by JACK on OCTOBER 31, 2013
The first time I saw the Brompton Bike fold, all the possibility of life flashed before my eyes life like a crystal clear high definition frame by frame movie reel: “Bike folded at my side I walk confidently off a 747 that has just landed in Rome. Taxi?… No, no thank you I’m covered. Flipping the bike open with a deft flick of the wrist, I casually wave off a group of astounded tourists and bitter taxi chauffeurs, riding off to the Sistine chapel where the Pope, Stevie Wonder, and the entire Italian national soccer team is preparing my reception…”
I’ve always felt that the most exciting thing about of a folding bike as compact as the Brompton is that that you could take it traveling with you and explore entire cities at your leisure. Of course the Brompton scene that passed through my mind was the edited edition, and left out a few important details. Vital questions remain unanswered: is it possible to carry the Brompton bike on an airplane? What about security?!!! If I check it with the hard case, what do I do with it when I get to Rome? What about the POPE!??
Newton Dixon answers all your Brompton questions
Newton Dixon (pictured above) has been a good friend of the shop for over a year now. In addition to being a passionate kick scooter rider, and proud owner of the Brompton bike, Newton is a representative of American Airlines, and travels all over the world. After almost a year of exchanging pictures, videos, and ideas online, I finally got a chance to meet Newton in person a few weeks ago when he joined us on our Brompton bike tour with a newly purchased Brompton of his own.
During the ride Newton told me how much he had been enjoying his new Brompton bike and I was particularly interested to hear of his experiences taking his Brompton on the airplane. As Newton works for AA he was able to experiment at his leisure, and the results are pretty encouraging. As demonstrated in the picture below, the Brompton fits easily in the overhead compartment:
And also in the coat check:
A few weeks prior, he was meeting with some reps from AA and got the chance to introduce the Brompton Bike to the head of TSA airport security, who of course immediately fell in love with the Brompton Bike, and indicated that airports would be more “folding bike” friendly in the future. Newton was even able to demonstrate how the Brompton can actually fit through the conveyor belt x-ray machine in security. This was a revelation for me, and great news for the realization of my Brompton bike reveries.
According to Newton, as long as your folding bike folds small enough to fit through security, as the Brompton Bike does, it will be considered like a stroller or skateboard and allowed on an airplane. And this is coming straight from the mouth of an American Airlines rep!
Thanks again to Newton Dixon for coming by and joining us on the ride. It has always been a pleasure sharing our passion for bikes online, and it was all the better to ride with you in person. Maybe I’ll be seeing you soon at JFK, Brompton bike in hand heading for my 747. The Italian national soccer team awaits…