Air Canada and bikes
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Dec 20, 2012 1:57 PM Last Post By: bobmichaels
Dec 19, 2012 11:45 AM
Air Canada and bikesAir Canada has suspended costs for bikes travelling to Cuba. ( ONLY to Cuba) This has been reported earlier by Posh, and has been in effect for months. No-one appears to know why, or for how long it will last, but the existant policy permits up to 70lbs. in the box, with no overcharges, and up 115 total inches with no extra charges. My wife took advantage of this policy last week, and found it to be absolutely accurate. (She had 70 and 67 lb. boxes)--NO charge. (except the $20.00 for the second piece of luggage)
Now a warning concerning her experience. When she got to the domestic airport (travelling to Gerona), THEY wouldn't take to overweight boxes, and of course she didn't have any way to repackage them at that time. SO, the bikes stayed in Havana for 4 days, until a relative, who works for Cubana, went over, and repackaged them, and brought them back. I'm not sure if he actually repackaged them, or if he just paid someone some money. My wife would have done that (paid money) but she has been out of country and wasn't sure who to speak to, or what to say. They did get everything that was in the boxes (nothing stolen), and it only cost her an extra $40 CUC to the relative. She also had much lower costs arriving at Jose Marti: as she hired someone for $25 CUC to gather the luggage. This was in conjunction with a travel companion who has Parkinson's, and would have had difficulty using the VIP lounge, so instead they just hurried him (and my wife and daughter) through all the checks. They were out looking for a taxi less than two hours after landing, and both my wife and step-daughter are returning Cubans who had LOTS of stuff--- over 300lbs. of miscellaneous luggage, most of which was stuff for relatives. Best $25 she has ever spent she says. Last year she was 5 hours, with relatives waiting, getting cleared; and had substantial charges.
Between Air Canada bike policy, and Jose Marti checks, she figures she saved about $500.00 CUC from what she expected.
Canadians travelling to Cuba--be aware of this policy, and take a bike, and leave it there. Good working, used mountain bikes can be found in most cities for $50-80 Can. I just find mine at the dump, and fix them up. Over the years I've sent about 15 down with various travellers.
Dec 19, 2012 1:37 PM
Dec 19, 2012 2:06 PM
2Care to post how much her ticket was to Havana? I checked around before I booked my ticket and AC was almost double what I paid even for no charge for taking a bike. The carrier I booked with charges $20 for an additonal bag up to 50 lbs
Dec 19, 2012 4:11 PM
3We don't have a lot of choice flying out of Smithers, B.C. I don't really remember the cost, but driving to Price George (400km) in the winter to catch alternative transportation can be dangerous (read Black Ice) at this time of year, and I prefer to avoid that if I can. Also, it is very convenient to load the luggage in Smithers, and not have to worry about it again until Havana. I'm not suggesting anyone fly Air Canada BECAUSE of this policy, only that if you are thinking about flying Air Canada (for whatever reason), perhaps you might want to take advantage of the information. I THINK their return tickets from Smithers to Havana were around $1200 Can. each
Dec 19, 2012 5:23 PM
4Vballf, thanks for the info flying from Smithers, BC. We are spoiled in Toronto with over 40 flights a week to every airport in Cuba. $1200 to Havana isn’t bad because AC wanted over $650 from Toronto so I booked with WestJet to Varadero and my companion will drive me to Cienfuegos. I travel light because I have my clothes and personal items in her casita and the last thing we need is another bicycle.
All the best for Xmas and New Yr and happy travel in 2013
Dec 19, 2012 8:12 PM
Dec 20, 2012 1:57 PM
6I wish some of the Canadian price competition will spill over to Miami - Cuba flights. In spite of having six competitors, none seem to be willing to reduce fares.
I am never happy to pay almost as much for the 42 minute Miami - Havana flight as some of you pay to fly from Toronto. At least we have a quick flight.
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