Don’t get overcharged the next time you fly. Here are the best US airlines for flying with your bike.
As cyclists we know what it can be like to travel with a bike - that's why we designed the Airport Ninja. The US airlines, unlike many international carriers, often charge exorbitant fees for traveling with a bike. The 50lbs weight limit (a hard and fast rule), and the 62” linear size limit (a grey area, as most airline attendants won’t break out the measuring tape if it's close) make traveling with most traditional cases expensive.
This list showcases the airlines in the US with the lowest baggage fees for bikes. So whether you’re already an Airport Ninja user avoiding the fees already, or if you’re still using a hardcase to fly with your bike, this list can help you save money.
1. Alaska Airlines
In the last year Alaska Airlines waived the fees associated with a variety of sports equipment making them the friendliest airline when it comes to flying with your bike. Alaska Airlines includes a carry-on bag, which is helpful. The size and weight requirements applicable to standard luggage are waived for bicycles, and there is no additional bike fee. Meaning just checking your bicycle will only cost $25 dollars, the same as any other checked bag.
From the Alaska Airlines website:
We’re glad to waive the oversize fee or overweight fee for the items listed in this section. If contents unrelated to the equipment are included, additional baggage fees may apply. Refer to our Checked baggage policy for checked piece charges and waivers.
JetBlue comes in at number two. They include a carry-on bag, which is always helpful, on top of that, there is no fee for bikes that measure under 62" in combined length, height, and width. For bikes that pack larger than this, the fee is only $50 each way, which is hard to beat. Bikes over 80" will not be accepted, so don't bother bringing that bulky hard case.
3. Southwest Airlines
Southwest rounds out our list of the best US airlines to fly with a bike. There fee is a little higher than our top two, but significantly less than than a lot of other popular airlines. The standard size and weight limits apply, so a standard bike fee comes out to $75. There is however an included checked bag with your ticket, so if you're using a compact case like ours you have a good shot at not paying anything to check a bag.
The next time you're searching for tickets be sure to check out one of these airlines as the savings in baggage fees can more than make up for slight variations in the ticket prices online!