Business travel and bicycles

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Thursday, October 15, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


A little birdy told me that the New York Times may publish an article about business travel and bicycles next Tuesday. The article may or may not quote me.

But it's a perfect lead in to Bike Hugger's experiences with travel and bikes. They use S&S Couplers so full sized bikes can be broken down to a size that will fit into a 26" x 26" x 10" case that travels as regular airline luggage.

Mark V and his bike box


Recently, though, airlines are charging their bike fees even when the bike case does not exceed 62 linear inches! Unbelievably, Air Canada charges their $50 "bike handling fee" even for a Strida folding bike because they claim "the carriage of bicycles requires additional and special handling procedures." As if.

Bike Hugger's suggestion? Don't tell the airlines your transporting a bike. It's trade samples, or camping gear.

When I travel, I just rent a bike at my destination or use public transportation.


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Comments:
I have a Ritchey Breakaway. It disassembles and goes into it's case which looks like a (large) standard suitcase.

I have never been asked what was inside or charged extra. Once, the check-in clerk took out the measuring tape to ensure that it conformed to the linear inches restriction, and it did.

I would strongly recommend this bike to anyone who travels. When assembled, it is a full-size road bike (and a damn good one).
 
I frequently travel with a Bike Friday in a standard Samsonite suitcase. I've never been charged any extra fees above standard checked luggage fees, if any.

I purchased the Bike Fridays because we found the quality of rental bikes to be very poor and the rental costs to be very high. By my reckoning, the cost of the bike was paid for in twenty trips.

The suitcase always has a TSA card in it, so maybe some sort of extra fee is justified.
 
Air Canada charges $50 if you pre-register ($95 at checkin if not pre-registered) and if THEY actually are servicing the flight. Lot's of AC flights to the US end up being United, so you have to check in with UA and they charge $175 US each way for bikes and charge for every checked bag these days. Rentals start looking pretty okay if you have to pay $350 to bring your own.
 
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