On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who have travelled with TACA (you can share your experiences here).
Baggage Rule Change on Taca Airline
I just found out that Taca Airline, which flies to many major destinations in the Western Hemisphere, changed its baggage rules in December. The new rules make it easier to fly a bike for free.
The new rules state that a person flying economy class can take two pieces of luggage each weighing up to 50 pounds and having
dimensions that add up to less than 62 inches. However, one may take a boxed bicycle as one of those pieces of luggage without paying extra charges. (If one has two pieces of luggage plus the bike, there is a $100 charge.)
I just flew via Taca (to get over the Darien Gap) and my bike was both oversize and overweight. I was not charged anything and got no hassle. The luggage handlers took fairly good care of the bike-- better than I usually get in the US. I bought a large duffle bag ($7, I think) and put three of my panniers in it and one in the bike box.
This change is interesting because up until now many airlines flights originating elsewhere than the US had very restrictive baggage allowance (usually about 42 pounds total) and high overweight charges. Airlines tend to be copycats. If one line starts a policy the others usually copy it quickly. So flying with a bike elsewhere than the US might have just gotten significantly cheaper.
Taca Airline, JFK, Buenos Aires
I have carried a boxed bike with Taca Airlines from Costa Rica to the USA and to Buenos Aires 4 times and have had no extra charge and no problems. Switching planes in New York JFK, is a problem due to a very late arrival but it is possible to stay in the airport and catch an early morning onward flight. Time in the airport is as short as 5 hours. In Argentina the taxi from the airport to downtown Buenos Aires is a long trip but only costs $10. The taxis will put your bike box in the trunk and secure it with a bungee cord. Be very careful in Argentina with taxis, since many will try to rip you off, its the worst I have ever seen. There is no charge and no problem taking your bike, as is, onto the ferry to Colonia Uraguey. From Colonia there is an excellent highway with a paved shoulder the 250 kilometers to Montevideo, with a good Swiss hotel at 120 kilometers.-Paul Vigneault, March 10, 2004