Don't think you could get away with it as a check on-- security at Gatwick and Heathrow is very keen about carry ons (although you can carry a gross of bottles from duty free without a glance).
But have your friend pack the bike in a regular bike box taped up and it will probably go on board without any charge. I've never been charged to check a bike flying from Britain to US, and the last time my wife and I also had extra luggage (we'd been in Britain for several months) in addition to the bike boxes. Delta officials in Britain didn't flinch and there was no question of a charge. They even checked them straight to our final destination even though we had a day layover in Atlanta, so I thought I'd have to pay extra charges to re-check them from Atlanta to SLC.
Mitch Harris Little Rock Canyon, Utah
On 6/9/07, Waldo Magnuson <email@example.com> wrote:
> I've been wondering if a friend flying from London to the U.S. could
> check a bicycle through as carry-on. Some of the new bike boxes are as
> small as a garment bag. Is such a method do-able?
> Skip Magnuson
> Spokane, WA