There are indeed differences between the former new and the old old world.
I called Delta a few weeks ago in order to check on carrying my bike overseas and back. Yes sir, no problem sir. No one really knows anything, but at least in theory everything is possible.
The first leg of the trip, however, is with partner Air France. I check with them as well, since from previous investigations, their policies were quite different, and transportation possibly more expensive. I had been told "just call back when you have a ticket," and, as the exemplary citizen that I am I did just that. I called back. Everybody is extremely nice on the phone. But no one really knows anything, and nothing is possible, without asking first authorization from Paris. You would think I wanted to carry a car, a steamboat or a concert piano.
But on this bicycle, AirFrance central will need to be consulted. I can't avoid imagining my incredible request trickling up to PDG Jean-Cyril Spinetta, who in consultation with First Madame Carla Bruni will decide on the fate of my unusual claim.
"Un velo??? C'est rouge???"
Let's hope they don't think it's a socialist bike.