Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Summary of Airline Baggage Fees for Bicycles

A big THANK YOU to pro triathlete Jessi Stensland who posted this to her blog in December. I thought you all might find it helpful. I enjoy reading her blog, it's on my blog list.


AirplaneFun I don't know about you, but I've found myself wasting precious time lately when booking travel, digging around airline websites looking for extra baggage fees, especially when it comes to bikes. Rarely is it enough to utilize only the basic search engine prices to determine the overall cost of travel airline to airline anymore. Extra fees make a huge difference in my decisions. I created this list to save myself, and you, valuable time in travel planning.

Here is a summary of the current baggage charges, gathered from a number of major airline websites today, December 28, 2009. They are listed in order from most reasonable to obscene. Props to Southwest Airlines and Air Canada who lead the way for domestic travel! Click on the airline name to be linked to their website page regarding bicycle charges (when applicable.)

NOTE: Most airlines will not charge extra for bikes packaged under 50lbs and 62" (L+W+H). The following list assumes the bicycle case is over 50lbs or 62".

NOTE #2: Not all websites were clear as to whether the airline would charge both the regular checked baggage fees in addition to the excess baggage fees, though I've found that to often be the case. For example, United Airlines will charge $20 for the first bag and $175 for a bike which makes the total cost $195 each way.

NOTE #3: Where there are two amounts mentioned for first and second bag fees, the lower price refers to the discount you receive when you check-in and pay for your baggage online prior to the flight.

NOTE #4: I've been choosing my flights in support of those companies that offer lower fees for bicycles even when I'm not flying with a bike, especially when there is no difference in price between two or more airlines.

**If you see any discrepancies or have any personal experiences worth noting, please comment below.

Happy travels!!

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Southwest Airlines

$0 for up to two checked bags

$50 per checked bicycle

Air Canada

Within Canada: $0 for up to two checked bags + $50 per checked bicycle

Between Canada + US: $0 for first bag + $30 for second bag + $50 per bicycle

Jet Blue

$0 for first checked bag + $30 for second checked bag

$50 per bike domestically + $80 per bike international

Virgin America

$20 per checked bag

$50 per checked bicycle

Frontier Airlines

$20 for first bag + $30 for second bag

$50 per checked bike

Alaska Air / Horizon Air

$15 for first bag + $25 for second bag

$50 for baggage > 50lbs + $50 for baggage > 62" = $100 per bike

Northwest Airlines

$15/$20 for first bag + $25/$30 for second bag

$100 per bike checked within US + $150 per bike checked internationally

Continental Airlines

$18/$20 for first bag + $27/$30 for second bag

$100 per checked bike

American Airlines

$20 for first bag + $30 for second bag

$100 per checked bike

US Airways

$20/$25 for first bag + $30/$35 for second bag

$100 per checked bike

United Airlines

$15/$20 for first bag + $25/$30 for second bag

$175 per checked bike within US + up to $250 per bike checked internationally

Delta Airlines

$15/$20 for first bag + $25/$30 for second bag

$175 per checked bike within the US + $300 per bike checked internationally

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