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  #1  
Old 6 Jan 2002
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Air Freight Auckland to Anchorage

We would like to get our BMW 1150GS from Auckland to Anchorage. Has to be flown due to limitations on time. We would prefer it to be on the passenger flight with us. Obviously there is nor direct passenger flight - it all goes via LA. Can anyone tell us about their experience?
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Old 19 Jan 2002
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Julia

I've only flown into LA with ordinary luggage, but have done so a few times. The rule is that all checked baggage has to be unloaded in LA (as the first port of entry into the USA). US Customs regs require that it be identified by the passenger and rechecked.

This procedure is somewhat of a nuisance if you're coming in with just a few bags which you'd like to check through to your final destination. But it could be a MAJOR hassle if you're flying the bike with you, and particularly since you're probably going to have to change planes as well. I would allow for a stopover in LA in your plans.

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  #3  
Old 28 Jan 2002
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Julia, I would be very interested to hear of your plans, and later how it all went.

I go to the US and Canada every year, and in June 2001 joined with fourteen friends in a trip up the Alaska Highway, from Edmonton to Fairbanks, Anchorage and back to Skagway, where we joined the ferry to Prince Rupert.

Just two weeks ago we toured New Zealand for two weeks also. This is a regular annual trip.

The Alaska Highway was probably in better shape than we had been led to believe, but there were some challenges with road works, especially when it was wet (rare on our trip) with one particular stretch claiming many bikes. Fortunately none of our group were among them.

I don't know what particular problems air freighting your bike will bring, but I suspect that if it is going on your particular flight with you, it will just be a matter of being patient. My experience dealing with anything a bit unusual where bureaucrats are concerned is to go into "nothing will upset me" mode.

Best of luck

Cheers
Peter
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Old 29 Jan 2002
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Julia:

Anchorage airport is one of the largest air freight hubs in the world. Although there are very few scheduled international passenger flights to ANC, there are dozens of widebody (747, MD11, etc.) freighter flights into ANC every day.

If you check with air freight consolidators in NZ, you might find that you can send your bike to ANC as air freight quite easily. The companies that do the flights - Evergreen, Polar Air Cargo, etc. - don't deal directly with 'small' shippers, this is where the consolidator comes in, they put all the small shipments together.

Prices for air freight drop dramatically if the load is not time-sensitive. So, if you don't mind dropping your bike off for shipment in NZ 10 days ahead of time, you might be able to find an attractive rate. You would not be able to go along as a passenger on the same route, as you have discovered already, you would transit through LAX then change planes and fly up to ANC.
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