Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last summer, I ran into the problem of trying to get my bicycle to the US. The post office wouldn't take it, too big. All the takkyu-bin places (Pelican, Black Cat) were quoting me $900 or something ridiculously expensive. The airline rules seemed to ban items not within their dimensions. An internet search was fruitless.There was also the problem of how to package the bicycle to protect it from damage. Apparently, it's good to use the kind of box that bicycles get shipped in to bicycle shops, but none of the ones I went to had any spare. They told me I could order a hard shell bicycle case, also about $900. In desperation, I dismantled the bicycle as much I could, including removing both tires. I bought a metal strut from the bicycle shop that keeps the two prongs that hold the rear tire from getting bent in the absence of the rear tire. I wrapped the frame using corrugated cardboard and foam wrap, and taped around it. I made a hole in the cardboard so I could support the horizontal bar of the frame to carry it. This contraption went a tiny bit over the airline limits on dimensions. The tires, I gave up on exporting. In the end, the airline clerk at Narita took one look at it, saw it was a bicycle, slapped an oversize sporting good type label on it, and charged me $100 without bothering to measure the dimensions. I got the impression that I could have taken my whole bicycle without the hassle I went through to dismantle and protect critical components, for the same surcharge. Participants in Tour de France and other bicycle enthusiasts must sometimes take their own bicycles with them abroad, so I assume airlines have some way of dealing with bicycles, skis, golf clubs, etc. They just don't want to admit it officially. I don't remember exactly, but I think when I telephoned, they said they couldn't take my bicycle.
A friend of mine tried to get her taiko drum out of Japan and ran into the same problem as me with my bicycle. In the end, she asked her drum to be included in the shipment of household goods of an acquaintance moving to the US. I think it would be useful for others to post how they got single large items out of Japan.
Mari
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I work for a regional airline in Canada and most airlines will have a tariff for oversize baggage as part of their excess baggage rule. This will include things that do not fit within the standard definition and sizes for checked baggage and bikes are a common item. Items may also include musical instruments, skis, surfboards, scuba equipment, golf clubs (very common), even hang gliders.

The airline reservations office should know the details as the excess and oversize baggage rules are in their computer system. The information may or may not be posted on their website. If you don't get a satisfactory answer ask to speak to their special services department or their tariff department. Most international flights are operated as part of bilateral agreements between countries and the terms and conditions are spelled out in their tariffs. Generally these must be filed with the other country and be available for public inspection.

Charges for excess baggage will vary by carrier and oversize items usually carry a higher charge. For bikes in particular and airline will allow the wheels to accompany the bike but they must be removed, handle bars turned sideways, possibly pedals removed, and generally packages to have no protruding parts that can damage other baggage. Many airlines used to have special bike boxes that fit most models.

Another route would be to call the baggage department direct instead of their reservations department. These are the people who really know and can give you the best advice. Most have seen it all as well as most people would not believe that passengers try to carry in their baggage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
great reply about oversize baggage

I work for a regional airline in Canada and most airlines will have a tariff for oversize baggage as part of their excess baggage rule. ...
Terrific advice, thanks very much! I hope your reply shows up in generic Yahoo/Google searches for the benefit of others. It would have saved me a lot of anxiety and time if I'd known all that. As I said, whomever it was I spoke to at the airline over the phone told me the dimensions (sum of height width depth) absolutely had to be within guidelines.
Mari
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top