Despite weeks of internet searching for the cheapest way to fly with our bicycles to Alaska, we were asked to pay an additional and unexpected $100 US for each bike upon arrival at the check-in counter yesterday morning. Our carrier charges all of their economy travellers a flat rate for every piece of luggage, and, according to their website, a bicycle can be considered one of these pieces. Most carriers have outlandish handling fees for bikes. This was the deciding factor in purchasing our tickets.
It was 4:45 a.m. and we’d just pulled yet another all-nighter, much of which was spent weighing and parcelling out our gear between four big boxes to make sure they all fell below the 50 pound limit. We did our best to maintain composure when we were told of the extra fee.
“That’s the policy,” one of the clerks stated unemphatically. “$100 per bicycle on top of the flat rate luggage fee.”
“They’re not bikes, they’re bike parts,” Lucie stated in a steady, assertive tone. The clerk paused. “So… the wheels are in this box… and those are just the bicycle frames…” he said, committing to our loophole. We were charged the standard luggage rate and wished him an excellent day. $200 US buys a lot of oatmeal. And we like our oatmeal.