How to Fly With a Bike the Cheap and Easy Method
So you’re planning to take a flight, and are possibly in a dilemma on how the hell you should fly with a bike. Is it budget friendly? How complex is the packaging? How safe is it from suffering damages? Well, these could be some of the questions turning over your mind. Perhaps, you wish to pack it in a big-enough hard box that would shield it from breakage or scratch if shoved, dropped by luggage handlers, but then how pricy will that be?
Regardless of how deluxe your bike is, whether it’s the best mtb under 500 or best mtb under 1000, you still wouldn’t want incur ridiculously high costs due to weight fees. Luckily, this article comes to your rescue by highlighting a cheap and easy way of packaging your bike.
To begin with, it will be wise to check the requirements of how to fly with a bike, laid out by your preferred airline. Most airlines prefer having it packed in a bag or box as opposed to a bare bike. Like I mentioned earlier, boxes will add weight on your luggage and that means added costs plus for a bike to fit in, you’ll need to dismantle almost all of it.
Of course, this is an involving and tedious process that you’ll also undertake when assembling it on arrival. If you were hoping to cycle from the airport, then the box will become another baggage. You may probably opt to trash it then get a new one next time around.
Another option will be using plastic bags or CTC plastic bags. Chances are you’re skeptical of how plastic bags would offer any sort of protection to your valued possession. Think about this way; it’s a clear plastic bag, meaning whoever is handling it especially baggage handlers can see what’s inside, will therefore handle it with the care it deserves.
3 Benefits of using plastic bags
- Easy to pack and unpack your bike: With plastic bags, almost the entire bike stays intact since you’ll only need to remove pedals and handlebars and maybe deflate the tires a bit. This would take you about 15 minutes then you can put it the bag. You only need the basic skills to perform this process; it’s not complicated.
- Budget friendly: Think weight, how light is a polythene bag compared to a cardboard box big-enough to fit a bike? Therefore, a plastic bag will favor the baggage fees as there will be insignificant added costs to the luggage weight. CTC plastic bike bags retail about $15. However, you could opt to make your own bag with the use of clear plastic sheets then duct tape the ends which is also cheap. These plastic bike bags also happen to be recyclable.
- Bike is less prone to damage as it can be seen by handlers: The mere fact that it’s a transparent plastic bag means you cannot miss to see what’s inside. Thus there’s no excuse for luggage handlers to mishandle the bike even by placing other luggage on top of it as it could break.
How to go about packing your bike in a plastic bike bag
Most airlines consent to using plastic bags to pack a bike which could either be those purchased from retail or the handmade ones, provided a few regulations are followed. These involve; partly deflating the tires, dismantling the pedals and turning the handlebars parallel to the frame. This makes it easy for you to fly with your bike.
However, it is also wise to take extra precautions in protecting your bike. You do not want to take any chances of it getting damaged. You could add padding like bubble wrap to the front derailleur, carefully remove the rear derailleur from the frame, lower the seat. You can also remove the wheels and attach them to the frame using straps or just tie the front wheel to prevent it from flopping about. Once the bike is inside the bag, fold over the edges then wrap the bike end-to-end with a packaging or duct tape for its safety.
When planning to take a flight and you wish to fly with your bike you’ll need to figure out early enough how you’ll package it, check airline regulations for bikes on flight and most importantly the baggage fees. Plan to book your bike in advance. Some airlines will require having it booked in advance due to the set maximum limits of bikes on a single flight. Even though plastic bike bags prove to be a cheap and easy method, not all airlines accept plastic bags. Some demand having it packed in a cardboard bike box or a custom bicycle case. The boxes can be sourced from a bike shop. Confirm the extra weight added by the box. This will help you to settle on the airline that fits into your budget.
Guest post provided by Paul Devault