Tomorrow (August 2, 2017) I fly to Lisbon. I’m a bit more anxious this time, because I am taking a bicycle with me for the first time in decades, and rules have changed. I am taking a large touring bicycle. I will ride my bike to the airport, remove the pedals, turn the handlebars sideways, and place the bike in a large, transparent, heavy-duty plastic bag. I have read repeatedly that this is the best way to transport a touring bike on an airplane, but I’m a bit leery about it. The reason many people claim that it is safer is because baggage handlers can see that it is a bicycle and are therefore more likely to treat it gently. I hope that is true.
United has already charged me $200 to fly the bag to Europe, because it exceeds their basic size limits. I plan to pack two small pannier bags inside also with me helmet, flip-flops for walking around the hostels where I will stay, and some other miscellaneous items. I have two larger pannier bags that I plan to carry on the plane, one as my normal carry on and the second as my personal item.
I’m going to ride to the airport very early, so assuming I am successful at checking in the bike, I’ll have time after going through security to blog from the airport tomorrow.