Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bike in a Box

(Note: I said some things about the BART shooting in my Examiner post this week. I should have posted it here, but I didn't! But you can read it anyway on that website, right? Also, there has been a lot of inauguration writing over there too, and you will want to read that, too.)

Via Consumerist: A man checking a box on his flight paid $50 because the contents included a folding bike. The box was under fifty lbs and the one free checked item from the passenger:

Picture this: It's New Year's Eve and I'm checking in at Jet Blue's fancy new T5 terminal at JFK. I've only got one piece of luggage to check 'cause that's all you can check for free on Jet Blue these days. The item mustn't weigh over 50 lbs. and its combined outer dimensions must be under 80". The box I put up on the scale weighed 43lbs. and was under that size.

"What's in the box?" asks the lady at the counter.

"A folding bike, some clothes, and some cheese." I say.

"That's $50." she says, blankly.

Folding bikes are expensive. And serious. But there's a victory! After the story was reported, JetBlue changed its policy to match other airlines, who charge $$ for the bike because of the required handling. (Um, even with the charge I don't feel great about relinquishing my bike.) They wrote:
Our bicycle policy has now been updated to reflect that Customers traveling with a folding bikes in a bag that fits within the standard checked bag weights and dimensions (62 inches in overall dimensions and 50 pounds in weight — see our baggage requirements here) will not be charged the Bike fee and will be treated like any checked bag.

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