Flying with bike--need advice

I’m flying to Southeast Asia soon for a couple of weeks via Korean Air. I’d like to still get some training in and I’m considering bringing my bike.

Bikes fly free with Korean, but I need to:

A:Fly with either a “hard case or cardboard box”
B: stay under 50lbs or pay $100 for overweight luggage.

I have access to a soft Scicon case, and Thule Round Trip Transition hard case. The Thule case is 39lbs empty.

Anyone have experience flying with them while bringing a soft case? Will they turn it away? Or just not guarantee it’s condition? What would you do?

I ride in SE Asia couple of times per year, never with Korean Air. I highly recommend a hard case, especially if you’re changing flights a couple of times. I can’t speak for Korean, but I doubt they’d reject a soft case, they are very common these days. Steer clear of a 39lbs case… that’s way too heavy, try to have everything, case, bike, accessories in the cause under 30-32kg (check the airline policy on weight limit). Enjoy, you didn’t say where in SE Asia you’re going, but almost everywhere is worth riding.

Thanks for the advice! I do have one layover in Seoul. I’m allowed two bags, so I’ll likely stash a lot of my gear in my other luggage to keep the weight down in the bike bag/box.

I’ll be in various parts of Cambodia for two weeks. I’m looking forward to exploring a bit of it from two wheels.

Enjoy it, the roads in Cambodia aren’t as well kept as Thailand but still some amazing scenery and routes!

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Depending on how much your bike is worth I would consider hiring a HardCase, a couple of my LBS rent them out I think something like $100 CAD per week.

I fly with bike some 2~3 trips a year, for the last several years. No problem so far. I use a EVOC soft case. I do not bubble wrap extra like those you see on internet youtube channels… too much work. Flew with United, American and Qantas. My bikes are Canyon Aeroad roadbike and a Cervelo P5 tri bike. Hopefully you find these data points useful reference.

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I saw some good advice on flying with a bike a few years ago: Keep the bike bag as light as possible so the handlers treat it with care. So don’t put your shoes and all the other junk in the bag (tempting because there is space). Just the bike and wheels.

My experience is European flights only but has been very varied in how the box has been treated.

One airport seem less bothered about loading and unloading safely, I watched them drop the box from 8-10 feet up off the side of a conveyor. The same guy and 2 of his colleagues were freely throwing children’s car seats and suitcases around. My bike box was loaded on it’s side and 4 cases put on top. Was happy to have a hard box that day.

The airport in Spain we use however took huge amounts of care unloading and loading, the box was stood for transport from the plane on it’s side too, nothing on top of it.

Either way I would never uses soft case if had the choice of a hard one. If cost is an issue then I’d maybe look to hire or even buy a bike at the other end (if viable, I have somewhere I could leave one if had to though).

I’ve also used an EVOC soft case with no issues!