Thursday, 26 April 2007

Traveling Cyclist Beware

Getting off the airplane in the small sunny airport of Santa Barbara I have a huge smile. Race weekend again, down in California playing..I'm definitely happy. It's a really small, somewhat outside airport, with the baggage claim outside and most of the seats are outside as well. I'm off to grab my bag and bike, and find a nice tree to sit under while I wait for my ride to arrive.
Yikes!!!! What the heck happened? It seems that United Airlines has a bag monster that has a very healthy appetite for bike bags, well at least mine. The bottom of the bag is nearly completely shredded, through three layer thick nylon and in some places right through the hard plastic casing....completely unbelievable. And at the moment, there's nothing that they will (I won't say can't, but will) do. I story I get is that they have to take the bag and send it down to LA to get fixed. And how they plan to do that I really don't know, not much left to work with. But I have to keep the bag for another week because, well I need to use it to get home........

Dallas bought this poor bag less than two months ago, this is it's fourth trip and this isn't even the first major damage that it's seen, last trip one of the wheels and it's whole compartment were ripped off. Now this is easily a $300 bike bag, and with each trip on United you pay $85USD just to get your freakin bag on the plane...sorry, I'm pretty upset right now. I strategically packed the bag so it weights in well below the weight limit, and size wise, it's only slightly larger than the size limit, but that's rarely good enough for most people. Occascionally you'll get someone in a good mood or that feels the injustice in the 'bike box' fee and will slip your bag by with out the fee, but those kind people are few and far between.

If anyone has any good ideas for cheaply traveling with you bike, as well as for getting some sort of reimbersement for a ruined new bag, please, I'm all ears. As for now, cyclists beware..I don't recommend United Airlines!!!

1 comment:

BikingBakke said...

I'm still waiting for broken bike box buckle reimbursement and full luggage loss reimbursement from Air Canada 2 years ago. I think their send claims to area is the nearest black hole to earth. Total garbage. I think chance of a "reasonable" solution is pretty near zero unfortunately!