US BMX specialists DK Bicycles have launched a carry bag designed to avoid airline charges levied specifically on bikes – by making it look like a set of golf clubs.
The DK Golf 4130 will house bikes with 24 inch wheels or less and costs $119 in the US (currently only available there). The bag is advertised as having heavy internal padding, sturdy straps and handles and durable rollers.
DK have taken a commercial approach to what had previously been a ‘DIY’ tactic to avoiding bike carriage charges – that’s to say hiding the bike in a carrier ostensibly designed for something else, be it a golf bag or a guitar case. A commonly held belief was that splitting a bike into several separate items of luggage meant you were carrying ‘bicycle components’, again avoiding airline charges.
A few of the carriers in the US have had a brief go at offering free cycle carriage – a Bikes Fly Free program was discontinued a couple of years ago. The overall picture on bike carriage now varies on a carrier by carrier basis, so whether DK’s latest offering will help you as a US air traveler depends very much on an airlines particular bike policy.