Good info and well laid out. I hadn't realise how expensive it is to take a bike in Europe (often about £100 return). These prices are starting to catch up with US prices.
I normally fly long haul with Emirate who have 30 kg overall baggage limit and bike is included in this, so normally no problems. In Asia I use AirAsia who take bikes for about US$15.
Here is another website which may be useful if heading further afield http://www.airline-luggage-regulations. ... rts/bikes/
Of course regardless of all of this - you need to check at time of booking as conditions/terms/prices are constantly changing. Keep copies of airline policy at time of booking as proof. Even after all this you are still at the mercy of the local check-in staff who can be a law unto themselves, particularly when it comes to packing requirements.
Nonetheless, I wouldn't want to be without my bike once I arrive, so ts all worth it in the end!