On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who have travelled with America West (you can share your experiences here).
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Bikes Fly Free
Charles Hansen wrote:
>This used to be true, but I thought there's been a number of postings recently saying that a number of airlines are now charging for international flights?
>I know members of LAB and Adventure Cycling can get free bike transport if they book the flight with the org's official travel agency, but don't know if this also applies to international flights.
The LAB offer is good on Northwest, TWA, USAir, Continental, America West and Western Pacific. I don't know about international trips, but other than the disclaimer "some restrictions may apply", no such limitations are mentioned in the material I have. You may call the afilliated travel agency, Professional Travel Corp., at 800/426-4055, for more information. FWIW, I've used the LAB offer for a number of domestic flights, and it has worked great.
America West Airlines
I flew America West from O'Hare to Tucson last year and they were cool about my BikePro case, which is fairly bulky. In fact, I didn't get charged on the way back from Tucson. I'm pretty sure it was $80 on the way out.
I am the President of TriBasics and regularly travel on America West with my bike and case (VeloTrunk). My last experience made me realize that someone needs to make this type of travel cheaper and easier. So I have took it upon myself to do just that. Currently I am in discussions with several airlines to make travel with our VeloTrunk free. This proposal is in its beginning stages but we expect to have it finalized by the end of the year.
My worst experience was Delta. I really hate flying with them. Why can european airlines allow free travel with a bike and not North American airliners? It's time this changes and I have just the plan to make it work. If anyone has contacts at any of the airlines please email them to me so I can include them in our plan. We currently are working with America West and if it works I believe all of hte airlines may follow suit.
Wish me luck!
America West & LAB Deal
I called America West at their Groups and Specialty Travel Desk to ask about their contract with the League of American Bicyclists. Their CAMS Department is at 1-800-548-7575. The number of the LAB contract is CAMS CODE 1015.
I was told that we are not required to go through the designated LAB travel agent in Colorado, but that we can work through any travel agent or call America West and work through them directly to take advantage of the deal. Under the arrangement, bikes fly free in lieu of one piece of luggage. A notation will be made in the travel record to this effect. I asked if she could send me a copy of the contract, and she declined to do so.
I asked if there was any way we could take advantage of this deal if we book a flight through the web site, and she said no. The normal charge for a bike on America West is $70.00 one way. She also said that the America West ticket sales agents were not authorized to honor any Internet pricing when you telephone them.
So, the best deal might be to work with your regular travel agent to get the lowest price you can; then have your agent make the notation about CAMS CODE 1015 and LAB in your travel record. Be sure to take your LAB membership card with you to the airport. Also having the CAMS department 800 number would be a good safeguard.
... Andy Schwartz
I successfully flew a bike in an Iron Case from Phoenix to Seattle directly on America West just a couple of weeks ago. The trip worked out well, no damage to the bike. At the event (STP) I noticed several other Iron Cases--but unfortunately did not talk to their owners. Jessica L. Mosher UniKix Technologies, Phoenix, AZ USAJessica Mosher, March 18, 1999
Bikes Fly Free
Check out this exchange from rec.bicycles.misc
At least a couple of years ago, despite what LAW said, you did NOT have to book through their agency. My friend called America West, had them look up the tariff that allowed LAW members to take their bike for free, and there was no mention of the ticket having to be issued by a specific travel agency. She had no problem taking her bike free.