Airport security screeners might notice a lot more biker's tans on passengers passing through Frontier Airlines gates as the carrier announced removal of flat fees for bicycles on Wednesday.
The change means that bicycles will be charged as standard baggage, which in some cases is free. That's a big change in an airline industry where some carriers have begun charging as much as $175 to haul a bicycle in recent years.
What the Frontier announcement means in dollars and cents is that customers flying under the Classic or Classic Plus plan can include their bicycles as one of their two complimentary checked bags. Economy passengers would pay $20 if the bike is one of their first two checked bags.
No oversize fees
Further, bicycles are exempt from oversize fees, which is where some airlines have been justifying even higher prices. Frontier still will charge overweight and excess baggage fees, if applicable. In other words, bicycles get the same treatment on the airlines as golf clubs and skies.
These relaxed bicycle regulations on Frontier are good news from anyone considering flying with a bike in much of North America. The airline serves more than 80 destinations in the US, Mexico and Costa Rica. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, it operates from hubs in Denver, Kansas City and Milwaukee.
As airlines have jacked up prices on everything from onboard meals to checked baggage, bicyclists have taken a hard hit. Not only did most airlines single out bicycles for extra fees, but if the bike box did not meet certain dimensional specifications, even more fees were added.
If you're traveling with a bicycle this summer, it will pay to shop around. Several websites have pages on airline bicycle charges:
I can't vouch for the currency of these statistics, so I'd recommend checking directly with the airline before making a decision.
We can only hope that other airlines are watching Frontier and will match its new policies regarding bicycles.