Preventing Damage and the Unthinkable “What If?”
Some airlines require that you sign a limited release form that prevents you from claiming damages incurred during handling. If you refuse to sign, your bike simply won’t be accepted. Again, read before you book.
Take photos of your bike going into the box. Pack with care to prevent crushing. “This Side Up” and “FRAGILE” stickers can’t hurt.
Putting the Pieces Together
If you’ve boxed your bike yourself, putting it together again shouldn’t be a problem, assuming you’ve remembered your tools. All you should need is your set of Allen keys and a pump.
* Carefully thread in the rear derailleur with an Allen key, making sure it’s snug. Reinsert the quick-releases, put on your wheels and reconnect the brakes. Turn stem, make sure headset is properly adjusted and tighten stem bolts. Insert seat post (of course you remembered to mark the height with some electrical tape!) and thread in pedals (clockwise for the drive side, counterclockwise for the non-drive side).
* Inflate tires, hop on and ride!
Want a bag with that?
Some airlines (such as Air Canada) provide a big plastic bike bag. Some recommend placing the bag over the box on the assumption that a baggage handler will treat a bagged bike with more care. These airlines will definitely have you sign a release form.
Handling Fees for Bicycles/
+ Continental: Baggage over 62 linear inches and/or over 50 pounds (23 kilograms): $100 each way
for domestic (US) flights, $200 each way for international flights.
+ US Airways: Baggage over 62 linear inches and/or over 50 lbs (23 kgs) $200 each direction.
+ American Airlines: $150 each way if over 62
+ WestJet: $50 oversize baggage charge if over
62 linear inches.
+ Air Canada: $50 each way regardless of box size.
Reinforcing you box: a great guide on how to reinforce your bike box: members.shaw.ca/boxyourbike