It was a sad joke for a number of years that taking your bike with you on a domestic flight could mean you would pay more to bring the bike than the cost of the airline ticket.
No one is laughing anymore.
United Airlines has increased their over sized "special items" baggage fee to $175 to bring a bike with you----one-way.
That means that the round trip cost of shipping your bike domestically in the United States on United Airlines is now $350 which is certainly more expensive than many travelers will pay for the cost of the flight.
Here's the the new policy from United Airlines' web site:
Any non-motorized bicycle must be prepared for travel by the customer. United cannot provide tools. Handlebars must be turned sideways, and protruding pedals and accessories must be removed. The bicycle must be contained in a durable, protective case, bag or box.
For tickets purchased on or after October 2, 2008 for travel on or after November 10, 2008:
With the cost of bringing bikes on local airlines getting so expensive many endurance athletes are now turning to companies such as Federal Express and using cheaper ground transportation options to ship their bikes instead of bring them along with them on their travels.