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Help Travelling with Bikes on domestic flights

Chancertime

Speeding Up
May 2, 2010
50
15
Hi there,

I searched the forum and net and didn't come up with much.

I recently went to Kagoshima and would like to go again with my bike.

Does anyone have any experience with taking bikes on domestic flights?

Any info' appreciated!

Cheers,
James
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,232
2,852
I have done this a few times. I use a two-wheel-off bike bag and a little extra cardboard, bubblewrap and string for protection, then hand it over at the check-in counter. The airlines have always taken good care of my bike - they keep it with the strollers and wheelchairs and hand it over in person at the other end.

The only time I had a problem was the first time - I took the handlebars off to make the package more compact and ended up kinking my cables.

100% would do again without hesitation. It's cool to roll up at Haneda and start bagging in the atrium!
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,028
211
No problems, no upcharge. How you pack is up to you. I used just a Rinkobag and some pipeinsolution and bubble wrap before as well as card board boxes. The Japanese airlines handled it with great care.
You will be asked about puncture repair kit, as the glue is not allowed on the plane. There is a high probability that they will want to check this themselves, so you might need to open up for them. Wasn't asked about co2 the last time I did this for TdO2013, but this could be an issue as well. Also tell them, that you let most of the air out of the tires, not because it makes any sense, but because it puts them at ease :)

Some of the big triathlon events apparently put notices up, that due to the amount of luggage, it is safer to send in advance, as the planes might hit capacity. Do not know, if that's an issue or just risk-aversion.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,847
1,165
Pack as above, and there'll be no weight problem, but one story I heard was that the 20kg weight limit is strict, domestically. A fellow conference-goer in oki about a year ago had planned on bringing his bike in a hard case. It weighed 23kg and they wouldn't budge. He had to miss his flight to get it shipped from the airport home, and then had to book & pay for another flight to get to the conference...
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,985
1,656
I carried CO2 canisters on international flights before. They are fine, but they always want to examine them.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,938
2,138
Wasn't asked about co2 the last time I did this for TdO2013, but this could be an issue as well.

The FAA allows up to 4 cartridges of up to 50 ml each of CO2 or other non-flammable, non-toxic gases. I imagine the JP regulations would be similar.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
438
I flew JAL to Hokkaido a few years ago. I used a rinko bag and bubble wrap. No issues.

Not sure I would do it with my nice bike though.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,232
2,852
Some people (including some staff at airports) still think that bike tyres should be deflated before flying. (The reduced air pressure up there could cause the tyres to burst, they reckon.)

They are wrong. It's not necessary. Because physics.

Safer to leave tyres inflated to protect rims from any enthusiastic 'handling'.
 

Trek DJ

Maximum Pace
Jan 27, 2009
227
98
All correct info.

Domestic JAL, ANA bikes fly for free.

Peach charges Y2000 one way.

Co2 (although you should use a pump if you are just riding) is up to four 16g cartidges. Leave them someplace easy to access as they will inspect them at the Xray station.

IF you are flying domestic, I would skip a hardcase. Go for an Ostrich OS-500 or similiar light Rinko. Being Japan, they will treat your bike well, no need to mess with heavy boxes etc.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
438
One more tidbit of information - not relevant for road bikes, but the last few times I have flown with my mountainbike, I've had to show the type of (suspension) forks and shock. Fox & Rock Shox are OK. There's a SunTour fork they won't accept though.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,985
1,656
Have you ever had trouble with dirt on the tyres? Going into Australia they can be funny about dirt etc

One more tidbit of information - not relevant for road bikes, but the last few times I have flown with my mountainbike, I've had to show the type of (suspension) forks and shock. Fox & Rock Shox are OK. There's a SunTour fork they won't accept though.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
438
Got a telling-off in Canada for a bit of dirt on the bike but they let me in. Australia / New Zealand are the most strict that I know of.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,232
2,852
Got a telling-off in Canada for a bit of dirt on the bike but they let me in. Australia / New Zealand are the most strict that I know of.
Yes I had heard about that and gave my tyres and bike shoes a good scrubbing before I went to NZ...

20091106-101250-NZ-pack-bike.JPG
International Flight-Ready

20091114-131728-NZ-Huia-Dam.JPG
Fugawe, bro?


20091128-075402-NZ-Taupo-startine.JPG
Best Jersey in Town
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,938
2,138
Got a telling-off in Canada for a bit of dirt on the bike but they let me in. Australia / New Zealand are the most strict that I know of.

Yes I had heard about that and gave my tyres and bike shoes a good scrubbing before I went to NZ...

Yes, they need to be really strict about any risk of introducing foreign pests.

For example, Monterey pine is the most widely grown tree in NZ tree plantations, and it's being killed by pitch canker in its native habitat in on the North American West Coast. Most Monterey pines in Monterey county, California are dead or dying. There is no known treatment.

In the old days the fungus could not easily spread between locations where these trees were found, but nowadays people drive by car and carry it in the mud on their boots, so it has gradually been spreading around California and Mexico, killing all the trees. So far, Australia and New Zealand are still unaffected and I hope it stays that way.
 
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robsta

Cruising
Oct 5, 2008
24
2
Never had a problem with Jetstar. Customs in Australia often have at least a peek and once they see it's clean (as in no obvious mud) wave it through. I always use a rinko with my SE and a hard case for xootr or paratrooper. Domestic flights a breeeze with a rinko but as others suggest for piece of mine use a bike than you don't mind getting knocked around a bit.
 

wabisabikris

Cruising
May 8, 2012
48
5
Glad I found these posts in time! I was about to bring a bike case with me from Oz to travel domestically with a bike that I left behind in Tokyo. We flew to Oita with Jetstar. Instead of using cardboard or bubble wrap for a bit of protection I just used the kit I was taking with me anyway. Winter gloves over the fork ends, knicks and jersey between the front wheel and the frame, jacket, singlet, etc, wrapped around the frame. Even clipped on a small backpack with everything that I couldn't put into carry-on luggage so my bike was effectively my suitcase which worked really well. Attached photo shows the bike nearly ready for the bike bag. The bike was handled really well with no damage at all plus none of the work required to dis/re-assemble a bike to fit into a bike case. Regular bike bags are the way to go for domestic travel in Japan. DSC04831.JPG
 
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