Delta Airlines Eliminates Fee for Sporting Equipment Including Bikes

Jul 17, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  

Flying with a bike just got a lot less expensive for Delta Airlines customers. The company announced today that they are eliminating additional fees for bikes, as well as all oversized sports gear.

Delta Airlines: "Delta customers traveling with surfboards, bicycles, golf clubs, scuba gear and other large-sized sporting equipment will now be allowed to check them as part of their standard baggage allowance.

The airline is eliminating the $150 specialty sports bag fee previously charged for these items, effective for travel worldwide on tickets purchased beginning July 17, 2019. Customers will instead pay a first, second or third checked bag fee according to the fare rules associated with their booking and/or SkyMiles Medallion status.

Complete checked baggage fee detail, including the new sporting equipment fees, can be found at Delta.com. Due to space limitations, acceptance and charges may vary for itineraries on a Delta Connection carrier."


Delta is the third major airline behind American and Alaskan Airlines to remove the high baggage fee for sporting equipment.

For many long-time Delta loyalists, myself included, this will cut substantial costs out of travel. I spoke with a few other frequent bike flyers who shared in my excitement, among them professional mountain biker Eric Porter who flies with a bike dozens of times per year, all over the world.

bigquotesHOLY SH*T! I never thought that day would come, that’s unreal! I’m flying tomorrow morning. This just saved me a ton of money per year. It's now reasonable to do a mountain biking trip with the entire family!Eric Porter

Keep in mind that bikes must be properly boxed or bagged and are still restricted to the 50 lb weight limit for checked luggage. Flyers with status may have a large allowance but check the details on Delta's website before you fly.


206 Comments

  • + 272
 This is tremendous! The kids now are gonna travel in bike bags
  • + 15
 This might become an issue on flights arriving from Asia...
  • + 3
 Lmfao exactly what I thought
  • + 13
 “An exciting new seating option for budget-minded fliers!”
  • + 2
 I am small and compact. I can fit in a bike bag.
  • + 1
 You guys have more airlines in one country than we have in the whole Europe.
  • + 4
 @mihauek: for some reasons they didn't accept trains as a major transportation.. Opposite for Europe.
  • + 2
 At least you won’t get beaten up by the attendant in the cargo hold ! Oops wrong airline !
  • + 10
 There was a guy about fifty years ago who wanted to fly back to Aussie from London. Passenger tickets were too expensive so he decided to go as freight. He got his mate to make a wooden box that he could fit inside, and lock from inside. He had a three hour wait on the tarmac as they changed planes in India which was terribly hot. After he arrived on the ground in Perth he changed into a suit, opened the box and strolled out of the airport!
  • + 2
 @jaame: well I’ll be damned , it true !
  • + 1
 The devil's in the details
  • + 1
 @jaame: He is lucky that he didn't die.
  • + 2
 @tacklingdummy: bloody right! Imagine if he slid out of the loading bay and dropped onto his head from 4m up. It’s a pretty audacious move!
  • + 2
 @jaame: ha ha. i thought they didnt pump air in to the cargo surely he would have died
  • + 1
 @Nick-Marotta: good point. It was in the 60s. Maybe they didn’t fly as high back then?
  • + 1
 After the Twin Towers episode I had a suspension Fork completely disassembled by TSA. They lost some internal parts and gave me the bike back with everything in pieces and never even said sorry. Thought the suspension Fork was a bomb.
  • + 0
 @pinnityafairy: better safe than sorry lol
  • + 1
 @pinnityafairy: I remember brendog bringing a pro circuit engine home in the overhead luggage and the oil started to drip out , caused a right cuffufle !
  • + 1
 @Matt115lamb: education over stupidity how safe are you with a bunch of stupidity?
  • + 1
 @jasminov: oh, we DID have an amazing train network. In an effort to push individual and family motor vehicles on the public, Detroit automotive executives started buying and scuttling rail ways across the country forcing the American public to buy cars.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Yep, but not only that. The lack of oxygen in the box or suitcase. They say that there the temperature is above a certain degrees and has oxygen, but so many pets have died on flights in cargo, I'm not so sure.
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: well I read it in the news in the internet. This guy was an Olympic athlete who got injured and had to go home. Apparently he’s famous, or was famous. It seemed like a believable story. Now we start to think and discuss it seems less plausible.
  • + 1
 @jaame: There is another guy that did it on youtube. Recently, in last few years.
  • + 1
 @toddbag: thanx for info, it's interesting.
So, what is it today with trains in US? People don't prefer it at all or ... ?
  • + 1
 @jasminov: culturally it's just not how we travel. Personally, I love traveling by train. Reserving a sleeper car, getting a bunch of mushrooms, and trip balls across the country! It's super duper rad.
  • + 1
 @jasminov: It takes too long compared to air travel for longer distances. Also, doesn't cover destinations well. In Japan the train is more efficient because it is fast and covers all the major destinations. Also, the distance is shorter as the entire country of Japan is the size of California alone.
  • + 2
 @tacklingdummy: I’ve been from San Diego to Seattle on the train. My gosh. That leg from San Fran to Seattle took about a day and a half. We must have averaged something like 18mph. Thank god for Americans. You guys like to talk!
  • + 52
 Alaska airlines as already done this for years. Old news Delta way to finally get with the times. Fly Alaska for your PNW needs. #imayworkforalaska
  • + 3
 This makes my day. I’m already a loyal Alaska passenger for work trips.
  • + 2
 ...and they're pretty flexible with the weight limit. I fill by bag up with tools, shoes, pads, helmets, etc.
  • + 4
 @bvd453: overweight bag fees are waved for all sports equipment.. Technically as long as its related to the activity traveling. Surfboards, golfbags, wakeboards, paddleboards, all fly for the same fees as normal checked bags.
  • + 2
 @rogue28: Continental Airlines let me take *two* bikes for free every flight over 30yrs ago. This is not some bold new innovation, it's merely a cyclical readjustment of the business model. Airlines want destination sporting travel dollars from more than just golfers & skiers. In the meantime, Delta, British Air, and a growing number of global players have decided to start charging you $50 per person, per segment just to book a seat with your family. It's a shell game: take the money from young families, give it to snowbirds going to golf in FL.
  • + 1
 All the major airlines have introduced what’s called a cheaper or saver fare they sell at a low rate to attract customers. These fares are not assigned seats, in some unfortunate cases like deltas you have to pay to sit next to your travel partners. As far as bag fees, I’m sure all checked bags were free 30 years ago but then again that was just before I was born so I have a smaller frame of reference @Veloscente:
  • + 38
 Read the fine print. "It's important to know that there are separate fees for each limitation you exceed: size, weight and quantity. For example, if an extra piece of baggage exceeds the weight and size limits, it will be subject to three fees: one for the extra bag, one for exceeding the weight limit and one for going over the size restriction. Fees are charged for each additional bag, each way."

Their weight limit is 50lb before they start charging overweight, so $100 for 50-70lb and then oversized limit is 203 cm, an Evoc bag comes in around 250cm which would not even be allowed and if it is will be another $200.

Maybe I am reading this wrong but it sounds like they got rid of the flat fee and may be charging obscene "unseen" fees or not even allowing the bag?
  • + 6
 Bingo. F Delta
  • + 6
 Just read the fine print...and it says "If the outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) exceed 115 linear inches (292 cm) or exceeds 100 lbs, the item will not be accepted". The crux here is if they see their normal limit as the 62 linear inches and anything between 62 and 115 as deserving of a fee. Not sure if being a bike exempts from the 62 and they just roll with it as long as it's under 115?
Curious to see how this works out personally as I'm a Star Gold (United/Lufthansa/Air Canada/etc) status flyer who travels several times a year with a bike case that's in the 95 inch range. Domestic travel for me sucks with a bike due to United's fees, while Lufthansa's no-fee arrangement and AC's $50 per trip makes international easy. I've paid United $300 to Vermont round trip and Lufthansa $0 to Germany already this year to bring my bike.
  • + 1
 @bicycle019:
You will get additional benefits as a gold status member. I know they waive the fee from 59-70 lbs, but I’m not sure if they waive the oversize bag fee. If anything, it means you can go with the heavier duty bike cases which are already 35 lbs, but unfortunately United has not yet followed suit on dropping the bag-specific fee. (I was star alliance gold ten years ago, and travelled with a lot of equipment for work. Check in agents in the US were quite variable in how they reacted to me rolling up with two big rolling cases to the oversize baggage, but usually just paying whatever fees they arbitrarily applied got the cases on the plane. In Europe, they were generally unphased, but one time an agent made me throw a bunch of stuff away until my case got under the legal mandated weight-limit. No amount of money was going to get her to touch the case until it was 0.1kg under the limit.)
  • + 6
 @Shep77: because the cases have to be loaded by actual humans. Who wants to pick up 22kg suitcases all day every day? The weight limits are to protect the health of the workers, which I’m all for.
  • + 1
 @Shep77: Oh I'm aware of the extra weight allowance I get. My packed PRO Mega travel case with a 30lb enduro bike, shoes, lightweight tool kit/ travel pump, hydration bag, and helmet is right at 50lbs. If I also toss in the full face, dh pads, spare 29x2.5 tire, and some food I'm around 60lbs. I've also experienced variable check-in experiences with sometimes no fee assessed, depending on the agent and their mood. Always roll up with a smile and empathetic attitude.
If the fees go away I'd be even more inclined to travel with my bike than I already do.
  • + 1
 @bicycle019: with Lufthansa they just wanted to know if the box is under 50 pounds. It was. So our two bikes went as normal, checked bags.
  • + 1
 Yes, I flew the week before this new policy was in place. It cost $130 to ship my bag. I just flew this morning and Delta charged $205!!!!!! It’s complete BS
  • + 11
 Stop flying, the planet is dying. My grand parents never took an airplane, now I have friends flying every week like they go to the supermarket.
  • + 4
 exactly that is why I think flights are too cheap
  • + 6
 @vhdh666: They really are, kerosene is not even taxed in EU so the aircraft companies can "grow", and then you get a 10€ ticket for 3h flight, while half of normal gas price is tax... Thats insane! France is rummored to add some plane fuel tax, that problem should be hit hard everywhere but considering the size of avio industry there will be strong oposition... sucks Frown
  • + 10
 zoobab2 gets it. Ride local.
  • + 4
 @vhdh666: that excludes south america. I have to work 2 months to pay 1500 dolars to travel US/Europe..
  • + 1
 Aircraft emissions are tiny compared to other modes of transport and Industry.
When you recognize the benefits of people traveling and experiencing different cultures, values, and the common issues we all face, I think it’s a net positive to have an informed & aware society rather than just 1% less CO2.
  • + 8
 The Chrysler minivans we rent have factory roof racks, so put some Thule uprights in a pelican case and I’m good to go. I can fly with my sound equipment and a bike to a NASCAR race for work without paying extra. f*ck yea!!
  • + 7
 The bigger question here is WTF are you doing with a bike and sound equipment at a NASCAR race?
  • + 1
 @masonstevens: Workin' - I'd venture to guess Mangler is a sound mixer/engineer.
  • + 3
 oh man. everytime i had to bring my pelican case with my recording gear i got ready to grab my ankles.
  • + 3
 @ampb100: I appreciate your efforts - Phish tour ain't gonna tape itself.
  • + 6
 WestJet has never had a fee. They have also never had the PR disasters and over weight charges Delta has. (WestJet is also a Canadian company)

I flew to Hawaii with my road bike last year. West jet was an absolute joy on the way there, delta tried to charge me 200$ extra because my 10,000 Di2 carbon 15lb road bike was over weight. Packed in evoc bags.

f*ck Delta. It's just a stupid PR stunt. They'll tell you it's over weight when you get to the airport.
  • + 4
 They do have a bike fee, but don't apply it most of the time. I fly almost exclusively with WJ and always with a bike, but got dinged for the first time flying out of Vancouver a couple of months ago...a $50 "handling fee" on top of the checked baggage fee.
  • + 1
 WestJet just got us for an extra $50 "handling fee" leaving YVR the other day. 52 lb box. We already paid ahead of time for the baggage charge. We didn't get charged on the way there. All our gear gained weight during the trip from all the rain.
  • + 2
 @mookmeister: they told us last month that it was something new they added in the last year
  • + 55
 I don't know, the kind of customer who gratuitously throws in the price of the bike is often the kind of customer who gives ticketing agents a hard time.
  • + 3
 WestJet recently added a $50 bike surcharge, on top of the $30 bag check fee, but with that your bag can be up to 100 lbs! Pack all your other gear with the bike and don't check another bag.

Most WestJet agents don't know this rule though, and will try to charge you overweight. Have their website cued up on your phone to show them: www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/baggage/sports

And some agents still won't charge you any extra, or even weigh your bag. Just smile and move along Wink
  • + 1
 Depends on the westjet agent. They have charged me literally every flight through Calgary and Ottawa, but not elsewhere. They seem to have a bit of discretion, but lately have been cracking down at least on evoc bike bags.
  • + 3
 Yeah, it's funny. Pretty recently, Westjet was free for bikes and Delta was like $250 US per direction. Now Westjet is $50+$30 and I'm learning Delta is free!

Shockingly good move Delta.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: Delta isn't free. It's subject to their standard fees. I think it's 30/40
  • + 1
 We flew Westjet into Salt Lake City last time we went to Moab and weren't charged at all for our bike bags. But...our return flight, even though we booked return with Westjet, was operated by, you guessed it, Delta. And they promptly charged all of us $200 USD each.
  • + 1
 WestJet adds a 50$ handling fee to the checked luggage fee, but not in every airport, kind of depends on the agent you stumble upon.
However, you can do the check-in yourself and pay for bagage fee, get your tag, and bring the box directly to the oversize/overweight zone. No WestJet employee there, and the customs dude just scans your bagage tag and the bike is checked in.
Good way to skip that extra 50$ handling fee if you ask me!
  • + 1
 @adrieng: Hmmm, seems risky. I'd hate to try that, board my flight and then find out that my bike got pulled out of the queue because someone noticed I hadn't paid $50.
  • + 2
 @bishopsmike: Did it a couple of times and it worked perfectly without issues. When you go to the counter to pay the surcharge, they don't change anything on your baggage tag and tell you to go to the oversize spot directly after.
  • + 1
 Westjet changed their fee structure in March. Let me also preface by saying that I have the "Westjet Mastercard" which is touted as having incredible benefits, such as a free checked bag. Much to my surprise, on the way home I was asked to pay a $50(USD) fee for oversize. I shrugged it off and whipped out the WestJet MC like it was my FBI badge, to which she said oh sorrrrry we changed it just a week ago, bike bags are now considered oversize and are subject to a fee. To be very clear, i did not have any other checked bags - only my bike bag. If this is actually true, then that is definitely a bonus. I have a feeling we'll take it in the ass somewhere else though.
  • + 1
 Also new WestJet policy is one helmet, one bike. Funny because last year our family of three took four bikes, kid was on 20's so fit 2 in one box, and we all bring 2 helmets each, carry on the full faces.
  • + 10
 sorry, Delta, you lost my business years ago.
  • + 6
 Agree above... 23kg is useless.... I always put my bike bag up on scale then try and support the over hang with my foot to try and take some weight off so they don't notice... 30kg is the go and reasonable.
  • + 9
 Delta airlines can suck a dick
  • + 1
 Underrated comment
  • + 4
 Quick update, I just checked my bike this morning flying to Portland for Mountain Bike Oregon festival, I still had to pay $150 because this policy starts with flights booked July 17. Still excited for the future, this is great for anyone that wants to travel with their bike. I can get my Thule bike bag packed and stay under 50lbs as well, and with a Delta credit card and/or medallion status you can get bags for free.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the info Eric! I'm stoked for this too because I can finally fly south with my bike during winter months when I visit family. Renting bikes has sufficed, but I'd rather bring my own steed.
  • + 3
 Air Canada was always one of the most reasonable, only $50 CDN. Waived with FF status. I think westjet is $50 too.

With status at AC, I can take up to 3 bikes for free. Been taking my bike (and my friends) for free for years. Saved thousands.

Avoided the US airlines as some were pushing $200 one way, just absurd. Maybe I'll try them again now if AC screws up the FF program.
  • + 1
 I’ve flown with a bike in a Dakine bag with WJ many times and as long as it’s under 50 lbs it’s been $25 per flight. A screaming bargain when you consider renting a bike in Canada is often $125/day. I got 10 riding days in Fernie for $50 total to bring my own bike.
  • + 1
 Yep, AC is the best way to go. $50, 70 lbs, any bike bag/box accepted. They also have tons of destinations.
  • + 2
 Alaska airlines has been doing this already folks! But I wouldn't always count on the bike arriving at your destination on time with you! just dealt waiting for airlines to deliver bike to location after landing twice with different airlines
  • + 2
 British Airways allow bikes to travel for free as long as the bike box and bike come in under 23kg. We have used this airline several times over the years for our road bike and mtb. tours Several years ago I made a bike box out of 1/4" corrugated plastic with wheels and it is several pounds lighter than the fancy store bought bike box's. I can keep adding personal items to my bike box until I reach the 23kg limit, while my buddies have to check in more cargo. It's about time more airlines drop their ridiculous charges for oversized sports equipment.
  • + 2
 BA allow them as part of your checked luggage and for cattle class that's one bag, so it's bike and no other bags. 23kg limits chance of filling the bag with clothes as well. However you do get two carry on bags, so long as one can be squeezed under the seat. I've also taken a helmet as carry on in addition and no problem. Bike box with bike can easily go over the 23kg. Bike bag is not so bad.
  • + 1
 @deadkenny: Fly BA business class and it is 2 bags at 32kg each, normally it's much cheaper to upgrade to business class than to travel in economy and pay for the extra bags. Get enough points with BA and you can take 3 x 32kg bags included in any class. This is more or less the same on all One World airlines.
  • + 1
 @trycycles: lol just fly business class you peasants. I can barely afford the initial cost of the flight, let alone upgrades etc...
  • + 2
 My carbon enduro bike in Thule round trip travel case, with shoes and a few other pieces of gear was like 80+lbs. You can't just be over 50lb and decide F*** It! and pile more stuff in. There is another cutoff where the baggage handler union wont touch it(airline told us this traveling back from whistler) and i had to unload quite a few things to get the box back under a certain weight.
  • + 1
 hahaha. I tipped scales at 36KG traveling to Madeira.. spare rear wheel and al sort of shit in the bag.. 80 lb is easy stuff
  • + 0
 Would you want to pick up bags over 22kg all day every day?
I press 22kg in the gym, and that’s once a week for about an hour, for fun.
My wife is a flight attendant and she says the number of times six foot guys ask her to put their heavy bags up in the overhead bins is unbelievable. She would have delts like a basketball player if she did it for them!
  • + 2
 We fly Lufthansa LH because bikes have always been checked luggage, no fee. Twice to Germany, once to Austria and once to Italy. Just make sure its not LH operated by AC, then you're screwed.
  • + 1
 Anybody actually know the initiative behind the American airlines dropping their sporting goods fees? Has flight travel dropped that significantly lately or have the airlines actually listened to the backlash of rising travel costs for sporting enthusiasts? Surfboard fees got dropped last year or earlier this year from American and United I believe, Alaskan has always been good, and now Delta with this. Or is it simply a matter of matching the competition?
  • + 1
 Its because charging 200USD to carry a surfboard in a bag is the stupidest thing i have ever heard. I got stung 200USD for a bag and then because i already had a bag checked it was an extra 60. My return flight to Mexico was 400CAD. So my boards cost nearly twice the total price of my return flight, each way.
  • + 1
 So readers digest here: Delta doesn't charge extra fees for bikes, but to get a bike on a flight it can't be as large as an Evoq bag. So it sounds like by bicycle, they mean folding bikes, kids bikes, or un-built dismantled adult bikes creatively packaged within the box size restrictions. Otherwise, you still get charged. Arg.
  • + 1
 Beware. Bait and switch. Literally flying back with my bike now. They charged me 150 today. They couldn’t get their story straight. First it was excess which should have been $100 then it was bike because of when I purchased my ticket. Ultimately they refunded the charge. However they weighed my evoc bag 18.9 lb and my ibis hd4 with a bunch of carbon and sub 30. Their scales said 56. Point being good luck traveling an enduro bike and getting under 50. Second point this is the first time I have ever been charged for a bag over 50 regardless of what might be in it. I’ve flown enough to have had delta diamond which I don’t wish on anyone. From now on if they ask I’m going to tell them no of your f*cking business. If TSA has questions I’m happy to answer other wise bugger off
  • + 3
 This is great because I love paying overage fees for my 33 lb bike and the ~20 lb. bag that it needs to be carried in to protect it from their shithead handlers
  • + 1
 Publicity stunt or not, if you’ve gotta fly Delta this is a good thing. Who cares if it’s a publicity stunt if you don’t have to pay?

(Word to the wise - I gate-check my guitar all the time in a strong case. They KNOW it’s a guitar. It was even gate-checked for heavens’ sake. Handlers still bash that case relentlessly. I’ve got video out the window of the plane of a handler throwing it onto the conveyor. So...make sure your bike is in a legit case.)
  • + 4
 United breaks guitars.
  • + 5
 Hopefully this is a trend other airlines will follow!
  • + 1
 F Delta - they will charge you random bag fees at the counter and there is nothing you can do about it. Twice they have charged me more than their policy states for sporting equipment. Even showing the person at the counter the policy on the delta website did not help in either case. I avoid them as much as possible because of the $150 I have been overcharged in fees for hockey equipment.
  • + 1
 For folks worried about the 115 linear inch limit . . . this is not a concern. The largest of production bike cases are well under this. My DIY constructed two-bike case is well under that limit. Its the 50 pound limit that will be almost impossible to meet with a typical trail bike and production case. Some hard cases approach 30 pounds empty. Lighter coroplast cases like Crateworks are 20 pounds empty. Evoc cases are 22 pounds. So you'll likely need to shift some weight to other checked bags by putting chains, pedals, etc in another bag. Still, despite the constraints, I welcome this progress.
  • + 3
 so flights will be less expensive
and they are already too cheap
what will Mother Earth say to this?
  • + 0
 Wrong website mate. North-Americans don't care about climate change.
  • + 3
 @colincolin: not too many Europeans do either

a friend bought a flight from Augsburg to Hamburg because it is way cheaper than a train ticket
unbelievable
  • + 1
 @vhdh666: That obviously is a political/infrastructural issue
  • - 4
flag thesharkman (Jul 18, 2019 at 7:51) (Below Threshold)
 @colincolin: we do, we just need some proof. Right now it looks like a natural part of the planet's cycles.
  • + 5
 @thesharkman: or we could just do our best to reduce our impact without overwhelming proof that we're causing massive changes. needing proof is like saying, i'm going to wait until I have proof that I have diabetes to change my diet.
  • + 2
 No word on whether Delta Airlines won’t damage your sports equipment.
Saying that they did cut me a cheque for a surfboard. WestJet saidit did still look rideable.
  • + 5
 www.bikeflights.com
  • + 1
 rip off
  • - 2
 @djt3mta3: exactly
  • + 8
 @djt3mta3: How so? Middleman skimmer yes, but also aggregator passing on savings. They've saved me meaningful $$$ over UPS and FedEx for years (quoting 20-50% under walking into shipping store or booking online in my personal experience)

(Genuinely curious why you dislike 'em)
  • + 5
 Really? I got a dh bike to Cali for like $60 a few weeks ago. I don’t get how that is @djt3mta3:
  • + 0
 Their insurance prices are insane
  • + 3
 Used them for a trip to Sedona this year. United was going to be $300 round trip and me dragging a bike around from parking to check in, then from baggage claim to rental car office to destination. BikeFlights was $170 and my bike case was waiting for me there at the final destination. Insurance fee they charge is....significant. I declined as I'm confident in my packing of my bike and travel case having used it 20+ times already, but hey stuff happens and bikes are expensive. The convenience of having my bike waiting for me at the destination was nice. I'd look into them again for domestic travel. They were cheaper than shipping via my discounted work UPS account BTW.
  • + 4
 Can't say enough good things about bikeflights... had my road bike shipped through bike flights, FedEx smashed the box and punched a hole through the head tube. Bikeflights had full replacement cost transferred to me in under 24 hours. Phenomenal service all the way around, and infinitely better than you'd get trying to get any airline to cough up $3000 to replace your frame.
  • + 2
 @dontcoast: because when I flew Alaska air, it only costs $30 to bring my bike. And now Delta is on board. Bike flights will be close to $100 and take a couple days to get there.

(Genuinely curious why did you'd even ask this question)
  • + 0
 @freeridejerk888: pack bike in a box or bike bag, go to airport, pay $30 regular check bag fee, get to destination with your bike. send that bike coast to coast and let me know how much the cost is
  • + 1
 @bicycle019: United sucks flying with bike. I had same cost but filed complaint and got full reimbursement. your travel case must be beat! No problem for me rolling through airport with bike bag and other luggage and $30 later my bike is with me and safe in my bag.
  • + 3
 @djt3mta3: pack your bike in a box or bag, pay regular $30 fee, have bike damaged and let me know how much they give you to replace your damaged bike.
  • + 1
 @djt3mta3: My travel case (PRO Mega) is starting to show some wear for sure, but if you travel a lot, luggage in general is a consumable. I've gone through three medium sized roller duffel bags in the past eight years. Lesson - buy good stuff that has solid warranty. I travel a lot. Blank Stare
  • + 1
 @bicycle019: Renting a Scott Ransom from Absolute for ~$50/day is the definition of convinience. I always rent now in places that have quality bikes available...makes the trip so much easier and enjoyable.
  • + 2
 @djt3mta3:

• Some airlines charge $100+ each way - airlines which may be needed due to destination, or preferred due to much lower cost or frequent flyer loyalty plans.

• FedEx is WAY less likely to break your bike than airline baggage handlers. (UPS maybe just a little better than airports)

• IF your bike gets damaged (or WHEN if you travel regularly) you are WAY more likely to get some of your $ back with bikeflights as an agent than directly with airlines or shipping companies.

• Sometimes (usually, for me) it's logistically way easier to organize a parcel pickup for a planned trip than schlepping a giant box to (and through) the airport and to my destination. Even the best bike bags are a pain.(Plus, I can often arrange to send it to a shop and use a stand to assemble it for a few $ and a 12 pack)
That convenience alone can be worth paying a few $ more overall (to me)

...so unless I was booking a last minute domestic flight on Alaska or Delta for a short trip, I'd just plan ahead and ship it ground.

There are absolutely certain trips/airlines where taking the bike with you is a better option. But also plenty of situations where parcel ground shipping is cheaper/easier, and parcel aggregators are awesome for that.



That's why I didn't ask the question - because I know sometimes it does make sense to take the bike on the plane - which has absolutely nothing to do with wether or not bike flights is a "rip-off" or not.
  • + 0
 The last time I flew Delta, they charged me an overweight charge for two bikes that I had packed in a big plastic side-by-side style bike box. I wasn't expecting the fee (which seemed excessive, but I think I had an extra set of tires or something in there), but the scale doesn't lie, and I wasn't going to leave my bikes. So, I paid my fee and checked my box. When I got my box back, they had broken open my box by destroying most of the metal latches (which were not locked, just closed), taken my wheels out (which were carefully packed and tetris-ed in to avoid rattling and damage), and jammed them back in another way, causing cassette-paint contact and rotor issues. I've never flown Delta since, and I would strongly caution/advise anybody looking to fly Delta with a bike to look elsewhere. It's surely worth your money to have your equipment get from A to B without careless/negligent damages.
  • + 9
 Security, i.e. TSA rips open any oversize bag, not the airlines themselves..... Either way still sucks man
  • + 7
 Like the other guy said TSA opened your box. As far as I can tell TSA inspects basically every oversized box. You should basically assume you bike will be inspected and thus every single item in the box needs to be padded individually that way when they carelessly put it back in the box you stand a chance of it not all get screwed up.
  • + 0
 @georgiamtbiker: Bikes "were carefully packed and tetris-ed in" with padding and ties in the right places. No amount of careful padding and packing can prevent careless unpacking,handling, and repacking. I don't mind the inspection, which is why I left my latches unlocked (nothing to hide in there - just bikes). The thing that bothers me is that I payed significant over-charges for handling, yet the handling appeared intentionally destructive (busted latches, careless repacking). Besides, how hard is it to inspect a box of bikes? Just open the latches and shine a light in there! OK, maybe it was TSA's hand and not Delta, but surely Delta requires a certain quality of care from their associates (TSA).
  • + 2
 @toadlywilde: I think you're missing the point. Delta has absolutely no control over what TSA does.

And while I hate it that TSA wrecks everyone's day when they travel, the idea is keep people safe (or propagate fear to justify continued war that outdated economic theory thinks helps the economy). And yeah, you have just bikes in your bag, but it's a big bag packed with a lot of stuff that blocks what they can see with their scanners and they feel the need to open it up
  • + 0
 @jaredmh: No, I don't think I'm missing the point. I get it. Keep people safe. Keep the bad stuff off planes. Open it up. Scan it. It's unlocked and easy to look into. Just do it without breaking stuff. I also understand that Delta is not TSA. The workers (Delta and TSA) are probably rushed, overworked, and underpaid. Surely there is a solution. It seems like other airlines have figured out a better system. A conversation between Delta, TSA, and passengers may help to move toward that solution. There has to be a way for everybody to do their jobs without being destructive to peoples bikes, guitars, surf boards, or ___.
  • + 1
 @toadlywilde: TSA checks are probably the biggest risk to your bike while travelling. Have had multiple incompetent or lazy TSA agents repack my bike case improperly. They simply don't care and have no reason to care. I try and avoid flying through the USA for that reason. If possible I request a security check of the case with me present (which is the current arrangement in many canadian airports for oversize luggage). If connecting through the USA from another country with a tight connection there is a high chance that your bike won't make it due to TSA screening delays too...
  • + 1
 @bjarmula: They lost a quill stem wedge on my track bike once. looking in my stem for contraband?!? lol
  • + 0
 Total marketing Hype, here is the language... Still if over 50lbs there is a charge, and if over 115 linear, they will reject.

Bicycles weighing over 50 lbs. will be charged the applicable excess weight fee
If the outside linear dimensions (length + width + height) exceed 115 linear inches (292 cm) or exceeds 100 lbs, the item will not be accepted
  • + 1
 American Airlines dinged me based on this same dimension clause. May EVOC bag was under 50 lbs but the combined dimensions far exceeded the 292 cm. Any bike bag will. So I'm very skeptical bikes will travel like a regular piece of luggage. Sometimes you get lucky with a check in attendant that doesn't read their own fine print though.
  • + 1
 @tunnel-vision: Especially with the long wheelbases we have now...always gotta pull the fork lol
  • + 2
 Is that same airlines which eliminate / remove passengers from planes when overbooking ?
  • + 3
 That was United
  • + 1
 United charged 150 each direction, regardless of weight, if it's a bicycle it's 150.00. Hopefully they'll adjust to compete with Delta.
  • + 0
 It's more than $150 if it's over 50lbs and you don't have status. Seen that happen.
  • + 1
 Years ago I convinced the airport my bicycle was an inline wheelchair to get it to fly for free. It worked you got to love the 90s
  • + 2
 everybody flies with hand luggage these days, so I imagine the cargo compartment is mostly empty anyway
  • + 1
 they rent that extra space out to shipping companies
  • + 1
 That's cool but 22Kg isn't that much for a full rig. What are the over-weight charges? Good step in the right direction anyway!
  • + 2
 Good-ish news (50lb limit with a bagged bike?! Come on), but no good to me, I'm flying with Air Canada this august.
  • + 2
 They'll treat your bike better than Delta would!
  • + 4
 Awesome!
  • + 1
 Excellent. Just came back from a Trip to les Gets and had to pay $300 for a bike....flying again next week and keeping that $300 in my pocket! THX DELTA!
  • + 1
 How often do Americans fly?
  • + 1
 @colincolin: every day if you live in Cali or Colorado
  • + 3
 @colincolin: I haven't flown more than twice in the last 15 years. Do all Germans fly the same amount? Or is Germany a country that is comprised of millions of individuals that are all different and live different lifestyles?
  • + 3
 Delta still sucks horribly
  • + 1
 Hells yeah!!!! When did Alaskan remove the fee?! I’ll be sure whenever I get a booked ticket for work I’ll book with one of these three!
  • + 4
 Awhile back actually. Basically they just charge the standard checked bag fee. If you are an Alaska card member, then the first bag is free (ie my bike flys free) and I always pick them to fly because of this Smile
  • + 2
 @pittman9: good to know! I’ll be flying them to Kalispell on the 29th and I’m taking my bike so this makes me very happy to here! Then my company won’t question the fees as well!
  • + 2
 Yay, super stoked as I have fly delta for work all the time, and this just saved me $300 on my flight in September.
  • + 1
 wow!!! good news...I paid 250Euros per bike one way from Munich to Vancouver...#thanksLufthansa.
  • + 1
 Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, Virgin Aus have been free for years (for a 23kg Evoc size bag).
About time Delta stops charging.
  • + 1
 £30 on uk airlines cheaper than a normal bag and fair enough. a suitcase is £80 extra?? lol
  • + 1
 easyjet is £45
  • + 1
 375$ cdn each way for a bike on Lufthansa, regardless in under 23 kg or not.
  • + 3
 Sweet! Way to go Delta!
  • + 0
 Interesting that they announced this when the new location for USAC collegiate mountain bike nationals got announced today....
  • + 1
 "Hey honey, if i had a lighter bike we wouldn't have gotten charged that overweight penalty fee!"
  • + 1
 Delta might not be the nicest airline but this sure makes flying w them a lot more pleasant!!
  • + 1
 I can't help thinking that Doug Stanhope's new cycling regiment played a part in this decision for Delta
  • + 0
 American Airlines changed their policy around May 20th of this year. Delta is just copying them. You still have to pay the checked bag fee.
  • + 2
 Insert this airline is better or this airline sucks comment.
  • + 1
 This is great! Hopefully all airlines follow suitBig Grin
  • + 1
 Perfect now I can use all my referral rewards on sportihome.com !
  • + 1
 Are you listening Airtransat,you robbing bastards.
  • + 1
 please get Lufthansa involved in this discussion^^
  • + 1
 Ha! Eric Porter was on my fight today. Probably checked his bike.
  • + 1
 His bikes have to travel freight.
  • + 1
 In other news, Delta raises ticket prices $150 for everyone.
  • + 1
 Hate to be the bearer of bad news but nothing in life is Free People
  • + 1
 Just need SW to do the same
  • + 0
 Question: Is it legal to fly with weed out of a state where it’s legal?

Asking for a friend.
  • + 3
 Yes. Totally. 110%
Just explain yourself. You'll be fine.
  • + 1
 Only if you get caught! But in all seriousness it’s illegal to travel out or into any state with weed legal or not. So you can’t even go from Vermont to mass with weed even tho they are both legal. Sucks but it’ll be like that untill it’s legal federally
  • + 1
 It is not, as the TSA is a federal agency which does not recognize the laws of the states. Despite flying from a state where it is legal to another state where it is legal, it iss still illegal they eyes of TSA
  • + 3
 I live in Denver and fly with a weed oil pen almost weekly. They just think it's a "regular" vape.
  • + 0
 @bman33: I’ve heard the pens are not a problem. I’ve also heard that they allow up to an oz., at least for interstate travel.
  • - 1
 LMFAO. Good luck in jail and get a good lawyer for your for drug trafficking charges.
  • + 0
 @matadorCE: Nobody is trafficking drugs. It’s a legit question. I don’t know where you live, but here in CA, we’ve outgrown the Reagan DARE campaign. All ages and demographics are visiting the dispensaries. Times are changing bud.
  • + 0
 @sriracha: That's all well and good but federal law is still federal law. Changing that law is another subject, but you're essentially asking how to commit a crime in a public forum-FYI.
  • + 0
 @matadorCE: Yeah, you're right. This forum is the wrong location to inquire. Next time I'm at the airport, I will just ask TSA what they enforce. I'm not looking to commit any crimes.
  • - 1
 @sriracha: You do realize DARE was/is aimed at children, right? California has "outgrown" telling children to avoid drugs and violence?

California sounds f*cking horrible.
  • + 1
 @Session603: It is horrible. Stay away.
  • + 1
 @Session603: yeah, smoking weed makes you super violent
  • + 1
 @wiscobiker: Did I say smoking weed makes you violent? I have no idea how you could possibly come to the conclusion that that's what I was implying.

I said the DARE program is aimed at teaching children to avoid drugs and violence. Not violence caused by smoking weed.

You're extremely bad at reading comprehension.
  • + 1
 Nice, evoc time, they’ll sell them like crazy
  • + 1
 Garuda Indonesia has been doing that for ages..
  • + 2
 #flygskam
  • + 1
 Read the fine print!
  • + 0
 Alitalia never charged for bikes.
  • + 0
 Bikeflights ships for a flat fee cheaper than airlines
  • + 1
 Maybe inside the US.. It would cost me a cool 1000usd to cheap my bike to europe with them !
  • + 1
 Yep, bikeflights is good and the owner is a mountain biker and really humble.
  • + 1
 still rubbish airline...
  • + 1
 outstanding!!
  • + 1
 Damn, this is awesome!
  • - 2
 Delta is still a terrible airline, so this won't make me want to fly with them anyway
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