Experience flying to the US with a checked uni?

So I’m going on a mostly rural week long vacation to the states (from Canada) come a couple weeks from now, and I’ve never flown with a checked uni before. I’m thinking I’ll bring my 26er rather than my extensively built-up KH36 (which I don’t really feel like disassembling and reassembling twice, even if shipping did work out). I’ve got a 36er bag (along these lines but non-identical) which can fit not just my 26er with pedals and seat removed but a fair bit of additional padding/packing material, so that seems like one idea as far as packing solutions go. But perhaps boxing it would be a better idea? I’m not sure.

Anyone have any advice on flying with a checked mid-size uni? I’ll be flying with Air Canada.

Here’s what I did.

There are tons of threads on this topic with various ideas. Depends on whether you want to haul a box around or not. Some find boxes too cumbersome.

I would use the bag but when you check in and they ask if it’s a bike, don’t say it’s a unicycle. Just say it’s stage props or circus equipment. That way you shouldn’t be charged extra for a bike.

I love how this is the one situation that we all embrace our circus brothers… :smiley:

In this case, I can be doubly convincing for the fact that the bag says on it in big letters


I mean who’s going to question that?

Probably, this is what I will do. Though with what combination of which parts where (e.g., put the seat in my backpack, or what have you), we shall see.

I flew to and from Montreal a few weeks ago with my 29er in the unicycle travel bag I bought on the US UDC website a few years ago. From Philly I’ve flown to and from Montreal, Jackson Wyoming, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and New Orleans and have never been charged an extra baggage fee. I did once use the “circus equipment” line when checking the bag.


A cheaper approach: If you still have it, the box that your 26 came in should be small enough to not be designated oversize baggage. The box for my 29 is only a tiny bit over the limit. Use packing tape and brown paper from grocery bags to cover up any label that includes the “-cycle” suffix.

I have one of these bags also and I find it nice. I went to Unicon i Canada this summer and had a 26" with an extra tyre and a 24" in it (I brought only one seat, but I think both could have been there). I have used it for a travel to Germany as well. It is a bit too large to be a standard bag, but it looks pretty “normal bag-like”. When I flew home form Germany, one of the staff ladies at the luggage counter said to the other: “Isn’t that bag too large?”, but the other one answered: “Maybe. Oh, never mind”. :wink:

Best regards,

I went to NYC from Paris last summer and decided I wanted to take a uni with me. My 20" Equinox was the only one that could fit easily in my regular (though rather big) suitcase, and I still had to dismantle it and deflate the tire. It was fun around town because it has very short cranks, but once out of the city I used it less because it wasn’t ideal for longer distances.
A 24" would probably have been better - but I would have had to remove the tire altogether. The cardboard box is probably is better option if not too huge.

how do you manage to bring a box in the airplane?
5 years ago I went from France to Moab with a suitcase + a Muni in a bag (overall weight not more than 23 kg)
now I am allowed only ONE checked luggage and prices for the additional one are discouraging …

I flew from Los Angeles to Seattle last August with my 24". I bought a 27" by 27" by 27" box (<$10 at a box store) and cut it down so it was only 8" high (this fit the max dimensions of most airlines). The uni fit without disassembling (only took off the pedals and seat). I was able to pack the pedals, seat, kneepads, gloves, extra clothes, shoes, etc etc in the box so it was my only checked piece (I took my helmet in my carry-on). I put a nylon strap around the outside so I had a handle and it was pretty easy to carry around.

That’s why I decided to take my 20" which could fit in my big suitcase. Would have preferred a 24", but in the end it turned out great because that uni had never seen the streets (only use it indoors) and we became good friends.

I remember the days when it was possible to take two bags checked in the plane. The second bag is expensive (60€ if booked online when you check in) and a third one is extortionate (200ish €!!!).

Pack light. You’re allowed a carry on, right? I put all my clothes in my carry on. Bring lighter clothes. I wear nylon hiking pants instead of jeans. Sometimes I do laundry on longer trips.

Maybe shipping the uni or clothing would be an option.

I know: for each travel I may pay 100$ with UNITED (my prefered company) with less than 200$ I bought a cheap Muni in the US and leave it here :stuck_out_tongue: