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10250Re: [rootsradicals] Re:Air travel with an xtracycle?

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  • murray
    Dec 2, 2009
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      careful not to paint all Kiwis with the same brush there :)  
      some of us are in the room.

      2009/12/3 David Dannenberg <ddannenberg@...>

      My wife and I travelled to NZ with a tandem. We packed it in one of those cargo bags designed for the purpose. This end was no problem at all. Forked over $80 extra to United and they took it. Almost all airplanes will accept the size. Do go early to the airport though. That said, the city of Christchurch (I think it was Christchurch) has different rules for weight than the rest of NZ and Kiwis are serious bureaucrats. So, we were able to fly in to fine, but heading out they said the bag was over weight and didn't want to take it--even for a fee. We did manage to lighten the bag sufficiently for them to take it, but it was a hassle and made us a bit nervous. Stateside it was again not a problem. In LA (we had to fly on to Philadelphia) we went to the airline's desk, changed our flight, paid them another 80 bucks, then left our luggage including the bike with them, even though the plane was not due to leave for 8 hours. The concept of that level of customer service simply does not exist in NZ, at least not in my experience. Nice people, but no idea of service. And Christchurch (or whatever) airport has a different union or something, so you can fly in, but not out with the same load. They also weigh--at random--carry-on stuff so try to be deaf if they call you to weigh yours. There is some ridiculous limit like 20lbs for carry-on.

      One way around this--the route people with Tandems who travel a lot take--is to have S&S couplers installed so that the frame comes apart into pieces and the entire bike packs into a couple of specially built suit cases. Expensive, and much more hassle to re-assemble the bike, but I think it could be done to a BD. With an X, you could un-install the FreeRad., and strip the bike, and pack it in a couple of cases without the need of couplers...



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