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Delta Bicycle Policy





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  Delta airlines seems determined to facilitate the most undefined bicycle baggage 'policies' in the airline industry.  While their written policy on sport equipment (, at least up through April 2010, begins:

Sports Equipment

"You can bring most sports equipment with you on your trip, though extra baggage fees may apply to oversized or overweight items."

The overall policy finishes:

"If an item is not listed below, then normal baggage allowances, fees, and handling policies apply."

The usual size limit is less than 62" and 50 lbs.  It is interesting that golf clubs, fishing rods, hockey and lacrosse equipment, and skis and snow boards, can be 80" before they are surcharged.

But in between policy continues:

"Select an item from the pull down menu below for specific rules and packaging requirements."

Bicycle are included on the pull down menu, as is SCUBA equipment. 

The policy for SCUBA equipment does include the line "The transporting of empty dive tanks as baggage does include a fee."  A similar clause is NOT part of the bicycle policy.

The "Bicycle Transportation Fee" policy states:

"Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats are accepted as checked baggage on most flights."

The doesn't specifically include disassembled bike parts (as in folding bikes) which are within the regular baggage allowance.  We have been getting reports for month to the contrary, where folding bikes and S&S bikes were surcharged simply for being bicycles, even when the met baggage size and weight requirements.

Being their boundaries are not really boundaries, they would presumably also charge a full surcharge for a kids bicycle, with 12" wheels, weighing 30 pounds, with dimensions of about 40".

The following report is even harder to categorize:

As seen in VeloNews's mailbag ( (April 2010)


You may need that money for a flight

Dear VeloNews,

My wife and I recently traveled to Belgium to pre-ride and then watch the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix (I highly recommend the trip).

We flew Delta, and chose to take our own bikes. We accessed their website, which showed a fee of $200 to transport bikes – imagine our surprise when we were charged a total of $750 outbound and $808 (Euro600) inbound. This seemed excessive, and out of line with their competitors.

On our return, I was told by Delta Customer “Service,” that gate agents had the discretion to set higher charges! I am writing to warn the cycling community to beware traveling with their bikes on Delta Airlines, since they seem to make up the fees as they go along, and also to ask if you know of any resource that compares airline baggage fees for bicycles, so that we may make an informed choice of airline next time we travel.


Ian Wright

[IBF Note: While there may be plenty of reason to protest to Delta, the complaint that was posted on VeloNews seems to be the extreme. Like so many things, there might be two-sides to the story, plus the truth. A possible explanation is that each person checked three bags. The travelers expect the first two bags to go under the normal allowance and the third bag, a bicycle, to go as a bike ($/€ 200). Delta, on the other hand, might have treated the third bag as a third bag and some combination of overweight / oversize. Each condition is charged  $/€ 200. To people, each with a third bag that is also oversized, would be four ka-ching or $/800, instead of the $/€ 400 that would be Delta charge for two bicycles within the regular baggage allowance.]



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