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Perhaps following the lead of competitor American Airlines, Delta Airlines today announced that it would be eliminating additional fees for checked bicycles, effective immediately.
“Delta customers traveling with surfboards, bicycles, golf clubs, scuba gear and other large-sized sporting equipment will now be allowed to check them as part of their standard baggage allowance,” read an official statement on Delta’s web site.
This doesn’t mean there are no charges at all, however; bikes will still be subject to standard luggage fees, which will vary depending on the class of ticket purchased and loyalty status of the passenger. And as with American Airlines, there are some caveats.
Bicycle cases will still need to weigh less than 23kg (50lb), and the total linear dimension (length plus width plus height) must be less than 292cm (115in). Cases weighing more than that will still be subject to an overweight fee, and cases weighing over 46kg (100lb) won’t be accepted at all.
There are some conditions regarding the type of case used as well, specifically as pertaining to damage liability.
Delta recommends that passengers pack their bikes in hard-sided cases, and provided the bike is “properly packed”, there’s no need to sign a liability waiver. Passengers using soft-sided cases (our preferred travel case type), however, will be asked to sign a limited liability release form — and at this point, it’s unclear exactly what that looks like.
Either way, this is most definitely a big improvement, and hopefully a continuing trend that other major airlines will follow.
Your move, United Airlines.