I need advice for airplane travel with uni

I will be heading off to college in January and I’m curious about the various ways you guys have traveled by plane with your uni. Have you guys mostly checked it in a box with it disassembled (or assembled) or have you guys brought it on board as a carry on?

I have had a few problems with this myself. I took mine apart andput it in the bag and of course was asked what it was. I said it was a unicycle and they said really. The opened the bag and inspected it and eventually said it was ok but it definitaly slowed down the process. I guess they don’t see unicycles too often! Just be honest with them and tell them its a unicycle.

I have looked at trying to break my trials uni down small enough that it could be carried on but in the end it was not possible. I ended up taking the seat and seat post off, removing the frame and pedals deflating the tire and putting a belt around it with the tire sort of folded sideways on both sides. The unicycle ended up taking up almost half of my hiking bag that I was checking. I sort of wonder what they thought when they put it through the X-ray machine.

I have flown with my muni, my trials and my bc before. I just tell them its circus equipment. Yes its a bit of a kick in the nuts but hey, I’ve gotten enough of that already, so why not.

I have never had the pack that contained the unicycle stuff searched before when I used that excuse. In this day and age though its probably about a 50/50 chance of it being searched. The only thing to worry about is getting hit with the Bicycle fees which are pretty expensive, something like 50 bucks and signing a waiver that basically sais, if something happens to it they aren’t responsible.

So avoid using the word cycle, just call it circus equipment, or excersize equipment or something.

Actualy call it sports equipment and put it all in a hockey bag. A hockey bag is perfect for anything up to a 29er and if you call it sports equip and its in a hockey bag, they probably won’t even think twice, and will avoid opening it due to smells.

yea. my opinion is to have your parents or somone you know send it to you by mail. it would suck to get al the way the airport and have some dumb a** security guard say you cant take it. you would miss you flight and depending on how tight your scedule is delayed from getting to college on time. thats my two cents…

From what I hear:

If you get to the gate and they won’t let you on, you can GATE CHECK it. Depending, they’ll either put it under the plane or in a compartment up in the front of the plan near the cockpit. Either way, you get it back as you get off the plane, rather than at the normal baggage claim.

If I were to have it mailed, what sort of packaging would I need to insure that the wheel or spokes don’t get bent or broken. I just thought of something very interesting. I could take all but the wheel and tire on the plane in baggage and then have my parents send the wheel/tire.

Once a box is a certain size there is a weight limit that box can be until the price goes up, the rest of your uni won’t make much or any difference to the price of mailing once you have a box big enough to fit your wheel.

Either bring the whole thing with you or have the whole thing in the mail.

What could be more depressing than having a frame, seat, and pedals but no wheel?

I really really don’t think you will have any issues with getting it on the plane. There are no rules against it getting on there, the only worry is getting hit with the 50 dollar fee.

Also when you pack it up just pack it up using common sense, don’t put something that could bend your spokes sitting right ontop of your spokes. If you think about it, think about all the fragile things people pack in the luggage, things like wine bottles and cameras. That stuff is usualy pretty safe. If you are packing something like a trials uni or something, it is made to be beat up, so I think you are pretty damn safe.

i got a hard suitcase, pulled everything apart, made a foam case for my frame using some foam and ductape. (get 2 pieces of foam the right length for each part of your frame and seatpost, then cut out a rough semicircle down the length of each, plonk the two halves together with the part of the frame in between them then using masking tape or ductape strap them together. hope that made sense.) then you can wrap your hub in bubblewrap and pack clothes around it to stop it moving. costs around 5-10 bucks and its taken me to hawaii and back (10 hour flight) and canberra and back(3 hour flight). basically its so bulletproof that they can do whatever they want with it and it wont break. in fact the only thing that did break was the suitcase.:smiley:

Firstly just moved from Nz to australia i can tell you (maybe) what you will have to do

The main concern for airport staff is dirt etc (overseas)
just make sure its small enough to fit the max lugage size…and dont overdo the weight…(domestic)

hope it helps

That makes sense about the dirt. I had to put my modded coker in cargo until i showed them that i could bend the tyre/rim in 1/2 then they asked me if i wanted to pay for the seat next to me for a reduced cost which i said yes. I mean, It was my modded coker, why wouldn’t i have. :smiley:

As far as I can tell, that’s only a concern if you’re going to NZ or Australia (or perhaps a few other remote islands), in the US, UK, Europe, there tend to be so many land borders that things can come over on that they’re much less worried about bio-security.

I’ve been on I think 8 flights this year with the Uni (big trip to NZ, Australia & USA, plus across to Morzine) What I do is make sure that I have a bag that it fits entirely inside. For a trials or a 24" muni, this doesn’t have to be too big if you take the tyre off. For my big unicycles (29er / 26" muni) I have a great big canvas sack that will fit the wheel in with the tyre on, I take the seatpost/seat off and bung it in the sack.

Depending on how odd it looks, you may need to pay for a bike, for example if there are obvious wheel bits or anything. If you can get it just looking like general luggage then that’s great. If anyone asks whats in it, circus equipment is what to say. My uni bag tends to have some juggling balls etc. in it anyway, so it just happens to be true. I’ve been asked to say exactly what is in it a couple of times, and said juggling balls, clubs, a diabolo, a unicycle etc. all of it true, and they didn’t pick me up on the ‘bike’ thing, cos I put it in context as a juggling toy not a bike.


Just dont keep your tools in your carry on. Anything metal longer than 7 inches cant be brought on board in your carry on.
When I flew, with a couple unis, there was no problem at all having two of them takin apart packed tightly into a suitcase. No questioning, made it just under the weight limit, went fine, just keep your tools in your checked bag and you wont have a problem with those either.

Ive thought about trying to gate check a complete uni. That would be kinda cool to have them give you your unicycle all put together as you make your first few steps off the plane.

While flying across the Pacific with my 36" I took off the seat/seatpost and pedals then wrapped the wheel in bubblewrap. They counted it as my second checked bag, and it cost me nothing.

I worried far more than I should have about taking it along with me.

I’ve flown from Austria across Europe with Austria Air and I had to check it in as special baggage. The same process things like knifes go through.

When I picked it up at my destination I had to fetch it from the “unusually shaped baggage” area.

Wait, what? How do you bend your rim in half?

What made you think it was ridable after?

I’ve flown with my unicyle 2 times and I just deinflated the tire and took the pedals off…

that’s all I did. they didn’t even asked anything.

I’m having trouble finding a bag large enough b/c most duffle bags have a long enough length, but not enough width or height for my 24" wheel. The bag has to have at least two dimensions of 24". I can’t find one.