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Bike boxes at Spokane airport?

Old 07-19-19, 06:58 PM
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spinnaker
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Bike boxes at Spokane airport?

Normally I ship ahead but with the new policies from American and Delta. it sure is making flying with a lot more attractive. And on the past couple of tours I have taken a train back home so no worries about packing the bike up.

If all goes well, next year will start and end in Spokane. Taking home on this trip isn't very attractive because of a 1:30AM departure. So it looks like I will be either shipping the bike or flying with or splitting the difference.

I suppose I could store a box at the hotel, but I am wondering if it might be easier to just roll in and out of the airport. Has anyone had experience with getting a box right at the airport in Spokane?
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Old 07-20-19, 05:35 AM
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I have no knowledge of bike boxes at Spokane airport, but I am also looking at Spokane for a possible bike trip next year and have started thinking about logistics. And for this trip I have been leaning towards a bike other than my S&S bike. Thus, bike shipping is as of yet an unresolved logistical issue.

Is shipping a bike home on Amtrak while you fly home one of the options you are considering? Looks like Amtrak will still ship bikes and Spokane train station still sells bike boxes.
https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/bagga...-shipping.html
https://www.amtrak.com/stations/spk.html

I agree that the departure time on Amtrak really looks bad. And after a couple of Amtrak train rides that lasted two days, I am not that enthusiastic about riding home on Empire Builder for my next trip, especially if the trip starts out with that kind of departure time. But I could see the advantage of stopping by the Amtrak station, boxing up and shipping my bike while I fly home later.
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Old 07-20-19, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have no knowledge of bike boxes at Spokane airport, but I am also looking at Spokane for a possible bike trip next year and have started thinking about logistics. And for this trip I have been leaning towards a bike other than my S&S bike. Thus, bike shipping is as of yet an unresolved logistical issue.

Is shipping a bike home on Amtrak while you fly home one of the options you are considering? Looks like Amtrak will still ship bikes and Spokane train station still sells bike boxes.
https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/bagga...-shipping.html
https://www.amtrak.com/stations/spk.html

I agree that the departure time on Amtrak really looks bad. And after a couple of Amtrak train rides that lasted two days, I am not that enthusiastic about riding home on Empire Builder for my next trip, especially if the trip starts out with that kind of departure time. But I could see the advantage of stopping by the Amtrak station, boxing up and shipping my bike while I fly home later.
I keep forgetting about the option to ship a bike via Amtrak. That might work in this instance. The Pittsburgh end might be just of a PITA in logistics.
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Old 07-23-19, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Thus, bike shipping is as of yet an unresolved logistical issue.
There is an REI in Spokane. I ship to the Missoula REI and have them assemble my bike and hold my box. Then I have them box it for the return. Maybe check with the Spokane store to see if it offers the same service.

Shipping has been with bikeflights, but I may try shipbikes next time.
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Old 07-23-19, 12:49 PM
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Thanks, REI as a shipper is something I was aware of but forgot. Might work out for this trip if we fly instead of use Amtrak. If we do Amtrak, taking the bike on the train is still the simplest option.
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Old 07-26-19, 06:33 AM
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my take on getting verbal assurance that there are bike boxes at an airport is that there is always the possibility that human error /not giving a rats patootee comes into play.
I guess in the end, you have to make the judgement call on how the verbal stuff goes, how much you can trust it, just because of the implications of getting there and for whatever reason, a box is not there , or Joe Blow working there has no idea where boxes are kept and no one knows where they are because Frank or Sheila put them in some storage room behind a door or something.

Not to be overly pessimistic, but I reckon one has to be realistic about a "what if" scenario happens.
Maybe this comes from years of ordering stuff for work in the past, and the few times that verbal assurances just didnt pan out and the guy at the counter just shrugs.

no clear answer, hope stuff works out.
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Old 07-26-19, 09:38 AM
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My uneducated guess:

- In US, boxes typically get sold by airlines, not airports. I've been able to get a box from different airline than one I fly with. I am doubtful that Frontier, Southwest or Delta will have boxes in Spokane. United has been hit/miss. I've usually had good luck with Alaska Airlines. So I'd give it a more likely than not (e.g ~70%) that you would find a box in Spokane with my odds favoring Alaska Airlines also since they seem to have multiple gates.
- Odds are high enough that I would consider the "what happens if no box is available" scenario. Last time that happened to me was in Portland ( where my prior guess would have been higher ). In this case, I was connecting via Seattle/Frankfort to Bangalore. The last two hops were on Lufthansa which had policy that allowed unboxed bikes to fly. So I took pedals off, handlebars off and taped the combination as best I could to keep any cables/derailleur from getting hung up - and flew to India with the bike. It did OK.

What worked for me might not work for you... so if I were doing this, I'd probably try stopping through the airport the day before to get a final assessment and rely on scrounging/building a box as backup plan.
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Old 07-26-19, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
...
Not to be overly pessimistic, but I reckon one has to be realistic about a "what if" scenario happens.
....
Yup. I have missed too many flights over the years from all kinds of problems.

If at all practical, I pack the bike the day before the flight so if something goes wrong I have some contingency time. One trip, one of the tools I needed to disassemble the bike had been lost, that created a real headache. Fortunately, I had the extra time to deal with it.
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Old 07-27-19, 09:12 AM
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I have flown into and out of Spokane many times - but never with a bike. There are few services close to the Spokane Airport. I have not seen any indication that boxes are available but I’d suggest calling the airport and airline and asking.
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