Cheap way to travel with a bike

I’ve been working overseas for years, and generally take a bike with me. One guy had a $7000 Seven with very cool frame couplers so he could break the frame down and a hard case that was perfect for travel but a tad rich for my blood. I took my old Norco Java apart; wheels, fork, pedals, bars, rear derailleur, seat post, left all the cables attached, and stuffed everything into a rolling hockey bag I picked up for $80. They don’t generally charge extra for a sports bag but they definitely will for a bike bag (I’m allowed two bags up to 32 kg but was able to keep it under the standard 23 KG)! Stuffed in my helmet, shoes, shorts, some tools, a pump, extra tubes and camel back, and hauled that bike all over East Africa, Morocco, Romania, Suriname, Turkey, back and forth across the pond over a dozen times with no issues. It was an old 80’s bike but full XTR and Rockshox Judy’s so no slouch, but no pain if it got lost or stolen either. I finally broke the frame on some Tanzanian single track and bought an inexpensive Giant with 27.5" wheels and did the same thing, only forgot to take the discs off the wheel and the rear derailleur one trip and both got bent, but easily fixed and quite rideable. I wouldn’t try it with anything too high end but if you got an old hard tail that hasn’t seen it’s last legs…

Great idea. For our touring bikes I just made bags out of 0.6mm vapour barrier. $30 for 500 sq ft. No disassembly required except remove pedals and turn the handlebars 90 degrees. But still have to pay bike fare, so your method is much more cost effective.