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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan, not to get too OT here, but I'd imagine a lot of forum users don't arrive at the forum via the ST front page (I never do). While a lot of the articles on the front page are great and very informative, I know the only time I read them is if I happen to catch the weekly newsletter in my email (~2x a month).

Have you considered putting links (maybe with a thumbnail pic) to the articles in the sidebar of the forums?

Strava
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Rumpled] [ In reply to ]
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Rumpled wrote:
I've got a question relative to shipping a bike, not as luggage.
I'm fixing to do RAGBRAI next year and it appears that shipping a road bike would be the best option considering I would likely have 2 checked bags to make this happen.
When it comes to shipping, 130 inches is where the big break in cost comes in. Shipping is measured as L+2H+2W.
A case under 130 is about $37 each way and 131 inch case is about $97 each way - quite a difference.
From my investigations, it appears that only boxes and Serfas hard cases fit under this limit. Potentially, the Trico Ironcase may also fit under this limit, though other info says no.
I'd prefer to have a case and am looking on the used market for one.
Also, apparently the shipping companies round up in inches, so 10 1/2 inches ends up being 11. So, with their math - 10.5 x 2 is not equal to 21, but 22.
I am quite comfortable with bike disassembly, so that isn't much of a problem.
Can anyone provide some real world experience on cases that fit under 130 inches?

I have used a box that I haven’t seen anyone mention here...Buxum Box. They are aluminium. I never bring a bike on the plane but always ship it. The one I have (I think it is the Tourmalet) fits under the 130. It was pricy but worth it. I always used Bikeflights and loved them but on the last trip I switched to Shipbikes as I didn’t like that bikeflights switched to UPS from FedEx. Of course, FedEx put a forklift through my aluminium box (did all kinds of paint damage etc but thankfully frame not cracked). Shipbikes has been zero help with FedEx (it was insured and fedex is denying the claim). So I am getting a new Buxum Box and going back to Bikeflights.

I much prefer shipping and it is there when I get there and they pick it up. Nicer than schlepping it in my book.

And, I much prefer the aluminium box. Although boxes this size (unlike the B&W Bike Box 2 or the Alan) are tough in a rental car...hence another reason to UPS it.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [manofthewoods] [ In reply to ]
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manofthewoods wrote:
B.McMaster wrote:
NordicSkier wrote:
My lessonsof bike travel
1) When comparing multiple airlines, always add the cost of bike/luggage fees to the final ticket price to get a true comparison
2) Airline credit cards with companion fares can save you a ton of money if you fly as a couple. They also usually include a free bag or reduced fees. Well worth the yearly fee. (I use Alaska and Westjet)
3) A compact car with a hatchback can carry two bike bags (I use EVOC) and two soft suitcases and two small carry-on bags. I've done this with a Mercedes A class, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Elantra among others.
4) Hard shell cases are no more protective than soft shell, and make it much harder to fit in rental vehicles (see point 3)
5) Flying to Europe is probably going to cost you brutal bike fees.
6) Flying WITH your bike is *almost* always better than having a service ship to your destination.
7) Renting a bike at your destination is a compromise and inconvenient.
8) If you need to store your bike after a race so you can travel around (say... a couple weeks in Europe), always ask fellow competitors. I've stored bikes in random basements and picked up before my flight. Made some good friends in the process too.
9) Bikes fees are ALWAYS changing. So check often and be aware before you go. Read the fine print.
10) Complain frequently and loudly to airlines about bike fees. It can work to change things! Just don't harass the poor desk agents.. they can't do anything.


I disagree with #7. Last time I flew with my bike the airline broke it. Last time I rented a bike I won my age group.


I can relate. I've travelled w/bike and mostly been OK, but did suffer some frame scratches. So...
for a number of years I used to "come home" to do Lifetime Fitness tri in MPLS. Didn't think it was worth it to bring my bike. So I rented a road bike, brought clip on's and an ancient forward angle seat post. Won my AG every time (w/fastest bike split). Road bike was great for twists and turns that the course featured.
Now to be fair... Dan (Slowman) was standing next to me (he didn't know me), when I got my rental for Kona in '17 - the bike was WAY better than mine. I had my worst race ever - not because of the bike, 'cause some moron didn't hydrate properly during the bike portion of said race.
Moral of the story, rent or bring your bike, what ever you think. Don't forget to take a drink.

I think depends on the race ad the distance. I'm not sure I'd want to do a 70.3 on a rented bike. I want the bike I've been fitted to properly. For a sprint or Olympic I would consider it. Though I'm mechanically inept when comes to taking my bike apart and putting it back together. If the race is supported by Tri Bike Transport I go with them. Take my pedals off, leave it at my local shop and pick up at the race venue. I also like the fact that after my race, I don't have to spend part of the evening taking it apart and packing it.


Tri-ing for a cure.

NYtrigal's Team in Training Page

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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan, thanks for the follow up and getting the TSA on record. While I don't agree with your assessment that they are rock stars, I appreciate the additional info that was provided and in particular the bike checking procedures. I'd like the ability to tell them how to re-connect my rear triangle/skewer to the bike bag attachment. I mentioned that this was the part that has been disturbed the most and has happened every time I've flown.

I forgot to add, and I think it's good practice, to always unplug all Di2 connections (FD, RD and junction box) when flying. You'll need the Di2 wire connecting tool which is only a few bucks. I can't speak for Campy or SRAM.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Blackbeard] [ In reply to ]
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Blackbeard wrote:
Dan, thanks for the follow up and getting the TSA on record. While I don't agree with your assessment that they are rock stars, I appreciate the additional info that was provided and in particular the bike checking procedures. I'd like the ability to tell them how to re-connect my rear triangle/skewer to the bike bag attachment. I mentioned that this was the part that has been disturbed the most and has happened every time I've flown.

I forgot to add, and I think it's good practice, to always unplug all Di2 connections (FD, RD and junction box) when flying. You'll need the Di2 wire connecting tool which is only a few bucks. I can't speak for Campy or SRAM.

i think we have their ear. if you think there's a set of best practices we can give them that might help them, then let's put one together. i asked them about this, specifically. they were enthusiastic about the idea.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Ministry of Travel [NYtrigal] [ In reply to ]
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NYtrigal wrote:
I think depends on the race ad the distance. I'm not sure I'd want to do a 70.3 on a rented bike. I want the bike I've been fitted to properly. For a sprint or Olympic I would consider it. Though I'm mechanically inept when comes to taking my bike apart and putting it back together. If the race is supported by Tri Bike Transport I go with them. Take my pedals off, leave it at my local shop and pick up at the race venue. I also like the fact that after my race, I don't have to spend part of the evening taking it apart and packing it.

Packing a bike is EASY. For my Evoc bag.
- remove pedals (need small wrench)
- remove front wheel, drop skewer in pocket
- wrap frame pad
- put fork in fork pad
- remove 4 stem face and bolts, put them in pocket, strap bars to frame pad
- remove seatpost (loosen two bolts) with seat attached, unplug di2 from internal battery
- remove rear wheel, drop skewer in pocket
- put bike and wheels in box. do up straps

Not mechanically difficult at all. Literally 6 bolts and removing the pedals. Start to finish is about 10min. 15mins if I have to drink beer while doing it.
Honestly, you should understand how to check and tighten these as a loose seat or stem could cause a crash.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [NYtrigal] [ In reply to ]
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NYtrigal wrote:
manofthewoods wrote:
B.McMaster wrote:
NordicSkier wrote:
My lessonsof bike travel
1) When comparing multiple airlines, always add the cost of bike/luggage fees to the final ticket price to get a true comparison
2) Airline credit cards with companion fares can save you a ton of money if you fly as a couple. They also usually include a free bag or reduced fees. Well worth the yearly fee. (I use Alaska and Westjet)
3) A compact car with a hatchback can carry two bike bags (I use EVOC) and two soft suitcases and two small carry-on bags. I've done this with a Mercedes A class, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Elantra among others.
4) Hard shell cases are no more protective than soft shell, and make it much harder to fit in rental vehicles (see point 3)
5) Flying to Europe is probably going to cost you brutal bike fees.
6) Flying WITH your bike is *almost* always better than having a service ship to your destination.
7) Renting a bike at your destination is a compromise and inconvenient.
8) If you need to store your bike after a race so you can travel around (say... a couple weeks in Europe), always ask fellow competitors. I've stored bikes in random basements and picked up before my flight. Made some good friends in the process too.
9) Bikes fees are ALWAYS changing. So check often and be aware before you go. Read the fine print.
10) Complain frequently and loudly to airlines about bike fees. It can work to change things! Just don't harass the poor desk agents.. they can't do anything.


I disagree with #7. Last time I flew with my bike the airline broke it. Last time I rented a bike I won my age group.


I can relate. I've travelled w/bike and mostly been OK, but did suffer some frame scratches. So...
for a number of years I used to "come home" to do Lifetime Fitness tri in MPLS. Didn't think it was worth it to bring my bike. So I rented a road bike, brought clip on's and an ancient forward angle seat post. Won my AG every time (w/fastest bike split). Road bike was great for twists and turns that the course featured.
Now to be fair... Dan (Slowman) was standing next to me (he didn't know me), when I got my rental for Kona in '17 - the bike was WAY better than mine. I had my worst race ever - not because of the bike, 'cause some moron didn't hydrate properly during the bike portion of said race.
Moral of the story, rent or bring your bike, what ever you think. Don't forget to take a drink.


I think depends on the race ad the distance. I'm not sure I'd want to do a 70.3 on a rented bike. I want the bike I've been fitted to properly. For a sprint or Olympic I would consider it. Though I'm mechanically inept when comes to taking my bike apart and putting it back together. If the race is supported by Tri Bike Transport I go with them. Take my pedals off, leave it at my local shop and pick up at the race venue. I also like the fact that after my race, I don't have to spend part of the evening taking it apart and packing it.
I generally agree about a longer race on your own bike. I'm quite mechanical, so that's not the issue for me. In Kona it was a mucho better bike than mine. But the bike couldn't make up for me being stupid about hydration.
most important; did you like my last line with the rhyme? :-)

I saw this on a white board in a window box at my daughters middle school...
List of what life owes you:
1. __________
2. __________
3. __________
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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My 2 cents regarding CO2 and Travel Pumps, buy a Fumpa or 2.

- Regular Fumpa (mini air compressor) easily fits in carry on and can easily handle all pumping needs and has a digital gauge. Also works flawlessly on my Zipp disc wheel - no crack pipe needed!
- Mini Fumpa replaces any need for CO2 cartridges.

No more wasting space in your bike case for a pump and no need to buy CO2s upon arrival at your destination just to have to throw them away (or donate) prior to your return.

In a later post I'll show off my Ritchey Breakaway Ti/Carbon draft legal race bike. No bike fees on any airline.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Xing triathlete] [ In reply to ]
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Replying to no one in particular, but just picked up one of these to keep in the car/ bike bag and it's fantastic.

https://www.rei.com/...0EAQYASABEgIWiPD_BwE

The barrel wants to move a little bit when pumping hard, but otherwise it's fantastic. The head works really well, and because it folds into a cylinder it packs into a bike bag really well.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:

well, that's why i asked! this is the official statement. that's why the people from TSA are named and quoted. accordingly, i'll be querying my entire readership, asking for any instances in the last year where your experience was replicated. then i'll forward back to TSA and, one presumes, some hides will be chapped.

My experience was very different yesterday. And it leads me to believe that this is based on the whims of whoever is running the local TSA and whether or not the airport has the necessary screening area in a location that is accessible to passengers. I ended up flying from Oakland to Seattle, and then immediately from Seattle outbound international. Both experiences were completely different/

At Oakland, I asked the check in counter if I could be present when TSA would inspect my bag. The lady flat out said it was not possible, since the screening area for oversize luggage is behind the check in conveyor belts and is in a secure zone. After asking around, she came back with the same answer. So I let it go, then walked over to the TSA agent at the screening point to ask the same question, the agent asked a few others around him, and said "no, its not possible to be present for the inspection". After i cleared the Security check point, I found a little make shift office of sorts, and asked the agents at that office again. These two ladies looked at me and said -- well you can request it, and needs to be done outside the security checkpoint. So I narrated my story, at which point they said, oh well - you can request it, doesnt mean that they have to honor that request. Its up to them to see if they feel like letting you be present.

Since I was flying international from Seattle but not on a connecting flight and not on the same booking, I had the opportunity to go through this entire exercise a second time at Seattle. After I picked up my bike bag and went back to check-in, the airline counter directed me to the Oversize baggage drop off area which is clearly marked and said I am supposed to walk my tagged bag over to this area and hand it off. (unlike in Oakland, where the Airline counter just wheeled my bag past some double doors and immediately out of sight.). At the Oversize Baggage dropoff area, there was a friendly TSA agent sitting there to receive the bags, and he basically asked me questions around how to open the bag, performed his check, then asked me how to close it. Had some light banter, and then off we went.

Based on this - i feel like this is more a function of how the airport has setup bag drop off, and not particularly a TSA official policy.


Dan - - considering you spoke to the TSA office in Seattle, that would make sense because they literally have an agent setup to receive these bags.
Last edited by: harshc: Sep 28, 19 18:31
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I used Bikeflights this year to ship my bike from DC to KC for Dirty Kanza. No issues, and the price was fine (proportional to what I've paid in years past to ship back/forth to California). I'm using a soft case, and the relatively low weight may not trigger a more expensive pricing band that heavier boxes may fall into.

FYI, for derailleur hanger protection, I use threaded rods and a bodge of nuts/washers as dropout spacers. This lets me use a PVC end cap with some creative dremeling/drilling as a "bumper" that protects the hanger. I also use foam pipe insulation and zip ties to protect the tubes, with a bag of zip ties and old wire cutters living permanently in the bag, along with a Topeak Mini-Morph pump, which has a gauge and hose.

Even though fees have dropped, I'll probably still use bikeflights for U.S. trips (only 1/year usually) because it's easier to have the bike show up at the hotel, and not worry about TSA issues.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Rumpled] [ In reply to ]
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When I did Ragbrai, I used Pork Belly Ventures as my outfitter (if you haven't heard about these services, it's worth at least looking into). They have their own shipping service along the lines of bikeflights. The difference is that they will ferry your bike from the start town to the end town, which is super-helpful. They handle several hundred people bikes each year for the event, so it's all pretty dialed in. I think they'll handle your bike even if you don't use them as an outfitter
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Re: Ministry of Travel [merlinkim] [ In reply to ]
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I've looked at many options for RAGBRAI, and will most likely use PBK. Seems they provide a good package for an out of stater like myself.
I still think that 130 inch cutoff will be the big price cut, and I think a hard case would be best.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [manofthewoods] [ In reply to ]
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I've done it all: shipped my bike domestically and overseas, flown using hard and soft cases, and rented, again both domestically and overseas. I've had good experiences the first two ways and also some big-time clunkers, many of which have been written about in previous threads. I've done a lot of renting too and have never, as of yet, had a bad experience. I can't speak to the convenience factor because I've chosen good bike shops to work with which were as close to each race site as I could possibly manage and which, at least to me, were fairly priced. As to the "compromise" factor, well, yes, a tremendously individual decision for every racer. I've rented Giant's, Trek's (6 times), BH's, Fuji's (podium in Pontevedra), and a Merida with a bell and front-reflector light (podium in Adelaide)--all really good bikes that performed very very well for me. Could I have done better on my Specialized Transition? Sure. But that's where the balancing act--convenience/hassle; pricing; performance--enters. Here's what I've learned: with my Transition, and on a 20K course, I can generally complete the bike leg 45-75 seconds faster than what the rentals would generally give me. That's my compromise: convenience v. hassle v. pricing v. performance--a totally individual decision for every racer. The new pricing on some of the airlines may help me change my mind about lugging my bike along to races, at least domestically. But I'll continue to check out rentals, then do my balancing act.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I've done four flights this year on United with the EVOC bag, and haven't paid anything.

Every time I fly I check in through the United app, and then note that I will be checking in one "normal" bag (I carry on my suitcase).

When I arrive at the airport I check in with the Premier desk, and hand over the bike bag. Some have asked if it was a bike, some haven't, but I've never been charged for it.

I'm not sure if they are being nice and igorning the fee due to status, or they don't feel like changing the one checked bag I have already confirmed to actually list an oversize bag, but this method hasn't failed me yet.

Also, I'm a silver on United, it's not like I'm getting the super-preferential treatment of a 1k or GS.
Last edited by: kahlil: Sep 30, 19 23:02
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Re: Ministry of Travel [kahlil] [ In reply to ]
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kahlil wrote:
I've done four flights this year on United with the EVOC bag, and haven't paid anything.

Every time I fly I check in through the United app, and then note that I will be checking in one "normal" bag (I carry on my suitcase).

When I arrive at the airport I check in with the Premier desk, and hand over the bike bag. Some have asked if it was a bike, some haven't, but I've never been charged for it.

I'm not sure if they are being nice and igorning the fee due to status, or they don't feel like changing the one checked bag I have already confirmed to actually list an oversize bag, but this method hasn't failed me yet.

Also, I'm a silver on United, it's not like I'm getting the super-preferential treatment of a 1k or GS.

Yeah, that happens every once it a while for sure. So as not to out the location :) will just make it yes/no as curious if you live in one of their major hubs like Chicago, Houston, Denver, or Newark? Usually I get lucky at non-hub locations, but not the hubs.



I miss you "Sports Night"
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Updating our recent, as of yesterday, experience with United to Kona from Toronto.

I will preface my comments here, by saying normally, I'm a savvy and experienced traveler with bikes. Been doing this for a long time and typically would NOT stand to pay what we paid. But, we booked for Kona late this year. And I used points for the flights for my wife and I (ie - next to nothing for the flights). The timing and the connections for the flights (with United) we did use, worked for us. Normally, I would have done something different.

The United $150/bike ($CAN) at Pearson Airport in Toronto seemed non-negotiable. I fly a decent amount for work and pleasure, and I never get wound up, and am always super-nice with every airline employee I encounter along the way. We nicely explained to the Check-In Agent that UA now had the highest Bike Fees in North America by far. I shared that, I fly a great deal with Air Canada(AC) - AC's Bike Fee is $50, that I have AC Status and it's worth noting that UA and AC are Star Alliance Partners! The agent, thought the UA Bike Fees were "crazy", seemed genuinely, interested in our situation, felt sorry for us . . . . . but still ended up charging us $150 each for our bikes!

Now, as I said these were extraordinary circumstances for us. I would never have got this far with this, as I would never have booked with UA, if I was paying full price for the airline ticket in the first place.

The rich irony of this is that in the past, because UA and AC are Star Alliance Partners, is that in the past when we have gone to Kona, and been paying full price, we have been flying "United", but the first leg of our trip, usually to LAX would be "Operated by Air Canada", thus we check in, in Toronto with AC and the bike fee, was only $50 - and that's all I've ever paid in the many times heading to Kona!


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Updating our recent, as of yesterday, experience with United to Kona from Toronto.

I will preface my comments here, by saying normally, I'm a savvy and experienced traveler with bikes. Been doing this for a long time and typically would NOT stand to pay what we paid. But, we booked for Kona late this year. And I used points for the flights for my wife and I (ie - next to nothing for the flights). The timing and the connections for the flights (with United) we did use, worked for us. Normally, I would have done something different.

The United $150/bike ($CAN) at Pearson Airport in Toronto seemed non-negotiable. I fly a decent amount for work and pleasure, and I never get wound up, and am always super-nice with every airline employee I encounter along the way. We nicely explained to the Check-In Agent that UA now had the highest Bike Fees in North America by far. I shared that, I fly a great deal with Air Canada(AC) - AC's Bike Fee is $50, that I have AC Status and it's worth noting that UA and AC are Star Alliance Partners! The agent, thought the UA Bike Fees were "crazy", seemed genuinely, interested in our situation, felt sorry for us . . . . . but still ended up charging us $150 each for our bikes!

Now, as I said these were extraordinary circumstances for us. I would never have got this far with this, as I would never have booked with UA, if I was paying full price for the airline ticket in the first place.

The rich irony of this is that in the past, because UA and AC are Star Alliance Partners, is that in the past when we have gone to Kona, and been paying full price, we have been flying "United", but the first leg of our trip, usually to LAX would be "Operated by Air Canada", thus we check in, in Toronto with AC and the bike fee, was only $50 - and that's all I've ever paid in the many times heading to Kona!

it used to be that, even when there were bike case charges, that did not apply to intl. which yours is. so, while delta, alaska, american have gotten more liberal with bike fees, united has actually gotten stricter, taking away benefits they previously granted.

exactly two-thirds of our readers profess an airline loyalty. part of a loyalty program. of those two-thirds, 30 percent are already with a bike friendly airline. of the remaining 70 percent, 16 percent say no, they don't want to, or cannot, change from their bike unfriendly airline, while 54 percent say yes they have the freedom to, and intend to, change to a bike friendly airline.

the crazy thing is, if i'm a 1k flyer with united, i'm flying how often with my bike? 5,000 out of that 100,000 miles? i was a united frequent flyer for 30 years, typically what was back then called "premier executive" status, which i think was about 75,000 miles flown a year. i would absolutely change out of principle. if you don't value what's important to me, why should i give my loyalty to you?

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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the crazy thing is, if i'm a 1k flyer with united, i'm flying how often with my bike? 5,000 out of that 100,000 miles? i was a united frequent flyer for 30 years, typically what was back then called "premier executive" status, which i think was about 75,000 miles flown a year. i would absolutely change out of principle. if you don't value what's important to me, why should i give my loyalty to you?


And that's why, I would NEVER give UA my paid full-fair business, when I have the choice!

Even when NOT traveling with my bike, out of principal, I would not give them my business.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Quo Vadimus] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Quo Vadimus wrote:
kahlil wrote:
I've done four flights this year on United with the EVOC bag, and haven't paid anything.

Every time I fly I check in through the United app, and then note that I will be checking in one "normal" bag (I carry on my suitcase).

When I arrive at the airport I check in with the Premier desk, and hand over the bike bag. Some have asked if it was a bike, some haven't, but I've never been charged for it.

I'm not sure if they are being nice and igorning the fee due to status, or they don't feel like changing the one checked bag I have already confirmed to actually list an oversize bag, but this method hasn't failed me yet.

Also, I'm a silver on United, it's not like I'm getting the super-preferential treatment of a 1k or GS.


Yeah, that happens every once it a while for sure. So as not to out the location :) will just make it yes/no as curious if you live in one of their major hubs like Chicago, Houston, Denver, or Newark? Usually I get lucky at non-hub locations, but not the hubs.

They've been LA, SF, and BDL flights.
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
the crazy thing is, if i'm a 1k flyer with united, i'm flying how often with my bike? 5,000 out of that 100,000 miles? i was a united frequent flyer for 30 years, typically what was back then called "premier executive" status, which i think was about 75,000 miles flown a year. i would absolutely change out of principle. if you don't value what's important to me, why should i give my loyalty to you?


And that's why, I would NEVER give UA my paid full-fair business, when I have the choice!

Even when NOT traveling with my bike, out of principal, I would not give them my business.

This is me. I have something like 2.4 million miles on United, lifetime platinum, current 1K, etc. But their bike policy stuck in my craw. I have a Dimond and use the Hen House, so I have always avoided the bike fee - except once when leaving KOA after Honu, but I complained to United and got my money back plus another $100 for my trouble - but the fact that they ALWAYS angle to charge you for the bike, I mean "exercise equipment," bothered me.

So I voted with my feet. I moved to the Big Island this year, and switched over to Alaska, which matched my United status for a year. Alaska has been awesome with my bikes (I have moved 8 over gradually), and I've never been charged a fee (I get 2 free checked bags, so the bike is one of them). We also moved three cats over, and they couldn't have been nicer.

I work remotely for a Bay Area company, so still have work travel, but luckily it's domestic, and Alaska goes *most* places I need to go. I won't say I'm done with United entirely, but it's become second choice by a wide margin.

United relies on its customers' investment in its loyalty program to allow them to degrade service and nickel and dime. Unless pax vote with their wallets, the airline won't change.

Ian
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I traveled from Miami to Atlanta for 70.3 Augusta this past weekend, with American Airlines. Knowing the 50lbs limit - and having a Thule 699 (which alone weighs 37lbs...) I packed *only* the bike (Scott Plasma 5 + 808 / disc) to try and be under the limit. Still, it weighed at 55lbs... Note: according to specs, this case is also above the 126 linear inches restriction (at 128) so technically I would have to pay the $150 fee.

However my experience both on my way to Atlanta and back was extremely friendly and despite the agent letting me know that the box was 5lbs overweight, they boith waived the fee.

It's great that they seem to be a bit more friendly now compared to previous experiences, but I don't want to count on "friendliness" alone to avoid paying fees. I will be selling my bike case and going for something "lighter". My problem with soft cases is that I've seen many instances where bikes get damaged, while I personally never had an issue with this bike case - it's like a tank (but also weighs like one...).
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
it used to be that, even when there were bike case charges, that did not apply to intl. which yours is. so, while delta, alaska, american have gotten more liberal with bike fees, united has actually gotten stricter, taking away benefits they previously granted.

exactly two-thirds of our readers profess an airline loyalty. part of a loyalty program. of those two-thirds, 30 percent are already with a bike friendly airline. of the remaining 70 percent, 16 percent say no, they don't want to, or cannot, change from their bike unfriendly airline, while 54 percent say yes they have the freedom to, and intend to, change to a bike friendly airline.

the crazy thing is, if i'm a 1k flyer with united, i'm flying how often with my bike? 5,000 out of that 100,000 miles? i was a united frequent flyer for 30 years, typically what was back then called "premier executive" status, which i think was about 75,000 miles flown a year. i would absolutely change out of principle. if you don't value what's important to me, why should i give my loyalty to you?

You'd think that after several United Passengers were assaulted for being in a seat they purchased that people would stop flying United. It's the Airline with the worst customer service in the US.

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Ministry of Travel [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Mentioned on your first post, but haven't seen any discussion about bike racks in recent times.

In the past I have always kept the steed in the car, but that's not an option occasionally (in this case for me will have two racers/bikes+2 SO's carpooling to a race in a semi-compact).

Any year 2019 recommendations for 1'1/4'' receiver rear hitch rack that are rock solid? Do we like "top tube clamp" style or "wheel hoop" style?
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Re: Ministry of Travel [rdubs] [ In reply to ]
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Certainly "wheel hoop" style - no frame contact. Most are just tire contact.
1UpUsa is on of the most recommended and has a 1 1/4" version.
Kuat seems to be a good second.

Good ones are not cheap.
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