Do Airlines Charge for Bike Bags?

Do Airlines Charge for Bike Bags?
As a cyclist, you might be considering taking your bike along on your next trip. However, the logistics of transporting a bike can be daunting, especially when it comes to air travel. One of the most common questions we get is, "Do airlines charge for bike bags?" The short answer is yes, most airlines do charge for bike bags. But the cost and rules vary significantly among different airlines. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into this topic and provide some useful tips for traveling with your bike travel bag.

Understanding Airline Baggage Policies

Airlines have specific baggage policies that determine what you can carry on board and how much you'll be charged for it. Bicycles are usually considered as oversized or special baggage due to their size and shape. Therefore, they can attract additional fees beyond standard checked baggage rates.

The charges for transporting a bike in a travel bag can range anywhere from $30 to over $200 each way depending on the airline. Some airlines also have weight restrictions and may charge extra if your bike exceeds these limits. It's crucial to check your airline's specific policy before booking your flight.

With fees for bikes ranging from a standard checked bag to much more. If you are travelling with a bike it can make sense to compare the ticket price with the baggage fees.

When we founded Orucase, we already had over 600 flights with bikes to our names. Racing all over the US and the world we used the insights we gained to develop bike cases that took into account these two variables for bike fees. Our bike cases are so much smaller than alternatives that gate agents don't think they're bikes half the time. In recent years the focus at airlines has been on the 50 pound weight limit, not the dimensions of the actual bike case. Both of our bike cases weigh less than 20 pounds giving you 30 pounds of packable weight. Compare that to a hard case that comes in at 37 pounds empty!

Packing Your Bike in a Bike Travel Bag

Packing your bicycle in a bike travel bag is one of the best ways to protect it during transit. These bags are designed specifically for bikes and provide ample padding and protection against damage.

When packing your bicycle, remember to remove or lower the handlebars, remove the pedals, and secure any loose parts.

Remember that while bike travel bags provides excellent protection, they do add weight. Choosing the right case to use can help save money on overweight fees. Ensure that with your bicycle inside, it doesn't exceed the airline's weight limit to avoid additional charges - generally 50 pounds in the US. If you have a lighter road bike you can store your helmet, clothing, and tools in the bag to get it right up to 49.9 pounds.

Choosing the Right Bike Travel Bag

Choosing the right bike travel bag is crucial when planning to fly with your bicycle. Look for a bag that offers robust protection but is also lightweight enough not to push you over any weight restrictions.

A good quality bike travel bag should have sturdy wheels for easy transportation, multiple handles for lifting and carrying, padded walls for protection against knocks and bumps, compartments for storing loose parts like pedals or tools, and straps or buckles to secure everything inside.

Tips For Saving Money When Flying With Your Bike

While most airlines do charge extra fees for flying with a bicycle in a travel bag, there are ways you can save money:

1. Choose Your Airline Wisely: Some airlines offer more reasonable rates than others when it comes to transporting bicycles.
2. Pack Light: Try not to exceed weight limits by packing only essential items.
3. Choose a lightweight case: Our lightest case weights only 15 pounds, less than half the weight of a typical hard case.

In conclusion: yes - airlines do charge extra fees when traveling with bicycles packed in bike travel bags due to their size and special handling requirements. However, by choosing an appropriate airline and packing smartly using suitable protective gear like a quality bike travel bag - cyclists can ensure their beloved bikes arrive safely at their destination without breaking the bank!