I am on a tear about Air Canada, which charged me fifty bucks to carry my Strida bike, which folds up into a pack that is smaller than their maximum weights and dimensions for luggage. I wrote on TreeHugger:
I go to check in and the attendant asks "what's that?" I say a folding bike. She says "I have to charge you 50 bucks, we have a charge for bikes." I say that I understand, bikes are usually big and awkward but this folds up and is in a case and is under weight and maximum bag dimensions. And it is a folding bike, not a regular bike, designed for travelling. She says "nope, it's a bike and you have to pay." I ask if they charge for snowboards, which are longer than the bike. "Nope." I ask if they charge for skis, which are much longer than the bike and awkward. She says "nope" I ask her why she is charging me. "Because it's a bike."
I complained to Air Canada, and their response was less than satisfying:
Air Canada's baggage policy deals with sporting equipment, and as such, bicycles fall into that category. We do not differentiate between a folding bicycle and a tandem bicycle. They are all treated the same. In order to provide fair and consistent service to all passengers, we ask our agents to strictly adhere to the baggage policy. Air Canada's current policy is the collection of handling fees for bicycles. Respectfully, we have to decline your request for a refund. While we understand that you are disappointed, we must remain fair and consistent with our handling of similar requests for all customers.
Right. Fair and Consistent. Except hockey bags and skis are exempt, even though they are over size and over weight.
So I am now on a public campaign to get folding bikes accepted as luggage, and welcome your support.