· Delta Airlines
Delta has all kinds of fees when it comes to bringing along your bicycle. First of all, you’ll need to pack it up somewhat and make sure the pedals and handlebars are protected in plastic or something similar. It’s $200 for destinations within the US and Canada, and it’s the same thing if you’re headed out of the country. If you need the bike to follow you around Europe it’s only $150 once you are there. Just make sure that the whole thing is packaged in cardboard or wrapped in canvas before handing it over to the baggage-handling gods.
· United Airlines
United Airlines takes bikes for $175, but they are pretty hardcore about not helping you out. They want things packed up in a protective case or box, and they are not going to provide you any tools or other gadgets at the check-in counter to get things ready to go. Make sure it weighs in at less than 50 pounds, and that you give yourself an additional 30 minutes to take care of all the paperwork.
· JetBlue Airways
JetBlue will allow your bike free of charge if its container is less than 62 inches in total diameter and weighs less than 50 pounds; however, they realize that most bikes aren’t just elaborate erector sets. So if you want to bring your bike all assembled they’ll charge you $50 each way, but they won’t hit you with anything extra if the bike is overweight. Just make sure it doesn’t go over 99 pounds or else it will have to stay behind. Things are a little more pricey if you’re going to one of Jetblue's several international destinations—$80 to bring the bike.
· US Airways
US Airways has a bad reputation for charging for anything and everything, and when it comes to bicycles they live up to it. It’s $100 each way for bikes, they’ll have to packed up in a contained, and you’ll be signing a release for the pleasure of having someone cram your bike under the belly of the plane. Other airlines probably make you sign a waiver as well, but only US Airways comes out and waves it in your face.
· American Airlines
Two-wheeled transportation is $100 on American Airlines, but they are also going to charge you the regular checked baggage fee as well. Obviously if you are on a smaller commuter plane and there’s no room for it, it will have to stay behind, but most of the time if it’s 50 pounds or less you’ll be all set. Again, just like the other airlines, make sure you pack it up all nice and safe or else they’ll just say no.
· Virgin America
Virgin America is a new choice in bike transportation to Orlando in case you haven’t been reading the news. They’ll take bikes for $50, but they have to be in a plastic case. No makeshift cardboard protection here—only the good stuff when flying with Virgin America. Here it will set you back $50.
· Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines has finally taken away free meals in the back of the plane, so you know that they are definitely charging extra for bikes. If you’ve got a lightweight bike that weighs less than 50 pounds it will only cost you the same as a first checked bag, but if it’s a little bit bigger you’re looking at a $100 service charge. Just like everywhere else make sure it’s packed up all nice and neat.
If you're more interested in the fine print, we've rounded up all the official rules below. Take a look and enjoy some light reading.
· American Airlines – Sports Equipment
· Continental Airlines – Sports Equipment
· Delta – Sports Equipment
· JetBlue – Sporting Equipment
· Southwest Airlines – Sports Equipment
· United Airlines – US/Canada Special Items
· US Airways – Special Items
· Virgin America – Luggage FAQs
· Kayaks, Surfboards, and Antlers: How to Check 'Special Item' Luggage [Jaunted]
· Kayak's Handy iPhone App: Now With Checked Baggage Fees [Jaunted]
· Baggage Fees coverage [Jaunted]