Unicycles on a Plane

Get those mother%$#%$ unicycles off my mother%$#@ plane

You never quite know what you’ll encounter when you attempt to bring a unicycle on a plane.  In the last year I’ve had the fortune of taking a uni on planes to California, Amsterdam, London,  Zurich, and, yesterday, Panama.  There are no official regulations about unicycles on planes, and the general rules about what luggage you can bring on seem to change every week anyway.  My strategy is to roll it up to the desk with a smile and hope they wont charge me any extra.  Usually they look at me, look at the uni, smile back and give me no problem as they check my uni (unboxed) as a piece of luggage.  One grumpy attendant from Swiss Air decided I should pay an extra fee equivalent to 1/2 their bicycle fee.   Another time they decided they wanted to put it in a big plastic bag.

I knew I’d have to smile extra wide for this trip to Panama because I already had 2 large bags full of research equipment (radio-collars, camera traps, etc…) and I was trying to sell my 29″ uni as the ‘extra item’ Continental says you can bring, such as car seats, or ski boots.   The desk was busy, and the lady was grumpy after being yelled at by the guy before me, so my smile never really took with her.  She told me I couldn’t take the uni, it wasn’t a car seat.  Then, after a few more smiles, told me I could take it for $200 ($100 extra bag fee + $100 bicycle fee).   Frown

I told her no thanks and took my smile and my wheel up to security as a carry-on.  They all smiled back and I checked it at the gate along with strollers and other bags that were at least as big as my uni.  On to Newark where I connected with my flight to Panama.  The lady at the gate got a bit pissy, and threatened to charge me extra,  but in the end they just decided I needed a pink check slip instead of a blue one. 

I’ve got some research work to do here in Panama this week, and will help Marcos nail down some last minute route logistics, then meet the rest of the team at the Airport on the 10th. 

Hopefully they’ll arrive smiling!

-Roland

Two big bags plus a 29" uni coming out of customs in Panama

Two big bags plus a 29" uni coming out of customs in Panama. The pink tag that satisfied Newark's gate check

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One response to “Unicycles on a Plane

  1. I see.
    I’ve checked the uni a few times.
    I think the gate check would work better.

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