicycles should be in a hard-sided, padded case designed for bicycles.
- If not in a hard-sided case, bicycles will be accepted with the handlebars secured sideways and pedals removed. The bike must also be encased in plastic foam, a cardboard box (domestic flights only), or similar material to prevent damage.
- The maximum size for a bicycle case is 80 inches in overall dimension (length + width + height). If bicycle and container are less than 62 dimensional inches and under 50 pounds, the bike fee will not be assessed.
- Bicycle cases should contain bicycles only. Cases containing additional items may be subject to excess bag fees.
Bikes will be considered as a normal checked bag on Alaska Airlines, and if you add other items unrelated to the equipment with your bike, additional baggage fees may apply. Refer to our Checked baggage policy for checked piece charges and waivers.
You can take bicycles in a bike cover/box as part of your checked baggage allowance on British Airways. If you’ve used your free checked baggage allowance, you’ll have to pay to put your bike box in the hold.
British Airways recommend calling them in advance as the space is limited in small aircraft.
Qatar airways allows bicycles as checked baggage or cargo. Please ensure they are properly packed in a strong, custom-made cardboard box. Tires should be deflated, pedals removed, and handlebars turned and fixed length ways.
There are no restrictions when check in bikes on airlines if they are packed appropriately in a hard case or a solid box.
The only issue most passengers face is the excessive fees some airlines apply.
So it is preferable to call your airline before deciding which one to take your bike with.
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