Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: IanDG on February 07, 2019, 07:45:32 am

Title: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: IanDG on February 07, 2019, 07:45:32 am
The story:

Contact from bother in law who has cycled from Canada down the Pacific Coast and is now in Mexico (Zihuatanejo). He's crashed and broken his arm and wants to get home. He's not 'with it' due to meds etc. and asked me to sort a trip home. I booked a flight (through an agent) Alaska Airlines to LA, Aer Lingus to Dublin then onto Manchester.

The problem:

Seems like I've messed up. When booking, I thought the agent would book the bike right through as hold luggage, but he had an e-mail to say that because it is 2 different airlines there is no agreement for advance baggage booking and bike transport can not be arranged in advance.

Unfortunately he only has 2 hours in LA to pick up the bike and then check it in with the connecting flight - We think this may be too tight, and there will most likely be extra charges to pay.

I've suggested using a courier so he hasn't got the hassle of handling luggage etc. 'one handed' through airports. I've got quotes for bike delivery of £146 using Express Worldwide, £329.40 using UPS and £248 using sendmybag.

Anybody have any experience or advice they can share? There is about 40hrs left before his flight to sort something.
Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: rafletcher on February 07, 2019, 08:55:21 am
First thing, hope your brother is ok. Was he insured? I'm assuming not if you're booking flights. So, book cheapest courier and hope for the best for the bike, but it's only stuff, even if it's expensive stuff.
Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: Brucey on February 07, 2019, 11:09:21 am
a thought;

Airports have folk with various health/mobility problems going through them all the time; is it possible to have someone from the airport staff ready  to help your BiL at LA? 

Part of the issue at LA will probably be which terminal (s) the flights arrive/depart at. Some airports are enormous and it can be about a mile from one end to the other. If you can find this out beforehand it ought to make a difference. (

shows the terminal layout at LAX;  Aer Lingus use terminal 2 and Alaskan Air use terminal 6 (except for incoming international flights after 19.00 hrs which arrive in terminal B).  I think you can walk between 6 and 2 through the car parks and this would take about ten minutes; otherwise it is a very long walk or the shuttle bus.


Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: ian on February 07, 2019, 12:06:37 pm
You didn't necessarily do it wrong, if he's transferring in the US he'd have to collect and recheck baggage (and go through immigration) – I don't think it's possible, at least in my experience, to check through a final destination. LAX immigration isn't usually awful, but two hours would make me itch, even if I wasn't lugging around a bike with a broken arm. Walking between the terminals at LAX is straightforward, just exit and follow the outdoor concourse or cross directly. It's a few minutes a walk between each terminal.

Airport/airline staff may help expedite things for an injured traveller, but it's not guaranteed especially if there's an airline switch (that's the bit you did wrong, because if he misses the flight from LAX, there's no guarantee the airline will transfer his booking, leastways not without financial lubricant), and TSA and DHS follow the beat of their own drum.
Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: mark on February 07, 2019, 01:44:45 pm
Is the bike worth salvaging and bringing back? I've dealt with bikes and airports when I was uninjured and only had one airline to worry about, that was difficult enough. I would suggest leaving the bike with you, and you or someone else taking care of the bike afterwards. Depending on what kind of shape the bike is in, and how much value your brother in law puts on it, it might be best to just replace the bike when your brother in law gets home. Like rafletcher says, it's only stuff.

 Hope your B-i-L heals soon and well, and is back on a bike soon.
Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: Mrs Pingu on February 08, 2019, 07:06:14 pm
Windy isn't (to my knowledge) in Mexico.
Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: mark on February 08, 2019, 07:38:01 pm
Windy isn't (to my knowledge) in Mexico.

My mistake, sorry.
Title: Re: Flying with a bike from Mexico
Post by: IanDG on February 08, 2019, 07:52:30 pm
Cheers all for replies, all sorted. Leigh flies out 6-ish Mexico time, his bike is at a bike shop waiting to be collected by UPS (arranged through

What I didn't say is that Leigh only has use of one arm - the other damaged in a motorcycle accident about 20 years ago. 'Fortunately' he broke his 'bad' arm.

( ( ( by ian (, on Flickr