It’s finally happened. Delta Airlines has eliminated their bike fee. The airline just announced that they will be eliminating the $150 specialty sports bag fee that previously applied to bikes and other oversized sporting equipment. That means that there is the potential to fly with your bike for free depending on your status and ticket level. Otherwise, it will run you the price of a standard checked bag.
Of course, there are still stipulations that you must meet to get your bike on board without an overweight or oversized fee. For starters, it must be under 50lbs and it cannot be larger than 115 linear inches (length + width + height) or 292 linear cm. For reference, the EVOC Bike Travel bag is about 237cm so no problems there. It’s also possible to get the EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro packed under 50lbs, but as I found out, it does take some planning to get it right. Going over 50lbs will leave you with a $100 overweight fee for flights within the U.S. and Canada for bags weighing 51-70lbs (check this page for more information on overweight fees.)
However, it seems that if you have status with Delta, you’ll be allowed up to 70lbs for checked baggage within the U.S. and Canada with one free bag for Silver, two for Gold, and three for Platinum and Diamond status (though you should double check with Delta that this applies to bike weights as well).
As long as your bike bag or box qualifies, then you’ll be able to check it as a standard piece of luggage. If your status or ticket allows for free checked baggage, the bike will fly for free. If not, you’ll be on the hook for the standard checked bag fee which seems to have been increased to $30 for the first bag, or $40 for your second. Still, $30 or $40 is way better than paying $150 each way. Note that Delta does state, “Due to space limitations, acceptance and charges may vary for itineraries on a Delta Connection carrier,” so as always, if you’re unsure it’s better to plan ahead and make sure. The new rules take effect on tickets purchased beginning July 17th, 2019.