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Delta Airlines and Bikes

Old 11-10-19, 04:16 PM
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Mr. Spadoni 
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Delta Airlines and Bikes

Last summer, I saw a post on the BikePortland site that said Delta was following the lead of some others and dropping the $150 fee for bikes. A bike would still count as a bag, but even paying for an extra bag is cheaper than the bike fee. And since I work the credit card for miles I always get an extra bag.
As my recent trip that I mentioned in a separate post approached, I looked at options for getting a bike to Europe. Shipping services warned be that the bike could be held in customs for some period of time, so I gave Delta a second look.
Info on the website said that bikes were not subject to a separate charge if they met size and weight requirements. And as a bonus, no liability form was needed if the bike was packed in a hard case.
Day before my trip, I check the website. Still looks like my bike should go for free. It all sounded too good, so I took some screen shots of the relevant pages from Delta.com.
Get to the airport, put the bike on the scale, and the agent asks me for $150. I explained the policy, showed them the screen shots. They were having none of it. Seems I had bought my ticket before the policy change went into effect. I never saw that on the website.
So I pay my money, and as I wait for my plane, I email Delta to complain. My screenshots are attached.
I heard nothing back for two weeks. So I write again. The next day I get a email back from Delta. They gave me my money back!
Never in all the years that I have been flying has an airline ever given me money back.
Upshot: Delta will take a bike for free. And their website now mentions that the policy is only good for tickets purchased after July 2019. I doubt I had anything to do with that. The ticket agent who charged me seemed really annoyed to have to explain the policy about ticket purchase dates, like he had made the same speech about a thousand times. I expect that Delta much have gotten complaints from a lot of people. But to their credit, they did something to help at least one customer, and I am happy.
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Old 11-10-19, 04:28 PM
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Old 11-10-19, 04:28 PM
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Good post. Thanks.

I just checked and our bikes are going along to Austin with us this time.

Beats renting.
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Old 11-10-19, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Last summer, I saw a post on the BikePortland site that said Delta was following the lead of some others and dropping the $150 fee for bikes. A bike would still count as a bag, but even paying for an extra bag is cheaper than the bike fee. And since I work the credit card for miles I always get an extra bag.
As my recent trip that I mentioned in a separate post approached, I looked at options for getting a bike to Europe. Shipping services warned be that the bike could be held in customs for some period of time, so I gave Delta a second look.
Info on the website said that bikes were not subject to a separate charge if they met size and weight requirements. And as a bonus, no liability form was needed if the bike was packed in a hard case.
Day before my trip, I check the website. Still looks like my bike should go for free. It all sounded too good, so I took some screen shots of the relevant pages from Delta.com.
Get to the airport, put the bike on the scale, and the agent asks me for $150. I explained the policy, showed them the screen shots. They were having none of it. Seems I had bought my ticket before the policy change went into effect. I never saw that on the website.
So I pay my money, and as I wait for my plane, I email Delta to complain. My screenshots are attached.
I heard nothing back for two weeks. So I write again. The next day I get a email back from Delta. They gave me my money back!
Never in all the years that I have been flying has an airline ever given me money back.
Upshot: Delta will take a bike for free. And their website now mentions that the policy is only good for tickets purchased after July 2019. I doubt I had anything to do with that. The ticket agent who charged me seemed really annoyed to have to explain the policy about ticket purchase dates, like he had made the same speech about a thousand times. I expect that Delta much have gotten complaints from a lot of people. But to their credit, they did something to help at least one customer, and I am happy.
Thanks for posting this good news and congratulations on sticking to your guns and getting your money back.
I flew out of Delta's Detroit hub for 3 decades, taking a bike with me many times and wincing each time the fee was increased.
Now I wonder how this policy is affecting ShipBikes and BikeFlights.
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Old 11-10-19, 08:43 PM
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I checked mine on American, a few days after the policy came into effect. It was a nice surprise.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:50 PM
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Back in 2018 I flew my Medici up to New Hampshire so I could ride with some BF folks in Boston, while my wife and I visited our son and daughter-on-law. Went to the American Airlines website fo get the requirements for their bicycle as baggage policy at that time. Had a purpose made hard case that our club allows members to use for free, checked that one off. Took the pedals and saddle off and placed them in my suitcase (which I paid to fly, still under weight for both), check off two more boxes.

Arrive at the airport to check in bags and get boarding passes. Case with bicycle placed on the scales, attendant looks at the case and its weight, says that will be $150.00 sir. I asked why the website information did not apply to my case. Told me to pay or don't fly, since they were declaring the case and bike to be overweight, I ask why the websites weight requirements did not apply, told that they could set their own standards at each location no matter what their website said, my wife was not happy with me or the attendant at all. Paid the price and kept the peace.

When preparing to fly back home, I made certain that everything was exactly as the AA website said it had to be for size and weight. All are well within their standards, as published. Get to airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, and get the same response from the bag check attendant, I ask why, she said as a supervisor she had the right to declare anything placed in the aircraft as baggage to be too large and subject to extra charges, pay up or don't fly. Paid the $150.00 so we could just get home. Immediately sent complaint to AA Hq, via email. On landing at Regan/D.C. for layover, I checked email, AA replied that it was my problem, they always stand behind the supervisors decisions (it was a form-reply, as expected.)

I kept up the emails and tried to call the AA Hq and customer services, as both were listed. All emails were answered with form-replies, calls were left in holding hell.

Never again will I fly American Airlines, regardless of any changes they now have in place. I would not trust them ever, for anything.

I hope that Delta and other airlines will honor these new policies for flying bikes, and that others get to enjoy their travels, but I am not convinced that they won't look for any reason at all to get the extra costs from us. Air travel is just not good any longer.

Bill
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Old 11-11-19, 01:08 PM
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No it is not. I might have already taken my last flight. Next trip north, in June/July, I'm going by bus to San Antonio and then by train.
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Old 11-11-19, 01:17 PM
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I agree that air-travel ain't what it used to be. Part of it's the airlines, but damn - there are some knuckle-dragging, selfish fools filling up the seats, too. Unless it's unavoidable, I'll drive - or maybe try the train again one day.

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Old 11-11-19, 02:33 PM
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I just flew me and my bike to Maui on Delta last month. I had read about the change of the bike fee to $), and Delta is my preferred carrier. I have the Delta AmEx card, and we checked 3 bags, no fees and we got in a fairly early boarding group. (BTW the bike in the case weighed in ad 49.5 lbs, so if 50 was the cutoff, i just made it. in contrast, in May i flew me and my bike to Italy, and it was $150 there and something like 160 Euros back...
I have 2 over all comments:
1) TSA SUCKS. on each outbound leg of the 2 trips, they didn't bother trying to close the case properly, coming back from Italy, they didn't open the case at that end, and in ATL, the inspection from international to domestic, was out in the open, and i was able to close it properly. Likewise on the return from Maui... they let me close the case so it would be correct.
2) I used to live in DFW, and i flew AA a lot. they have sucked for years. i try very hard no to fly that particular airline. if the seat get any smaller, only munchkins will be able to fly, and there doesn't seem to be so much demand that that would be their business model. (i avoid United as well, because all of the flights seem to change in Chicago, and ORD is always late getting into or out of).

If i can swing it, i think i may change to a SciCon case where the bike barely gets disassembled, and zips closed to foil the NTB TSA agents. (NTB is old school slang in my family for Not Too Bright)
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Old 11-11-19, 03:33 PM
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An old story just for entertainment. Had flown with bike to England many times, then on to NZ and Oz, with no charges 1979-mid 80’s. Then on a trip to Paris got dropped off at Cincy and went inside with bike, and the clerk said that will be $75.00. Since when I asked, in my mind, he said when you walked in. Then he proceeded to arrange the charge round trip, but to my fortune he could only charge for one way. Arriving a CDG the bike ( in box ) came up on the conveyor belt with the rest of the luggage, no handling. Two weeks later checking in at Air France, as they were handling Delta out of CDG, and was treated to Air France still not charging for bikes, and it was free back to Cincy on the Delta flight. Delta had started charging only because they could.

Last edited by santa fe 2926; 11-11-19 at 03:39 PM.
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