How to Take a Bicycle on a Plane

We feel you. We also dream of riding our motorcycle in beautiful countrysides, cliffside roads beside a sprawling seascape, and other equally exciting destinations abroad. While it is relatively easy to bring your motorcycle helmet on a plane (all you need is to put it in a bag that will meet your preferred airline’s carry-on requirements), the process of bringing your actual bike abroad is a whole other challenge altogether.

The process is tedious and can vary depending on where you’re coming from and going. That’s why we usually recommend looking into motorcycle rental options instead.

What is feasible, though, that can also somewhat recreate the experience you’re going for is taking your bicycle instead. In this quick guide, we will share with you the steps on how to take your bicycle on a plane.

How to Fly With Your Bicycle

While it is rather unfortunate that the world is currently going through a global health crisis, it did impact how crucial it is to lead a healthy lifestyle. The various public transportation measures also further encouraged people to start biking.

Hence, people flying with their bikes in tow also become more common these days. We’re sure to see a further increase once travel restrictions between countries start to wane down.

This also means that many airline companies have set guidelines on how to fly with bicycles as well.

Primary Considerations

Before you start packing, though, here are the first things you need to be aware of when bringing your bike on a flight.

  1. The guidelines and fees will vary according to your preferred airline company. For instance, some require payment for taking a bike to a flight, while others consider it regular baggage.
  2. Particular airline companies have strict packing regulations you need to follow. Not all will accept a bike packed in a cardboard box.
  3. You almost always need to disassemble your bike.
  4. Finally, airline companies require their passengers to give them a heads up before their departure date.

Packing and Disassembly

Once you have confirmed all the details you need from your chosen airline company, then it’s time to start packing. Here’s a quick guide on how to disassemble your bike:

  1. Clean your bike thoroughly.
  2. Remove the pedals and wheels. All wheels must also be completely deflated.
  3. Turn your handlebars around, or position them in a way that they are fixed and parallel to your bike’s frame.
  4. Remove the rear derailleur. We usually pack this component separately to prevent it from getting damaged.
  5. Place it in the required container. As mentioned above, your options will vary according to your chosen airline company. For instance, Delta Airlines accepts a cardboard container when writing this article. On the other hand, Jet Blue will only accept those packed in a padded case specifically designed to transport bicycles.

More Tips on Taking Your Bike Overseas

Regardless of whether you already have your bike packed or not, allow us to share further tips that can hopefully improve your travel comfort and convenience:

  • We recommend first-timers buy their bike bag or container from their local bike store. In this way, you have the chance to ask for a quick demo on how to disassemble and pack your bike in your chosen bag.
  • Pack your toolkit. Don’t forget to pack your toolkit as you would need it to reassemble and disassemble your bike once you arrive and depart from your destination.
  • Weigh everything and take note of the details. You’ll be better prepared for any additional fees brought about by any extra weight this way.
  • Get insurance. Your coverage should not only protect your bike in case it gets lost or damaged, but it should also cover any potential injuries while you’re cycling abroad. Don’t forget to inform them of any planned riding activity (such as marathons or other related sporting events).
  • You can also consider having it shipped. Finally, do you really need to bring your bike with you as you fly? It might be cheaper to ship your bike independently instead, especially if you’re visiting a friend and have a specific address where you can get your bike delivered.

Taking Your Bike on a Flight

While we might not always be able to take our motorcycles abroad, there are definitely ways to bring your bike along instead. The process is not only less tedious but also more affordable.

You just need to confirm the bike-specific regulations of your chosen airline company, learn how to assemble and disassemble your bike, and pack it properly; then, you’re all set.

By keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we are confident that you’ll be able to do so most easily and conveniently. Not to mention that you can always ship your ride when it proves to be quite cumbersome for you. Good luck!