Bike Case that Qualifies as Regular Luggage?

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Anonymous's picture

My last trip out to Spokane WA a Delta check-in guy told me that there was a certain brand of bike case that fit within US airline luggage requirements (IOW, as regular luggage so you don't have to pay $75 extra).

He wasn't able to tell me the brand.

Has anyone heard of such a thing?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)
this is the route i went

My S&S-coupled touring bike fits into a backpack case 26'x26'x10.
such as this one:

Never had any trouble (or fees) checking it as luggage.

But, you have to cut your bike in half in order to use it.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
hard shell charge-free travel case

Mine: Same dimensions as Catherine's, above, but hard shell.

As in her case, for a S&S coupled bike (in my case, by Havnoonian) which, if you wonder, rides indistinguishably from uncoupled bike.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Ritchey Break-Away

Unfortunately, you gotta buy the bike that fits in the case (the Ritchey website mentions only the soft case but has a hardshell case for it too.)

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

The Ritchey Logic (and Dahon Allegro) case exceeds airline maximum dimensions. Only by an inch, so you're unlikely to get caught, but it seems a bit of an oversight in a bike designed for traveling.

The S&S case meets all airline maxima.

I don't know if you can fit a Ritchey into an S&S case.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
XXX (not verified)
yes you can (with difficulty)

According to, the Ritchey Breakaway does fit in the S&S case, but a user describes the disassembly necessary.

Anonymous's picture
XXX (not verified)
no such thing for regular bikes

There is but one case that looks like a suitcase and comes close to airline size restrictions, but it is for folding bikes only.

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
S & S or BikeFriday

My BikeFriday fits in a regular hard shell suitcase and I never pay anything extra to take it on a plane, but of course you have to buy the BikeFriday. (Mine is a 27-speed road bike that rides just like my full-size road bike.) Or you can get almost any regular road bike retrofitted with S & S couplers and it will fit in a suitcase that meets airline regs.

Anonymous's picture
Nathan Smith (not verified)

You can sometimes get discounts with certain airlines if you can convince them you are a athlete going somewhere to compete. Actualy having things like a racing license and proof of some race in the area can help. It's worked a couple of times for me. Just some fancy BSing.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
My take

"If you got an expensive bike that you ABSOLUTELY don't want ANYTHING to happen to it. Get the best hardshell and have the peace of mind. Consider the extra charge insurance premium (not for the bike, but for the mind). I haven't heard about ANY brand of hardshells that qualify to fly free.

If you've got an inexpensive bike, only fly occasionally on direct flights, or have a spare bike to ride if and when something happen to the flying bike, I've had reasonable success with softside bike bags getting through without extra charges. I've been asked ""is that a message table?"", ""Is that an exercise machine"" etc... I just nod and let them assume whatever they thought it were. Never was I asked ""is that a bike""?

The danger of a softsided bag is the protection isn't bombproof. So it COULD happen. I've had perfect record so far. Better than hard shell by UPS. Go figure. Some people argue because it's softside, the handler don't throw it as casually as a hardshell. I can't attest to that theory. Jsut that the result has been good so far. And my experience is supplemented by quite a few other people I know. Lots of my buddies flew their Seven and other fancy bikes all over the country without incidence. But your milage may differ.


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