Taking the Bike Along

Q. My husband will be competing in a Triathlon in Chicago next weekend and booked a trip with United. The problem is his bike. Is it true that it will cost $250 to check it? That makes the trip almost impossible. Any ideas? We're considering taking the train instead.

A. United recently upped the fee on bicycles from $100 to $125 as of June 13. Tickets purchased before or on June 13, for travel before August 18 can still get away with the $100 fee. Everything after June 13 for travel on or after August 18 is stuck with the $125 fee. And yes, that's each way, so you're looking at a total of $250 round-trip. Quite a whopper. You'd probably be better off shipping the bike.