This is important if you travel by air and want to bring a bicycle. Bike Hugger says many airlines are not accepting bike boxes greater than 80 linear inches in size at all. You must get it under 80 inches, and they'll still sock you with an oversized luggage fee if the box is larger than 62 linear inches. As Bike Hugger shows in this photo, most standard bike boxes are well over 80 linear inches. The linear dimensions of the box is the sum of the box dimensions, i.e. length + width + height.
Here are fees charged by airlines for travel within the United States as of September 18, 2008. Fees listed are for each way; double the fee for round trip travel. Bicycles must generally have pedals removed and handlebars turned sideways and put in a box less than 80 linear inches. If you can fit your bike in a box less than 62 linear inches, you can generally check your bike as regular checked luggage. Some airlines recommend pre-registration, and some also restrict bikes from flights because of equipment or space limitations.
Some of the fees listed below are specifically for bicycles, while many airlines charge a fee for any oversized luggage. According to the airline websites, several still accept luggage greater than 80 inches, but they'll charge you even more money. Click through to the airline websites for specific checked baggage bicycle rules and fees.
- Air Canada: $50, plus checked baggage fees.
Alaska / Horizon: $50.
Allegiant Air: $50.
American: $100 in addition to the applicable checked baggage fee.
Delta Airlines: $175.
Frontier Airlines: This document says $50, while this page says $75.
Hawaiian Airlines: $100, unless you're doing intra-island travel in which case the fee is only $25.
Jet Blue: $75.
Northwest Airlines: $100.
Southwest Airlines: $50.00.
United Airlines: $85.
US Airways: $100.
Virgin American: $50.