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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    50

    Ship Ahead or Airline?

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    We are flying to PEI for a month long cycle around the island. Need to make a decision about whether to ship our bicycles ahead or take them with us on the plane. The cost is relatively the same (about $120 each way to take both bikes on the plane, or to ship them on the bus). Add another $100 on the other end for the bike shop to pick them up and assemble them for us.

    Either way I worry that there will be some kind of damage or loss in transit.

    Shipping ahead gives us the advantage of sending them directly to a bike shop that will assemble them and have them ready for us when we get there. But I feel more nervous about them arriving in time.

    Taking them on the plane means they will be with us, but doesn't give us much time to deal with damage or assembly when we get there.

    Opinions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    We have alwaystaken them o the airline and put them back together ourselves.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    206
    I shipped ahead for my tour last summer. It worked out very well. I especially liked not hauling the large, heavy, awkward bike box to the airport.

    Checking your bike with the airline is no guarantee that it will arrive when you do. It's a rare traveler who's never had a checked bag go astray.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by soprano View Post
    Checking your bike with the airline is no guarantee that it will arrive when you do. It's a rare traveler who's never had a checked bag go astray.
    Amen to that. I learned that the hard way during a winter trip to Paris. Of course, I've heard enough horror stories about FedEx and UPS mishandling and damaging bikes, too. If you go that route, be sure to insure appropriately. If it were me, I think I'd rather use a hard, bike specific travel case on an airline...or drive.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I've shipped my bike probably 10 times by FedEx. It's a HUGE convenience not to have to schlep 50# around the airport (bike boxes don't usually have very serviceable wheels, either). Touch wood, but no problems yet. Always ship express - IME express parcels get better care than ground - and insure it for replacement value, just in case. I've always reassembled it myself, and packed it myself every time but one (when I left it with a shop so they could do some service before shipping it on to me).

    I do own a hard case. But if this is going to be a one-time thing for you, very likely either one of your LBSs or a large local club has a bike box or two for rent, or maybe a club member has one you could borrow.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    23
    I've flown with my bike 3 times, to France, and chosen my airline based on their taking my bike with no extra charge. My bike shop saves me a (free) cardboard box that bikes are shipped in and they taught me how to pack it. Also some carriers sell boxes at the airport very inexpensively. So the cost has been right, happily I haven't had any damage in cardboard boxes. But moving a bike packed in a box is really awkward. A lot of complete strangers have offered me help, unasked, for which I have been incredibly grateful. Anything with little wheels would help. But the good thing about cardboard is that I can throw it out upon arrival. So I have no need to store it when there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,193
    I'm planning on shipping my bike this year to Seattle for my tour.

    Pros:

    1) I'm going to have my LBS give it a pretty good tune-up and then pack it and have it shipped from there. In other words, I trust my LBS more than I trust myself to pack it right.

    2) It's a long wheel base recumbent.(really big, heavy box) I'm not sure the airlines will take it without a fight. I'm not interested in starting the trip by getting into a fight.

    3) At the other end, the nice wrenches at the bike shop will put it back together right.


    Cons:

    Um, I can't think of any. OK, there will be expense involved. Right.

    I'm not as worried about the time factor as I might be because I will be spending about a week in Seattle being a proud matriarch, then abandon my family for a long bike ride. I might make different choices if I had a set schedule, and the bike had to be ready by a particular day.

    I'm planning on using a bike shipping company, Bike Flights:

    http://www.bikeflights.com/bicycle_shipping.aspx

    I'll report back on how well it worked.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
    (Sign in Japan)

    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
    2003 EZ Sport AX

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    206
    I've used BikeFlights.com. It worked exactly the way they said it would. Just make sure to check your spam folder because sometimes the email with the shipping label goes there.

 

 

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