United Eliminates Extra Fees for Flying with Your Bicycle
United Airlines has quietly made a change to its fee schedule, which should be good news for cycling enthusiasts.
The Chicago-based carrier charged an additional $200 each way, if you wanted to bring your bike along. Now the airline has abandoned that fee entirely, matching its competitors Delta Airlines and American Airlines.
Under the “Sports equipment” page, under the “Bicycles” tab you can find the updated terms. It states that “oversized bag fees do not apply to checked bicycles.” But, “standard checked baggage fees as well as overweight service charges still apply.”
That means that you will not be charged oversized bag fees for your bike, but the airline can stull make you pay if your packed case is over standard weight. For United, that means a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb) if you’re flying in economy class, or 32 kg (70 lb) if you’re flying in business or first class. A fee will also apply if your bike brings you over the standard baggage allotment.
United also has looser requirements for packing your bicycles appropriately. To pack your bicycle as checked baggage you need to:
Pack it in a sealed box using plastic foam or similar protective material inside. The box should be a hard-sided case or constructed from durable cardboard.
Secure the handlebars sideways and remove the pedals before packing the bicycle. All loose items should be inside the box.
Motorized or battery-powered bicycles are not permitted.