Anybody had experience taking a bike world wide on a plane.? I'm doing a South American Tour next Jan.[ flying from Madrid to Santiago initially]. Do diff. airlines have diff. procedures for carrying them and charging for them.? There ought to be a list of each airlines rules for 'world travelling cyclists' so we can prepare and decide how to travel. Bob.J
To my knowledge, most airlines require the bike to be boxed, and cardboard boxes are available at most any good bike shop. How the airline charges for shipment will differ for each. Have you read "Catfish and Mandala" - an American takes his bike to Vietnam and ships it on his flights. If you have mucho pesos, the bike catalogs also have fancy protective luggage for bikes.
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 2, 2008, at 9:35 PM by Daawgon ]
alot of airlines actually have a sporting allowance - which is sometimes free! my bf went to australia with british airways and at that time, his sporting allowance for his kite gear, was free, you jus thad to let them know about it and get "approved" i guess first in best dressed? you should inquire with the airlines youre planning on flying with! you might be pleasantly suprised!
There is no such list, bc the airlines frequently change their policies. Most airlines also have different policies depending upon the route and the ticket purchased by the client. Creating such a list as you propose would require tremendous and constant work.
I've flown with my bike and apparently it can be enough to wrap your bike up in plastic (bubble foil) and protect the gears/shift with some cardboard. From what I know it actually depends more on the mood and the personal opinion of the person at the check-in of what is sufficient package than on the airline.
If you intend to fly often with your bike (RTW, many flights within South America) or take other forms of transport (say, bus) consider getting a folding bike.
Apart from flying you should also look into cruises for the route you intend to take. I've seen pretty good deals for "relocation cruises" for South America-Europe and vice versa.