Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How I packed my Brompton for local air travel

Last weekend, I took my Brompton with me to a trip outside Manila for the first time since I brought it over from Taipei.

I booked my trip to Legazpi on Philippine Airlines.  I heard from others that Cebu Pacific's ground handlers take care of your bike, even if they were checked-in bare and not boxed.  I wasn't sure with PAL.

I looked for suitcases that my Brommie could fit in, but the biggest I found would still result in the seatpost jutting out of it.

So I decided to go half-way.  I won't pack it in a suitcase, but I won't leave it bare either.

I bought bubble wrap and cloth duct tape from Ace Hardware.  First, I wrapped the fork with bubblewrap because it might have contact with other parts of the frame when folded.

Then, I wrapped the folding pedal, also with bubble wrap.  I took off the two clamps, since I heard that they get lost in transit.

Then, I wrapped the whole bike with bubble wrap, and put cloth duct tape over the corners.

And then I placed the black canvass bike cover to secure the bubble wrap.

When I got to Legazpi, the bike looked normal.  I didn't notice any dents or scratches.  So PAL gets an "A" for handling my bike with care.

 Skywalker in the hotel lobby.

 Skywalker in the hotel room.

Skywalker getting ready to attend a wedding. : )

On my way back to Manila,  I took Airphil Express.  When I picked my bike from the conveyor belt in Manila I notice there were small holes on the bike cover.  I guess they were caused by the bike's folding hinges rubbing against other luggages or steel frames.  When I unpacked the wrapping, I noticed some paint chipped off from the edges.  So I'm giving Airphil Express and the ground handlers in NAIA III a "D" for treating my bike like a sack of rice.

Lesson is, when transporting your bike, put more padding on the edges.  Also, secure a "Fragile" sticker over the bike cover (the "Fragile" sticker the check-in counter put did not stick properly on the cover and would fall off).


  1. Did they charge extra for the bike? Is your bike using 20" wheels?

    Thanks in advance.

    Looking forward in purchasing a folding and traveling with it. :)

  2. No, they did not charge extra because it was not irregular size. The bike I travel with has 16" wheels.