Delta removes $150 fee for bikes, finally. Delta’s decision follows American Airlines eliminating the oversize bag fees in May and before that, Alaska Airlines removing their fee. Delta said its new policy eliminating its $150 fee for sporting equipment is effective for travel worldwide.
Travelers will still need to pay any regular checked bagged fees. Prior to this announcement, we always flew for free anyway. Delta’s announcement is great for everyone else and when traveling with a full-sized racing bike. The key to flying bicycles for free on airlines that still charge is packing them in an airline-sized suitcase and keeping it underweight. Also use Jedi Mind tricks like replying if asked, “it’s trade show equipment” or “Makeup for a Vegas performance.”
Cyclists can also use a service like Bike Flights who broker the best rates for shipping a bike. Having dragged a bike across a terminal, there is value in shipping it direct to your destination.
Here’s a video from 2013 when the Thule Transition ($675) case came out. That’s what I use for the “good bike” or a demo that doesn’t fold or pack in a suitcase.
After traveling several times with the Modal (a concept bike that toggles single, geared, fixed, internal), I enjoy that option the most. It significantly reduces the build/pack time and complexity. There just isn’t that much that can go wrong with a titanium bike in an S and S case. Gear it wide enough for the flats and hills and you’re good to go.…