UPDATE: You can read about the results of our further investigation into this story here.
At the Toronto Motorcycle Show we came across an Air Canada booth advertising some pretty decent rates to fly your bike to various parts of the globe.
For example, $950 to South America means that you can fly down with your bike and do that dream Americas ride without having to go there AND back! Same for the cross Canada trip at $650, or maybe a return trip to Europe ($700/$850) and save the cash on the bike rental.
Either way, for the would-be adventurer who is tight on time, this Air Canada initiative opens up the world, literally.
We contacted Air Canada’s Antonio Sammartino for more info and sent him our questions. he sent back the answers and a whole lot more so we pasted it all below in a Q&A format.
What do I have to do to prepare for my motorbike to be shipped as dangerous good?
Motorcycles are classified as dangerous goods in international air transport. The booking agent will provide information on the documentation requirements and process for preparing the motorbike for transport.
You can also contact Doug at Dangerous Goods Packaging Limited. 205 Matheson Blvd. Unit 10 in Mississauga. 905-890-7066 ask for Doug. or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (see comment at end).
How much will it cost?
We offer two types of rates for each destination. Rates depend on whether you travel with Air Canada to the same destination as your motorbike or not. Our rates are one way in Canadian dollars (CAD$). Same rate applies for return shipment. Price includes: fuel, security surcharge and navigation tax. Additional charges may apply based on local charges at origin or destination, screening charge (0.15 CAD$/kg) and Dangerous Goods fees. Please contact your local Air Canada Cargo office for our special pricing.
How much time will it take my bike to reach its destination?
Your motorbike will travel on the same aircraft as passengers, arriving at the same time. Recovery time at destination can be longer than 4 hours sometimes if the motorbike is shipped on the same flight as you. Therefore, it can sometimes be preferable to book and ship a day prior to your travel date. This will avoid you waiting at your destination.
How far in advance do I take my motorbike to Air Canada Cargo?
The motorbike can be tendered at our facilities up to 24 hours prior to departure time. The latest time a motorbike can be tendered is 6 hours prior to departure of the booked flight (assuming paper work is complete and motorbike is ready to be shipped). Usually the freight is tendered at the same time as the Dangerous Goods Documents are processed. Normally inspection and tender takes no longer than 1 hour.
Will the bike ride on my flight?
We can book your motorbike on the same flight as you, however it would be preferable if it is booked and shipped a day prior to your travel date*. This will avoid you waiting at your destination. Recovery time at destination can be longer than 4 hours sometimes if the motorbike is shipped on the same flight as you.
* Additional storage charges may apply at destination
What do I have to do to prepare?
You should have the following information handy before you contact Air Canada Cargo :
- Departure date of motorbike
- Shipper name, address, telephone contact number, and email address
- Receiver (consignee) name, address, telephone contact number
- Dimension of motorbike (length, width, height)
- Approximate weight (motorbike will be weighed at Air Canada Cargo facility and booking adjusted accordingly)
Can I insure my motorbike?
Yes, we offer damage insurance at $3.00 per $1000 insured. Coverage is for damage incurred during transportation by Air Canada Cargo. For additional coverage please contact your local insurance company.
What do I do if damage has occurred during transport?
A claim will need to be filed and you will need to prove damage occurred during transport with pictures and documentation outlining the damage. Also estimated repair cost and proof of value of the motorbike will be needed.
Is it recommended to insure my motorbike?
Yes, it protects you against potential damage and loss.
Who will do the customs clearance at destination?
The person who will pick up the motorbike at destination. Usually it is the consignee.
Who is responsible for providing customs documents at origin?
Who will load and strap down the motorbike?
Once your motorbike is handed over to us and accepted, the motorbike is loaded and strapped down by a qualified cargo agent.
What can I do to prepare my motorbike for travel?
- Ensure fuel tank has been drained as far as practical and fuel does NOT exceed ¼ of the tank capacity.
- All batteries must be installed and securely fastened in the battery holder of the vehicle and be protected in such a manner as to prevent damage and short circuits.
- Spare key should be left in the ignition
- Disable alarm (theft-protection devices), installed radio communications equipment or navigational systems
- Ensure you have your air-waybill number (booking number) available at time of tender
When can I make my motorbike reservation?
Ideally, soon after you have booked your flight and up to 2 weeks ahead of departure, to a maximum of 30 days. This would ensure a booking for your motorbike, however you may not get space on a desired flight.
Can I ship a motorbike with special shocks?
Yes, both pneumatic and hydraulic shocks are covered by the Dangerous Goods regulations